Archive for the 'China'
Nearly 500 mails back to work ... To quickly:
Posted by Thomas in China , Sancti Spiritus , Tiffin , tags: bombay , temple
2009 April 10, 2009
Day of intense and interesting experience for the end of travel in mainland China. It starts early at 8:15, heading to the memorial of Mao, in the middle of Tiananmen Square. It is only open four mornings and two (small) afternoon a week, so there is already host when you arrive (in view of truffle, 3-4000 people, especially groups). The line is progressing well but still, wait an hour or more does not seem optimal given the remaining program. So we go to the other side of the square and behind the Palace of the temple to go take a look at the National Center for Performing Arts. If he has the same name as Bombay, its size is not really the same: half egg glass and silver is frankly very successful! We wanted quickly on to the Olympic venues but they are unfortunately too far wrong also reachable by subway.
Continuing south-west of the Forbidden City, arrived at the White Cloud Temple. This great Taoist resort offers a variety of rooms inviting the faithful to file three incense sticks (to be burned loose in the yard by the monks) to the god of their choice, often avatars same deities. Them with different birth dates, it is naturally to the hall of the god which we celebrate the "birthday" the crowd is larger. In general, between Buddhist and Taoist temples, I did not expect to find much every faithful.
It then continues on the other side of town with another Taoist temple, called Dongye. This has the effect of proposing a good fifty prayer halls dedicated to very different and specific causes: no-deserved demons of the forest, fight against vice, violent deaths, wisdom in old age ... In each case, the statues really embody the scene: very funny, we begin to guess the purpose of each room after them before reading the plate ("won that one, it is wise to have enfamts!") . In addition, the halls of more traditional deities are absolutely beautiful.
We continue 200m further a funny experience: the end of a dead end Sanlitun bar district, lies a dual sign: Koryo Tours, founded in 1993, and her sister Pyongyang Arts Studios. The first is the only foreign travel agency (founded by two English) specializing in tours to North Korea, while their art affiliate offers "souvenirs" including arts: film posters (mostly available in French, as evidenced by the exhibition on the subject), postcards, books of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il, pines, and even cigarettes "made in DPRK"! A good time you talk to the boss, who spends half his time there, and that India finally seems more exotic! Starting again, I note with amusement leaving my business card in the jar that of the other three (ie probably spent a few hours earlier) is the idea that a colleague in Pakistan! The world is really small ...
At 15h, we just had time to spin to the Imperial Museum, southeast of the Forbidden City. Unfortunately, it is being renovated, so we end up instead in the afternoon in a park overlooking the Forbidden City and giving an idea of its magnitude. After some final shopping, we go out for a last meal that seeks original. After hallucinating yesterday on rates of bird nests and shark fins, we opted instead for a kitchen local Sichuan restaurant, locally institution Brasserie Lipp. We managed to dig up what must be the most bizarre flat map:
And now, tomorrow morning departure for Shenzhen, on the border with Hong Kong (which join the commuter train, go figure, the Beijing / HK is twice more expensive than Beijing / Shenzhen). It is not certain that we can still post for the last 30 hours in HK, but you already know!
Most holy Easter Monday and the office!
Posted by Wordmobi
Posted by Thomas in China , Tiffin , To Do & To Die , tags: taxi
2009 September 4, 2009
Extreme Day today with a fairly early start to Simatai, the farthest (and still relatively authentic) part of the Great Wall. Inevitably, as it is not as popular than the Badaling sections of particular tourist destination, a bit of a chore to go: 1:15 bus and taxi Informal price of gold, but no alternative, for another 1h.
Once in a plant environment somewhat reminiscent of the Alps, we feel a thrill to see this stand stone fence and towers on the crest of sight: "Who're not mounted on the Great Wall is not a man, "said the Grand helmsman. We bravely opts for the footpath, rather than cabins that zap 3/4 (by far the most difficult) path. In addition, the path splits between east and west branch, and we opt for the first, more steep, with sections appearing to within 30 degrees.
Obviously, under these conditions, we do not see a lot of people, and it feels great to finally spit out the incredible air pollution in Beijing! From turn to turn, you end up not reaching the highest point of the valley after 2 hours (well, not really: 16 laps on this track is marked, the last 4 are not available, because the wall is no been consolidated). The view is quite fantastic with the wall snaking from both sides of the ridges.
The descent is barely shorter, because of the steps in height and width extremely diverse, to wonder how horses and men in armor could be run? Time to catch the taxi and the bus, we're back in Beijing around 18:30.
Hunger is this time violently felt since met with altitude and effort, it is not far from fainting in the subway. We therefore offer for dinner a very good restaurant in Beijing, the Chinese restaurant at the Peninsula (small infinitely more beautiful than Hong Kong sister, and incredibly luxurious shopping arcade: Calvin Klein there is Emmaus!). On the menu, caramelized crust pork, grilled abalone and seafood rice, almond cream and jasmine tea. Yum!
Posted by Wordmobi
Posted by Thomas in China , Tiffin , To Do & To Die , tags: girl , temple
2009 April 8, 2009
Very busy day, enjoying beautiful weather. One is from the opening to the gates of the Forbidden City (and that's good for the crowd at the entrance when 4:30 comes later). The English name of the complex seems to better reflect the reality because it is a city that is, we speak still more than 9000 rooms! Certainly, many are more halls passage palaces full, but the abundance of shapes, colors, nested roofs, and many objects of everyday life of the imperial court are a feast for the eyes far from Tiananmen Square yet so close. A special note for the whole collection of watches and clocks emperors, not always tasteful but often a quite impressive sophistication (and a controller that every hour draws Chinese characters on a sheet of paper).
After this long exploration on file, again without eating, to the north of the city, the Lama temple. It is the largest Buddhist complex outside of Tibet, and the succession of small halls dedicated to different avatars of Buddha is actually very pretty. The highlight is a giant standing Buddha of 17m, carved from a single piece of white sandalwood.
We leave around 3am, so it is still possible to make a final site, the park of the heavenly Temple. It is here that the emperors were making the necessary sacrifices to good harvests in particular. This park and has several halls and temples complex forms and structures quite confusing because based on numerology.
So we end up just visit the park at the time of its closure, hunger begins to be felt (I failed to give a bunch of scorpions, but it's still warmer than in fugu Kyoto). It thus goes around 6am (via a passage through the galleries of the Grand Hyatt, where half the girls are professional ...) the restaurant duck missed the day before. After half an hour of waiting, patience is rewarded absolutely famous, and grilled skin is to die for! It is probably a remake in the second before leaving, but there are still some major specialties to taste (especially swallow's nest soup and turtle).
Tomorrow, starting normally very early to the Great Wall, although I still do not know which section (presumably the less touristy among the three most accessible by bus).
Posted by Wordmobi
Arrival in the capital, the last stage of the journey, around 14h, after a rather restless flight (apparently drivers Hunan airlines have never learned to ride above the clouds). The arrival in town is fast, it is operational in 1530, which seems essential in a city where all the museums, temples and other monuments close at 16:30!
It thus goes quickly in Tiananmen Square to enjoy the view from the Gate of Heavenly Peace, the first of three doors leading to the Forbidden City, which takes place to review the troops during the national holiday on which include the famous giant Mao portrait. This is followed by a full tour of the place, which still takes 30 minutes without rushing (relatively more tourists than in other cities, especially French). I do not know what it's like in Pyongyang but massive and austere Soviet architecture, rather it is served! However unpleasant impression from an incredibly civilized atmosphere: all 15m more, we meet a soldier, a policeman, a guard more or less sworn or a young party in civil (but easily identifiable) that scans, calls, search bags, channels, ... Pretty soon suspicious annoying.
After returning to the hotel, as we did often not eaten for 24 hours (yes, I know, not good) and departure to 20h in the direction of the best Peking duck. He had not reckoned that once again the Chinese eat incredibly early: the restaurant is open from 11h to 13h and from 16:30 to 20:30 ... We therefore flap to poor hotel buffet, promising better calculate its shot tomorrow (Forbidden City in the morning, parks south of Tiananmen afternoon). And since we'll have to get up early, not miss, no need to follow me from the lobby to the door of my room saying "Ok? ? Ok "(must yell a good shot for the fourth time to get rid of), I prefer bidonner me to the French version of the newspaper of the State alone string (or how to learn lots of cool things about Korea north by a French Pujadas junk)!
Posted by Wordmobi
Posted by Thomas in China , Tags: bombay , political , temple
2009 April 7, 2009
For this last day in Shanghai, we end the northeast of the city, opposite the places visited so yesterday. First stop in a still very active Buddhist temple, where one may admire a seated Buddha nearly 2 meters high in a posture full of serenity and carved from a single piece of jade ... Very impressive!
It connects with an old industrial city converted into a set of fifty galleries artist. While much is unfortunately closed on Monday, however, we observe that Chinese artists have by their brush or chisel in their pocket a lot of pop art compositions, a lot of inspirations manga, with a more pronounced political consciousness at first.
We end the day with a long walk in the French Concession, passing in a neighborhood of artists where there are some of those found earlier, assembled around the building of birth of the Chinese Communist Party. In the evening, some excellent ribs pepper Hyunan of the latter dinner in Shanghai, a city decidedly pleasant and where we would see a few years after Mumbai ...
Posted by Wordmobi
Despite milder weather, we stick to the cultural program planned. Although upon arriving shortly after the opening of the municipal museum, one is confronted with 20 minutes of tail (hard to imagine that in India, if not wait for the end of the chai break guardian). Given the hall, it does not seem so great, but you end up spending still more than 4 hours between bathroom coins, entire walls of calligraphy, jade tens or even collections of porcelain pretty amazing, the all with a scene of great quality.
It makes the art museum, nothing to do, I do not have to understand the local trends, as 45 variations on a sunflower field leave me so cold ... It goes pretty quickly to the Shanghai Urban Planning Museum (the only charge in the first Sunday of the month ... Jack Lang has been there!), all to the glory of the World Expo held in the city next year. What sense of planning, the Chinese!
Anyway, so far, they have done quite well as People's Square where all these museums is really nice (and would probably be even more foul without building the party in the middle). The name seems still very appropriate when you see the signs, including automobiles (Ferrari, Mercedes, Porsche and Jaguar dealer in the same field of view), the surrounding! And enthusiasm for the consumer society can be found on the Champs Elysées (in the commercial sense) local, East Nanjing Road, black people, 25% of which touts stores false (bags, shoes, watches ...) and 25% Mothers madams.
After failing in five other international stores to find a pair of 46, we finally found the radius Basketball's flagship store Li Ning, Nike / Reebok / Adidas / Puma local (which incidentally provides the France team gymnastics ). To celebrate, we are offering a new pork Mao, as well as excellent herb dumplings. Tomorrow, day normally temples.
Holy Week in very good one and all!
Posted by Wordmobi
Day full of unexpected but successful in the end ... In the morning, a lot of rain and tendinitis begins to settle. It was therefore decided to light a day, all we have to wrap some adminisitratives approaches. The shot rather late to Pudong to enjoy the few tourist attractions.
At the bottom of the filthy TV tower (except at night) appears indeed the historical museum of the city. A little kitsch and kid in the staging (recreated with wax figures and background noise shops) but in the end rather well done and interesting. So we start at noon only to Ignatius, main Catholic church in Shanghai Cathedral St., at the other end of town. It is only accessible to the public twice a week 3am, it is to properly calculate his shot! No picture (forbidden) but the novel is very strong side for a church after all fairly recent.
But the most interesting is yet to come: once a week, a small group of ten people has the chance to access the collection of the library Zi Ka Wei, a collection of 380,000 foreign works (including French and English) prior to 1944 meeting by the Jesuits at the origin of St Ignatius. It happens to be part of the group, and the 15 minutes spent in this room is pure magic: weathered wood shelves by the dozens with titles in Latin, and books as far back as 1515! Really a great time for an amateur of old and beautiful books ...
In another register, it tries to return to Pudong in the afternoon to go to the museum of erotica in ancient China (recommended by Lonely, eh, it's still the classical culture) but at the beginning of Holy Week, we must believe that this goal was not part of Desseins the Lord: the museum has apparently moved a few months ago, to be replaced by an insect museum ...
The afternoon then ends in early shopping, originally scheduled for Monday, especially one of the two pairs of shoes makes the soul at that time (my dear pair of Quechua, I will not forget you) . We are therefore trying to exercise whose outcome was unfortunately already known: finding shoes / walking 45/46/47 (depending on model). It's confirmed, the Chinese really have small feet I did laugh a lot the 38 vendors with those kinds of numbers, 2, however, managed to find me moccasins imported 200 euros to the right size ...
We console ourselves with this painful loss by returning to Hunan restaurant for a pork Mao absolutely excellent. Tomorrow, day normally predictable, with two large museums!
Posted by Wordmobi
Early departure from Nanjing by train, after having to fight to the station, where half of the 3.5 million inhabitants of the city seemed to find the other half. Arrival around noon at the Shanghai Railway Station and 30 minutes later at the hotel in the middle of the former French concession. we caught up in a restaurant Hunan precedent regret salad with duck tongues with peppers (visually very strange, but not bad) and eel stew with peppers also pretty awesome.
Then direction Xintiandi, where the line art and the shops and restaurants a little fashion galleries. We arrive then at Yuyuan, a shopping complex and a little cheap shielded tourists, but which houses a Buddhist Japanese garden pretty awesome.
All this brings us to the end of the Bund, the most famous street of the city, the historic river front. Visually quite incredible: west side, dozens of large batisses kind art deco or classic, historically home to large business houses and banks (including the impressive headquarters of HSBC) side, facing Pudong, with its architecture ultra-modern towers of the walls of screen for the night.
Moreover, we expect it to Bar Rouge, the lounge at the top of Bund 18 complex chic Avenue. The crisis is over there, we would say: the bar and shops are desperately empty. one last stroll along the Bund at night, and we leave to the hotel and resto at noon in their red-brick houses. Red was also the color of the servant after the hot pot (sort of fondue where the beef is cooked in chilli sauce, with onions, garlic and ginger, otherwise it would be too bland) and apparently also the name of the district, has since been priced offers meetings three times in 50m ... Besides this, print this extra pretty town!
Posted by Wordmobi