Final of Fengdu, China

While looking for background for some later posts, I found this web page on Fengdu which I think is a better reference than in an earlier post.

 

In an earlier post I commented on the neat flower displays that didn’t seem to get vandalized. However, Fengdu was generally dirty and scruffy. The incense container being used as an ashtray (below) is in contrast to those I saw in other sacred sites. And Chinese people smoke a lot.

In keeping with the run down theme.

In keeping with the run-down theme.

Some parts of the Ghost City were rather run down. But the blue was eye-catching.

Some parts of the Ghost City were rather decrepit.
But the blue was eye-catching.

A colourful corner.

A colourful corner.

Fellow tourists on Sinorama Bus 2 may find themselves in this picture:

To the right of this line of people was the diorama about souls in hell.

To the right of this line of people was the diorama about souls in hell.

Once we left the main site, we walked through vendors, and I was taken by this family preparing fruit, especially the smile on the boy’s face.

One member of this family has had enough for one day!

One member of this family has had enough for one day!

I thought these were rather cute and considered buying one for my 5 year old granddaughter, but didn't think they would make it home undamaged.

I thought these were rather cute and considered buying one for my 5 year old granddaughter, but didn’t think they would make it home undamaged.

The English in this one is right, for a change!

The English in this one is right, for a change!

Next posts: Toronto, Canada

Little Boats

The Yangtze River is an important waterway for commerce of all magnitude, from one-person fishing craft to huge barges and fair-sized cruise ships.

In this post are a selection of small boats.  Well, the first one isn’t actually a boat!

Not a boat, but a marker buoy!

A marker buoy!

A hard life on dirty water.

A hard life on dirty water.

On our second day of the cruise we transferred to smaller tour boats to visit the higher reaches of some of the gorges which you can see here.  These two photos show details from our smaller tour boat.

A boatsman repairs a rope.

A boatsman repairs a rope.

Our tour boat's bumper.

Our tour boat’s bumper.

While we were on the tour up-gorge, there were numerous other smallish boats, including ones containing only Chinese tourists.

We did a double take on the fellow at the prow of the boat. Mao Tse-Tung come back to life?

We did a double take on the fellow at the prow of the boat. Mao Tse-Tung come back to life?

When we returned to the mooring of the cruise ship we were met by a friendly mobile shrimp vendor. Judging by the colour and content of the water in the Yangtze, it would not have been my choice for a healthy lunch.

Lunch!  Fresh right here!

Lunch! Fresh right here!

A couple of the Chinese passengers with us did buy these tiny shrimp.

A couple of the Chinese passengers with us did buy these tiny shrimp.

Next post: bigger boats – probably more properly termed ships.

When Pigs Fly – Street Photography in Shanghai

When Pigs Fly

When Pigs Fly   (Taken from the bus…)

Taken earlier in the day outside the Shanghai Museum while waiting for our bus.

Stricken with Pixie dust?

Stricken with Pixie dust?

I have no recollection of what part of Shanghai these next pictures are from. It was very crowded and full of interesting small stores with fairly pushy vendors.  I do know I bought two delightful pictures of very young children feeding each other with chopsticks.  The pictures are now framed and in my dining room.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

We were turned loose in a crowd.

Lovebirds' selfie.

Lovebirds’ selfie.   And Starbucks.

Where are we?

Where are we?

At some point we went to a more modern shopping area in Shanghai, the Nanjing Road, which was closed to motor vehicles (welcome relief from Chinese traffic.)   There were small trolleys, each with about three cars, which shuttled people back and forth along Nanjing Road for a small fee. We were near a huge glass-fronted Apple store when we watched a fight break out between a woman who fell (or was pushed) off a trolley, and the driver.  The woman threw the first punch and was joined by two of her female friends; the poor guy was taking quite a beating – and he didn’t fight back.  A security person called the police.  We left when they showed up. It took a lot of will power not to snap pictures. And so I have none of Nanjing Road…

 

These last three photos were taken from the bus as it returned from supper to our hotel.  The building below looks like something from the Arts and Crafts movement in England at the end of the 19th century but the window is dated 1998.

The window is dated 1998.  A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

 A beautiful facade to a well proportioned building.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

The streets are ready for October 1, and the celebrations for the founding of the PRC.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Inside and outside on a busy Shanghai street.

Next post: Goodbye Shanghai:  more views of the Huangpu river (and smog)

I am wandering off to San Francisco to visit the grand-triplets (yup, three of them) but have some posts ready to go.  If I can publish them from my iPad, there will still be posts every couple of days.  If not, see you in early March.

Shanghai – Not The Bund

A Shanghai canal at dusk.

A Shanghai canal at dusk.

We arrived at our Shanghai hotel in time for us to take a walk before supper.

The hotel was the Wyndham Grand Plaza Royale Oriental Shanghai, about 3 miles east of The Bund, Shanghai’s famous riverside street on the Huangpu River, and three miles downriver from Pudong, the not-quite-twenty year old finance and trade centre which boasts an impressive array of modern buildings including The Oriental Pearl Tower. (I’ll be posting more on those two areas in the next few days.)

Crossing the street was the biggest challenge.

Traffic below our hotel. Despite crosswalk painting traffic does NOT stop for pedestrians.

Traffic below our hotel. Despite crosswalk painting traffic does NOT stop for pedestrians.

The majority of the traffic was coming off the bridge from the west side of the river (at bottom of photo) or turning left (from the right side of the picture) onto the on-ramp. In neither case were they paying attention to pedestrians.

The majority of the traffic was coming off the bridge from the west side of the river (at bottom of photo) or turning left (from the right side of the picture) onto the on-ramp. In neither case were they paying attention to pedestrians.

The neighbourhood was not the most scenic, but there is always something interesting to shoot!

Progress.  We were fairly close to the Huangpu river so this part of Shanghai was heavily industrialized.

Progress. We were fairly close to the Huangpu river so this part of Shanghai was heavily industrialized.

The back side of the building being demolished in the previous picture.

The back side of the building being demolished in the previous picture.

Canal looking west.

Canal looking west.

This is the same canal looking east, after we had walked around the block (so to speak.). The bridge from the previous picture  is in the distance.

This is the same canal looking east, after we had walked around the block (so to speak.). The arch from the previous picture is in the distance.

It was getting quite dark as we headed back. As a result there is lots of ‘noise’ in the dark parts of these photos, which I have somewhat disguised by converting one to black and white, exaggerating the colour on another, and ‘aging’ the third.

Shanghai is full of canals and small waterways.  I couldn't find this one on a Google map.  In fact I couldn't find any of the canals in any of these photos on the map!

Shanghai is full of canals and small waterways. I couldn’t find this one on a Google map. In fact I couldn’t find any of the canals in any of these photos on the map!

You'd be taking your life in your hands to cycle in Shanghai unless you knew how to keep off the main roads.

You’d be taking your life in your hands to cycle in Shanghai unless you knew how to keep off the main roads.

Closing time.

Closing time.

Next post: The Bund

Shopping for Jade and Wee Men

Shaanxi Museum.  How to fill an ancient vessel without getting wet!

Shaanxi Museum. How to fill an ancient vessel without getting wet!

Day two around Xi’an began with a visit to the Shaanxi Museum where we saw saw prehistoric tools, weapons and water jugs, paintings and examples of calligraphy. It was very dark inside, so most of my photos are not good enough to post, but I have included the one above of an ingenious early water pitcher, and the explanation of how it works.

Then, we went shopping for jade, and later for copies of Terracotta warriors. I did buy a jade necklace for my daughter in law.

Reminder: 1 Canadian dollar = 5 Yuan.  1 US dollar = 6 Yuan.  1 Euro = 8.3 Yuan.  1 British pound = 10 Yuan

Reminder: 1 Canadian dollar = 5 Yuan. 1 US dollar = 6 Yuan. 1 Euro = 8.3 Yuan. 1 British pound = 10 Yuan

Spoiler alert! The photo below contains a self-portrait.

Reminder: 1 Canadian dollar = 5 Yuan.  1 US dollar = 6 Yuan.  1 Euro = 8.3 Yuan.  1 British pound = 10 Yuan…..However, I don't think the price refers to the violin statue.

Reminder: 1 Canadian dollar = 5 Yuan. 1 US dollar = 6 Yuan. 1 Euro = 8.3 Yuan. 1 British pound = 10 Yuan…..However, I don’t think the price refers to the violin statue.

A chance to have your photo taken as a (dead) Chinese soldier…..

Photo edited to preserve the identity of the warrior behind.  But he will know it's him!

Photo edited to preserve the identity of the warrior behind. But he will know it’s him!

Then inside to see a craft studio producing Terracotta warriors, other ceramics and lacquer furniture (no photos of the last/)

Manufacturing on a human scale.

Manufacturing on a human scale.

From 6 inch to life size Terracotta Warrior statues to take home, or have shipped.

From 6 inch to life size Terracotta Warrior statues to take home, or have shipped.

Perhaps you'd rather have a buddha or monk?  These were unusually serious.

Perhaps you’d rather have a buddha or monk? These were unusually serious.

Glazing station. Notice that the notice is not written in Chinese.  Is it only English tourists who go through this workshop, or are the Chinese better behaved?

Glazing station. Notice that the notice is not written in Chinese. Is it only English tourists who go through this workshop, or are the Chinese better behaved?

Next  post: Terracotta Warrior burial site.

Leaving Beijing on laundry day

Sunny and no smog.  Downtown Beijing as seen from the east.

Sunny and no smog. Downtown Beijing as seen from the east.

When I awoke that morning (September 24, 2013)  there were beautiful clear views of the centre of the city.

Zoom in on the centre of Beijing as seen from the east.

Zoom in on the centre of Beijing as seen from the east.

…while down below, people played Jianzi in the parking lot.

…while down below, people played Jianzi in the parking lot.

After 30 posts, I have exhausted my stock of Beijing photos. But before we left we took a quick tour of the neighbourhood around our hotel, the Lijingwan International, just outside the ‘east 4th ring road middle’ near the Shilipu subway stop.

Between the market (previous post) and our hotel was a hardware store, colourful with plastic bowls and buckets.

Between the market (previous post) and our hotel was a hardware store, colourful with plastic bowls and buckets.

It was laundry day and the fence next to the canal (Google doesn't give it a name) was put to good use.

It was laundry day and the fence next to the canal (Google doesn’t give it a name) was put to good use.

Mother's little helper.

Mother’s little helper.

From baby buggy to heavy cart.

From baby buggy to heavy cart.

I did not stage this.  Well maybe a bit.  But the underwear was hanging inches to the right of where it is in the photo. (Our hotel is in the background.)

I did not stage this. Well maybe a bit. But the underwear was hanging inches to the right of where it is in the photo. (Our hotel is in the background.)

Farewell Beijing.  This is the traffic situation as we headed to the airport to fly to Xian where the adventure continued…

Bus 2

Bus 2

Next post: Xian at sundown.

Market, Beijing (not Christmas dinner)

Fruit

Fruit

Not 5 minutes from our Beijing hotel was a morning market. It wasn’t until our last day in Beijing that we had any free time to have a look. I was wishing I had somewhere to cook! The market was clean, the food very fresh, and the vendors and buyers were obviously quite used to the foreigners from the nearby hotel gawking at the produce.

Grapes

Grapes

It was rare to see a moustache in China!

Greens

Greens

Peppers and ???

Peppers and ???

Fungi

Fungi

Pulses

Pulses

HOT stuff

HOT stuff

Fish

Fish

A customer was walking around with a caged bird, but (thankfully) I did not notice a bird vendor.

Walking his pet, or is it dinner?

Walking his pet, or is it dinner?

In addition to the stalls there was some food action taking place:

Corn on the cob, being husked before purchased.

Corn on the cob, being husked before purchased.

Pancakes

Pancakes

And my favourite, but very hard to photograph, the noodle maker.

Noodle maker

Noodle maker

Noodles

Noodles

Whether you are enjoying sushi, a vegetarian roast, noodles, corn/beans/rice, or turkey and all the trimmings, I hope you are having a loving and joyful Christmas.