Wonderful WELCOME MAT Moments: Fujian Province

Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, January 5, 2005

December 2006 to 30 June 2008

To keep the Great Welcome Mat Of China clean I've created this page to seperate my time in the South and North of China.

From here you can walk beside me on my Fujian Province pathway.

A Big Greedy English School cut my time in the north short and life once again took me to the south but this time to a south east coastal province.  I left my life amongst the arid hills and the bread and noodle eating tall peoples and once again found myself amongst lush greens.  As usual I rode for hours in search of little villages full of happy smiles and lush rice fields where I continued my waving and saying hellowwwww to bamboo peak hatted farmers.

Life was as beautiful as always and weekends and holidays once again found me with my pack on travelling to small rural towns with friends to relax with a beer and find China's greatest BBQ. What will the future bring?   I'm still hoping for the trip to Laos & Cambodia and have now added the spicey train journey to Kashgar to my mental list of millions of things to do and places to go.


Aselection of interesting enteries from Fujian 2006 - 2008
December 2006: Good Bye freezing Gansu Hello Green and Lush Fujian
Remember in my last entry when I wrote the words;
`Who knows what will happen between now and then´ regarding moving to Xian.
Well, things did change!
I now write to you from the coastal province of Fujian. 
December 2006: The City So Far.....Beautiful Mate!
What a wonderful life and what a wonderful place to live
February 2007: In Memory of Billy Thorpe
Whilst living and working on Queenslands Gold Coast I worked with a guy named Matthew
March 2007: The Second Great Aussie Care Package
Maaaate, it finally arrived.  My second Aussie Care Package!
Aussie Santaroo finally found his fatass way to China with my Christmas present!
April 2007: The Great Aussie Easter Care Package
Yeah Yeah, it´s late I know!
Build a chocolate bridge and get over it!
Put me in my room and roll a rock in front of it!
May 2007: Mate Whats Been Happening and A Quick Catchup
That's it mate, they've gone home!  I can't believe they've gone.
Shaowu will never be the same again.  The English couple have left the building.
June 2007: Exam Time, Bus Patience and an Ancient Village
With 1.4 billions people in one country and many of them being middle and high school students all fighting for spots in high schools and universities you have major life changing exams.  If you miss out on the university you need to attend to become `something´ then most of the time you will have to change your career choice.
June 2007: A Bad Beginning Only Means a Better Ending
I then walked into the lounge room and there at the front door was a huge brown rat. 
We stood staring at each other wondering what the hell the other was doing and who was going to make the first move.  He made the first move and it was across the room and beneath the couch.
June 2007: Christine or Cybil or Both
I couldn´t stop laughing when the first thing Joyce said was `You´ve killed your bike again haven´t you!´  The tally so far for this bike is five pedals, one chain and now two sets of gears.  I think I need a sponsor!
June 2007: Mate, It's Summer Break & This Weathers Insane
Windows and doors opening and slamming closed by themselves.  I look to the floor expecting to see the cellar door from Evil Dead opening and closing with screams of laughter filling the air.   It seems the wind is moving in many directions at once and when it´s allowed inside it creates a separate storm in my apartment.  I have to run around catching flying paper and stop myself from being tangled and strangled in the curtains that somehow have grown an evil personality.  
November 2007 - The Ancient Facts Behind The Modern Face of Shaowu
The city obviously began as a small village over one thousand years ago.  I knew this had to the be the case as Shaowu houses one of Fujian´s three Ancient Mosques which was built over 700 years ago but today Mr Doo confirmed that the first village was built over one thousand years ago.  As the village grew into a town Protective Walls were built and soon surrounded the fast growing town.  These walls were built somewhere between three to five hundred years ago and only several hundred meters from my school and my home sits the last remaining section of the city wall and the last ancient city gate that faces the beautiful Min River.  
November 2007 - Yet Another Strangely Perfect Day In Shaowu
Photos Only
But they are nice photos...hahahaha!
November 2007 - Aliens, The Flu and Fishless Fish Farms
After speaking to Super Shirley the Chinese English Teacher I thought about texting her a reply to her caring well wishes of `get some sleep, relax and take care´ type thing.  I remember thinking this and I was just about to raise myself onto my elbow to grab my phone when I must have been abducted my Aliens.  
March 2008 - Beers N Noodles to my Nieces and Nephews
Life is full of so many wrongs and rights.  What is the right thing to do when it comes to family?
Do you do what most would say the right thing to do is? Do you head home and give yourself back to your family which will satisfy almost everyone?
May 2008 - Four Canadians & One Super Sneaky Northern Train Girl
Not long after arriving home from my Asian Adventure seven years ago I was driving along a highway with some friends and we came across a guy making his way hitching.  After the many that have gone missing around the world due to either hitching or picking up a hitchhiker it is not often that I would do such a thing.  On this day (like I said above) I was with friends.  On this day I met a guy I named Kev The Canadian Backpacker.
May 2008 - The Day The Northern Earth Crumbled
Supposedly predicted in 2002 to happen sometime in the following seven years the earth certainly did not only as predicted but almost at the very spot.  The predicted area was only 120 kms away from the epicenter.  Though predicted, who is going to stand guard for seven years under a door frame or sleeping in a tent on a football field.  
May 2008 - School Markets For Those Still Buried Beneath
In response to Mondays earthquake the school quickly gathered the teachers and students together and they all decided the quickest, easiest and most fun way to raise money for those in need was to simply bring 'things' to school and spend two afternoons buying and selling. So beneath a cloudless deep blue sky we all gathered in the playground with money in hand and bargained our butts off for several hours.  The stalls were news paper pages set upon the ground and upon these were placed the 'goodies'.
May 2008 - An Earthquake Update From Another Hometown Boy
Around the same time I left Australia three and a half years ago another guy from my home town was packing and getting himself ready for the life I was already flying towards.  Though our parents have known each other for a long time we had no idea that we were both planning to live and teach in China for the many years that followed.   

Aselection of market place nights, festivals and celebrations in Shaowu 2006 - 2008
December 2006: Anyone want a Chinese Burn for Christmas
Though I'm far far away from all of my beautiful friends, family and my homeland ,
I just wanted to let you know that..sniff...sniff...sniff...sniff
I will be eating noodles for Christmas dinner...AGAIN!!! 
December 2006: Christmas in China Mate, I even went to church
Fan dancing and photos with the big Guy and the Dancing Girls
January 2007: Back in the fields & a night with the Russian Orchestra
Once we had all placed our chopsticks upon the table we made our way to the hall where the Shaowu Chinese Army was in full force checking tickets and making sure all would be well for their Russian Friends.
January 2007: Happy Australia Day to all my Friends and Family
Dinner was spent with some teachers from Daniels school at a Hot Pot eatery dipping assorted foods into our individual Hot Pots, drinking a heap of beer and happily chatting about anything and everything.
February 2007: Spring Festival & Chinese New Year Information
Spring Festival really is a most amzing time to be here in China.  For some it would be too much especially in a large city and for others they would become totally lost in all the different ways it is celebrated.   
February 2007: Spring Festival Lunch in a Beautiful Village
An awesome afternoon spent in a friends tiny farming village.  The festival feast was more than anyone could ask for.  The company was just as great.
March 2007: The Spring Festival ends with the Lantern Festival
Falling on the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar Year, the Lantern Festival takes place under a full moon, and marks the end of Chinese New Year festivities. The Lantern Festival dates back to shrouded legends of the Han Dynasty over 2000 years ago.
March 2007: Womens Day Celebrations
Sure Bra´s were burnt, Women´s Rights were introduced into most western societies but is there really equality in our societies?  Who is killing the world around us as they dominate society?  Men!  Take a look at history then look at the present.
March 2007: Dining with Chickens at My Feet In A Small Village
I´ve had a friend here in Shaowu since I first arrived at the school.  We have always got along really well.  She´s a heap of fun and very feisty, always trying to beat me or throw me off a balcony or the other way round.   She invited Daniel, Alexa and I to her village where her family still live farming rice and tobacco. 
March 2007: MMMmmm Those Great Northern Noodles
Not only in Gansu can you see this beautiful happening but also along the Sichuan/Tibetan Highway and I'd say all the way across to Kashgar.  It´s such a treat to sit and watch the Noodle Man throwing a ball of dough around and then by way of magic turn it into many long noodles that you will soon be slurping away on. 
May 2007: The Yunnan Snow Mountain Minority Peoples Evening
Hey, minority girls in minority dresses. 
They could spend the night playing chess and I'd still be happy!
May 2007: Bugs Slugs N a Wonderful Weekend
Last night I headed out with the Martin and Georga for a night on the town.  I introduced them to the wonderful friendliness of `Yellow´ and its delicious menu.  We then took a walk though the neon coloured streets and we then headed to Shaowu's newest bar called the Miami Bar.  BUT, some of the signs actually say the Maiam Bar.  I really don't know how they can get it both right and wrong, but this is China.  From there we headed to Ting Tings Bar that we now have to rename as Ting Ting has left the building. 
June 2007: International Children's Day in China
Until coming here I always thought it was funny that we celebrated the birthday of a Queen none of us had ever met (and for many, nor really want) along with celebrating a three minute horse race called the Melbourne Cup.  Don´t get me wrong, public holidays have become rare in Victoria Australia and I´m happy to celebrate any `Old Jack or Jills´ Birthday to get a public holiday.  But should we really celebrate the Queens birthday over celebrating Children´s Day? 
June 2007: The Chinese Dragon Boat Festival
The Dragon Boat Festival which is also known as Double Fifth Day falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. From what I can gather there are many different stories as to where and how this festival came to light. But the most popular version and the one officially accepted is about Qu Yuan, a minister during the Warring States Period - (475 - 221 BC).
August 2007: Chinese Valentines/Lovers Day
One love story for this day is about the 7th daughter of Emperor of Heaven and an orphaned cowherd. The Emperor separated them. The 7th daughter was forced to move to the star Vega and the cowherd moved to the star Altair. They are allowed to meet only once a year on the day of 7th day of 7th lunar month.
September 2007: Teachers Day Celebration
In 1939 the Ministry of Education pronounced that Confucius' birthday would be celebrated on August 28, and designated it as Teachers' Day as well as a national holiday to remember Confucius' enormous contribution to Chinese culture and society.
October 2007: Chinese National Day Celebration
Soon Shane entered China, left China, went home for a spell and thought to himself, `Hey Man, I think it´s time to get me one of those Chairman Mao suites, I´m heading back to China for awhile.  In his wake schools have flourished and new brewery´s opened.
October 2007: Celebrating My Third Birthday In China
After dinner we all rocked on to a rather swisho KTV (karaoke) place where we met up with Joyce, Candy and a few others.  Here (after many beers) they came face to face with the legend my voice really is.  I´m serious!  It´s been compared to Pavarotti on acid breaking wind and my gawd did I sing up a storm that night. 
October 2007: Young Pioneers Day
Though all students have being spending many hours practicing I was more than proud of one group in particular.  Many of my Grade 5 students made up the school band for this years celebration.  Each night for many weeks they have been.....ANNOYING THE ABSOLUTE SHITE OUT OF EVERYONE WHO EITHER LIVES AT THE SCHOOL OR ANYWHERE AROUND THE AREA!
October 2007: Flippity Flippity Flop, Joyce Ran Up The Clock
I kind of went...HUH?
Didn´t we celebrate your birthday on the 6th?
Well....yes we did, but today is my `Lunar Birthday´.
Oh, is that right?
You Chinese keep that one up your sleeves for extra presents don´t you!
November 2007 - FIRE FIRE FIRE!  119 Celebration Day
Today we celebrated what is known here in Fujian Province as 119 Celebration Day.  119 is the emergency phone number for FIRE here in Fujian and tomorrow being the 9th Day of the 11th Month is the day all schools celebrate the heroic efforts of not only their country´s Firemen but the Firemen from all around the world!
November 2007 - Lets Go On A Picnic Chinese Style! Bring The Wok!
Mate, have you ever been on a Chinese picnic?  Let me tell you about the Chinese picnic I went on today.  First step is to buy as much food as humanly possible.  Second step is to pre-make nothing at all.  Third step is to carry it all there, then make it and eat as much as humanly possible!
December 2007 - Happy Christmas To You All N Cake With Chopsticks
Christmas huh!  Can´t believe its Christmas time.  It came and then it was gone just as quick.
How quick does life fly on by now that I´m juuuust past twenty-one.
I remember juuuust a few years ago when I was a boy, the lead up to Christmas was huge.
December 2007 - Shaowu City Schools Performance.  Awesome!
Photos aren't the best quality, mainly due to the lighting and my camera but mate, it was an awesome night.  My students were the best of course!  They are the ones in green with the red umbrellas.  Ha Ha! 
December 2007 - Happy Yan Tan OR Happy Freaking New Year 2ya Mate
Remember last summer holidays as I was casually drinking/making my way from city to town to city to town from Xian City all the way to the east coast of China.  Well, if you do remember, can you tell me!  Hahahaha!  Just joking, if you do remember then you would remember a beautiful girl I met in one of China´s ancient capital cities, the ancient walled city of Kaifeng. 
January 2008 - The LABA (Eight Treasure) Rice Festival
Falling on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month, Laba Festival was originally an occasion for people to give sacrifices to their ancestors, and to pray to heaven and earth for a good harvest and good luck for the family. Many years later, it has become a Laba rice porridge eating event.
A porridge that contains different types of rice, beans, dried nuts, bean curd, and meat.
February 2008 - Spring Festival and Chinese New Year Information
Of all the traditional Chinese festivals, the New Year was perhaps the most elaborate, colorful, and important. This was a time for the Chinese to congratulate each other and themselves on having passed through another year, a time to finish out the old, and to welcome in the New Year.
February 2008 - My Fifth Colourful and Squawking Chinese New Year
My first was spent in the Xishuangbanna Region (Yunnan Province) in the year 2000.
My second was spent in Yangshuo (Guangxi Province) in the year 2005.
My third was spent in the Xishuangbanna Region (Yunnan Province) in the year 2006.
My fourth was spent in a small Shaowu Village (Fujian Province) in the year 2007.
And here I sit once again in my beautiful little mountain city of Shaowu (Fujian Province - 2008) bewildered by the fact that I have actually celebrated my fifth Spring Festival here in China. 
February 2008 - Dining In A Village With Chickens At My Feet 2
If you are ever invited to a small village for such an occasion, simply feel an honoured guest!  You can try to find words of thanks but usually they will be waved away!  What you will eat has taken much money and time to prepare!  Don´t force your thanks, simply be thankful!  Walk away feeling an honoured! 
Life is not always so beautiful!
February 2008 - The Beer Man Wedding Feast N Back In The Fields
What ever the time line is, I´ve enjoyed every Chinese Wedding I´ve been lucky enough to have been invited to.  I feel sorry for the groom though.  As they invite such a huge amount of people the poor bugger is hammered by the time the couple finally finishes going from table to table toasting and being toasted.  Silly `Beer Man´ chose to carry a bottle of red wine or two with him. Not a good idea when you have so many guests.  I think I would have stuck with beer...man!
February 2008 - Super Northern Girls Surprise Valentines Visit
Knock Knock Knock Knock!
So she who was supposed to be in the north had just spent another twenty two hours on board an extremely packed train taking her from north to south.  This time though, as there were no seat tickets left she had to get a standing ticket. 
February 2008 - Three Years Living In China
Well Well Well!  Three holes in the ground!
Five Spring Festivals and three years later I continue to live a wonderful life here in China!
Yes, on this day three years ago I flew from The Land Down Under to the Confusing Land Uphere!  Doing so made most of my dreams become a reality and a reality they still are.
February 2008 - The Chinese Lantern Festival 2008
Well from my experience all it actually does is remind everyone of their remaining fireworks along with the fact that soon the Fireworks Stores will either be empty or closed.  So really it only enhances the fact that everyone should or MUST be the last ones remaining with fireworks to annoy the complete shit out of everyone around them who have pretty much had enough by now. 
March 2008 - International Womens Day in Fujian Province China
Sure Bra´s were burnt, Women´s Rights were introduced into most western societies but is there really equality in our societies?  Who is killing the world around us as they dominate society?  Men!  Take a look at history then look at the present.  In the past and in the present, who have held and continue to hold most of the top positions in all societies? Who makes up a huge percent of the armed forces along with filling most of the beds on the `inside´? 
March 2008 - Tree Planting Day and Ugly Bare Hills
Being an obsessive bike rider I get to see so much of China that will never be seen by most foreign visitors.  Add to this the lucky fact that I get to live in a place for a long period of time and when you put these two together this means I simply get to see some of the changes that happen.  One change I am quick to notice in all the areas I have been lucky to live in are the changes in the hills that surround the town or city I am living in. 
March 2008 - The Qing Ming Toomb Sweeping Festival
In short it s a time for people to head outside and enjoy the greenery that springtime offers and to also take an adventure into the hills and both celebrate and 'sweep clean' the family graves. As of this year it is now an official public holiday in China.  Prior to this year it was a public holiday in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau.
April 2008 - Happy Birthday to Yan and Thanks For The Hangover
Why we actually went to another restaurant was anyone's guess.  From what I could gather everyone was full yet once we began we all found we had spare room in both our food stomaches and our beer stomaches.  It was such a happy and wonderful night by the end of which everyone was pretty messy yet still in high spirits.  So here's a huge HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Yan!  I hope you had a wonderful time mate!  Always a big thankyou for a great meal!
May 2008 - International Workers Day With Happy Luo Wei
This year there was no time to pack the pack and bugger off into the wild blue yonder.  Shaowu was the place to be and I was ever so happy to be there as Luo Wei was with me.  Yes the Super Northern Train Girl boarded the train a week before and spent another twenty something hours in a hard seat rocketing her way from north to south.
May 2008 - The May Fourth Movement and Why China Is China
There is a reason behind China's dramatic pathway change and it made this change after dealings with the Western World, especially America who very much slapped it about and treated it without importance. 
May 2008 - Happy Mothers Day Toya Mar
Ya poor bugger, stuck in bed with the flu!  Bloody hell mate!  Who gets the flu on Mothers Day?
Rise and shine and give the flu to Par Kettle or your other son or daughter for the day.  I'm sure they will be happy to bare your burden because that's what loves about right!  And that's what you do for ya Mar/Wife on Mothers Day!
June 2008 - International Childrens Day - Part I
This will be part one of this years Children's Day Travelpod Entries.  This year, Children's Day is on a Sunday so we had the 'Bezerk Classroom Fun' on Friday, 30th May.  Usually we would have celebrated it on the Sunday but this year is a special year for my school.  At the end of next week we will have several teachers and students come to stay with us from Singapore.
June 2008 - The Dragon Boat Festival Less The Festival
So I find out that there actually were Dragon Boat races in Shaowu.....LAST FREAKIN YEAR!  I don't know how many people I asked and they all said the same thing.  No, no Dragon Boat Festival in Shaowu.  Today (a year later) several people said to me 'Pity, no festival this year.  The Dragon Boat races last year were beautiful and much fun.'    What can I say?  The Chinese are not known for their communication skills. 
June 2008 - International Childrens Day - Part 2
Colourful and happy photos only

Aselection of bike rides and walks around town in 2006 - 2008
December 2006: A walk through the Old River Quater
I zipped in and out of the alley ways lined with moss covered little houses, noodle shops and old men and women hocking and coughing up lungs all over the place.  Somehow I ended up back in the other `old quarter´ and spent many hours ducking in and out of little alley ways and dodging hand pulled carts and three wheeler bicycles.
December 2006: A Beautiful Mountain and the alleys of the old town
This is the section where I find 99% of the cities `real´ smiles.  Though they have sweet bugger all in comparison to the rest of the city, they are so happy to have what they have and to actually be alive.
January 2007: A picnic and a walk with my High School friends
Daniel and Alexa had already been invited to another picnic with his students so it was only me and several 18 year old females.  DAMN!  Could life get any tougher!
January 2007: The search for the Ancient Mosque
Finally, this evening ended my search for an ancient mosque that has remained hidden in the labyrinth of small alleyways in the `old quarter´ by the river for the past two weeks.
March 2007: My Daily Village and Temple Bike Ride
The silence, the colour, the happy smiles offered by farmers in the fields, the screaming and being chased by the school children, the earth buildings, the chickens and the old temple I found.  I then leave the small villages behind.
May 2007: My Daily Village and Temple Bike Ride Part Two
I've been trying to find a ride like back in Tianang that takes me way out into the villages and then around and back again.  I've found and taken many off tracks but they always end at another small village.  It's always great to find a new village full of yapping dogs and small grubby children chasing chickens around the place.
June 2007: Happy Birthday Candy and the Aussie Village Bike Ride
After showering the dust and sweat off ourselves we were joined by the most beautiful Joyce.  She really is the most beautiful girl I have ever seen.  We then headed out into the stormy afternoon in search of a birthday present for Candy who is Joyce´s best friend and fellow Chinese English teacher at our school. 
June 2007: A Bad Beginning Only Means a Better Ending
What is the worst sound a bike rider can hear? 
Most would say the whooshing sound of escaping air from a tyre.  Wrong!  Some would say a truck a few centimetres away.  Correct but luckily for me it wasn´t that.  So what would the next thing be.  Maybe a crunching sound from the rear wheel followed by your back wheel locking up, and then more crunching sounds then your back wheel moving again.  The sound was my gear box falling apart and the two little cogs coming free releasing the springy `bar thing´ and it getting jammed into the gears. 
June 2007: Christine or Cybil or Both
I couldn´t stop laughing when the first thing Joyce said was `You´ve killed your bike again haven´t you!´  The tally so far for this bike is five pedals, one chain and now two sets of gears.  I think I need a sponsor!
October 2007: The Great Autumn Rice Harvest Bike Ride
Rice mate! I´ve never seen so much of it.  It is literally everywhere.  It´s growing in the fields in all its different shades of green.  It´s spread all over the roads drying.  It´s in piles on all the roads waiting to be put through the rice machine that separates the husks. It´s on everyone´s front porches.  It´s seriously is everywhere you look.
January 2008 - The Village Temple Bike Ride With Amigo
Anyhow today I borrowed Canadian Jo´s bike and I took Luo Wei (Amigo) on my Village/Temple and Loggers bike rides.  She took a tumble even before we made it out of the school gate.  I´m sure the young kids here are fed rice wine for breakfast.  None of them can walk a straight line.  One second left, then right, then straight, then left and then right again.  Poor Amigo had no idea where Rice Wine Baby was heading and soon she was off the bike and had landed on her knee. 
March 2008 - What An Awesome Week It Was
How was the week you ask. That´s bloody amazing mate!  I was just thinking about how great my week has been!  Besides two punctures in the last two days, as usual I couldn´t be happier if I was twins.
May 2008 - The Beautiful Chinese Village Hop
Today I rose and after a big bowl of noodles with vegetables and eggs I almost ran with excitement to my bike.  The day was so beautiful and it was the perfect day to find a new bike ride and I knew exactly where I was going to go.  I always feel like I'm about fifteen when it is time to find a new bike ride.  I'm always finding new places to go but when I want a new 'bike ride' I mean one that will take me 'way out there' for many hours.  

Aselection of towns, cities and villages that I have visited in 2006 - 2008
Each selection will take you to my one favourite day in each city. 
All of them my sandals and I spent several days exploring.
January 2007: Xiamen City - Gulang Yu, is this really China
All around I found heaps of little alleyways filled with normal Chinese daily goings on.  On Gulang Yu the colonial architecture was plentiful as were the giant Boa Trees.  They were everywhere with their long beards flowing in the breeze.  I also visited the Nanputo Si Temple which was built 1000 years ago during the Tang Dynasty.  It was ruined by the Mings and rebuilt by the Qings, so it´s pretty bloody old and worth a visit.  I also visited the beautiful Botanical Gardens and Xianmen University and ontop of all that, I met a very beautfiul girl.  She was like a romantic Song!
February 2007: Yongding - Hakka Minority Peoples 'Earth Buildings' Day 1
The first thing I´ll say in this entry is this: `wouldya farken look at that!  Wouldya farken look at that!´  That was the first thing I said when I got out of the mini van.  
February 2007: Yongding - Hakka Minority Peoples 'Earth Buildings' Day 2
They have been proven to be fire, damp, earthquake and heat proof.  Some are round and consist of one to five rings. Some are square or squares within squares.  Others are half moons or spirals but it doesn't matter what their shape is, all are simply put...unfreakinbloodybelievable!
February 2007: Quanzhou City - Zhongshan Road & Around Town Temple Tour
Awesome Quanzhou City which I found to be a city of temples, electric scooters and bicycles.  If you like any or all of these things then Quanzhou is the place for you.  If you fear one or all, stay in Xiamen.  I absolutely love all three so I fell in love with this city pretty much on arrival.
February 2007: Chongwu Town - The Ancient Granite 'Walled' Coastal City
An ancient walled city made entirely of granite was my plan for the day.
Not a bad plan when you think of it.
In fact a bloody good one I reckon!
February 2007: Xiamen City - The Full Wrath of Spring Festival
Back in what was now a very very gridlocked Xiamen City where I faced the full 'wrath' of the Spring Festival Transport Chaos!  It really is insane.  I also spent Valentines Day with lovely Ms Li.
February 2007: Fuzhou City - One Rainy Night in Fuzhou
A perfect end to a perfect coastal `Earth Building, Ancient Granite City, Temple and Beach Frolicking´ Romantic Adventure.
February 2007: Sunchang Town - A Walk on Huayang Shan with Two Beautiful Girls
Finally two hours after leaving Shaowu the bus arrived in Sunchang Town where I was met with a happy hug from Eva and warm welcoming smiles from her mother, Aunty and Eva´s friend Shania.
March 2007: The Bumpy Road to the Ancient Town of Heping
Moss covered cobblestone alleyways allow you to zigg zagg your way around town and visit some of the 300 or so buildings.  These buildings were built during the Ming (AD1368-1644) and Qing (AD1644-1911) Dynasties. On both the inside and the outside of many of the buildings you can find beautiful stone carvings.
April 2007: The Tian Chen Valley & Broken Bowl River Adventure
Everything was so alive and so full of colour due to the crazy amount of rain we´ve had over the past few months.  When we weren´t passing through huge rocky cliffs filled with strange crater like holes we were totally enclosed by a thick blanket of green.  
April 2007: Shanghai City - The Shanghai Sandal Temple Adventure
My walk today took me from the Nanjing Road area all the way up to the borders of the Puto and Jing'an Districts and then all the way down to the Xuhui, Longhua, and Luwan Districts.  It was a huge walk but I got to see so much and see how the city changes between districts.  The difference between the Jing'an District and the Longhua District is so huge.  They might as well belong to two completely different cities.  Of course my favourite for the day was the Longhua District.  It was more old china.  It was dusty and pretty much what I am used to. 
April 2007: Shanghai City - The Chinese Old Quater & Futuristic Pudong
When we arrived in Pudong there really was only one place to head.  The Oriental Pearl Tower.  This is the freaky futuristic triple bubble tower.  I loved it mate.  It cost us 85 Yuan each to go up 263 meters where we spent nearly an hour walking around the observation deck.  It was awesome!  As far as your eyes could see are skyscrapers, not in one or two directions but in every direction.  I had never seen anything like it.  When you are on the ground, Shanghai City is a huge super city as you have been told it is huge but until you get a birds eye view you really can´t comprehend its size.  If you have the money it is worth the visit. 
June 2007: Fujians Wuyi Shan: Prices and Details
It has a total area of 1000 square kilometres and its core being 636 square kilometres.  It has a huge amount of unique and natural scenery that includes the nine-twist river, thirty six huge crags and what have been described as one hundred grotesque rocks.  It is also an area for global biodiversity conservation.
June 2007: Fujians Wuyi Shan: My Second Days Adventures
You begin the journey at a small stone bridge and you are then taken along side a small stream known as `Zhangtang Brooklet´ that runs beneath huge cliff faces on both sides.  The vegetation is so lush and green and the water is crystal clear.  Easily the cleanest water I have seen in China.  Our first stop was the Huiyuan Temple.  This temple was first built during the Song Dynasty and then rebuilt in the late Ming, early Qing Dynasty´s. 
July 2007: The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure began in Xi'an - Shaanxi Province
When we finally reached the fifth floor and walked into the apartment, I found it exactly the same as it was in the picture I had posted on my `old blog´ a few days before leaving for Xian. Eve´s parents then came out to say hello.  WOW! It was seriously like they hadn´t aged at all.  How awesome it felt to be in their apartment again and how beautiful if it was to see them again. 
July 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Louyang - Henan Province
After paying the 80 Yuan entrance fee we spent an awesome day together climbing stairs that took us along the cliff walls on both the east and west banks of the River Yi.  These walls have more than one hundred thousand Buddha engravings in them.  They are found in more than one thousand three hundred grottoes and two thousand one hundred niches.  Their height is from two centimetres to seventeen meters.  There are also more than forty pagodas and over three thousand six hundred inscribed steles/tablets.
July 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure on Song Shan - Henan Province
Mate, you know when you watch a action packed movies full of martial arts and get all worked up and want to go out and Hoo Haar people, well everything you have just watched began here at this temple.  Kung Fu/Karate, Taekwondo/Judo etc, it all began here!
July 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Kaifeng City - Henan Province
The streets are full of people, wonderful smells, colour and energy.  Everyone should come to Kaifeng.  Why go to Shanghai when you can go to Kaifeng!  When the Good Book (LP) states that it is a charming city that offers gastronomical delights it isn't telling lies.  
It is that and so much more. 
Oh yeah, I met a wonderful girl today and we will spend tomorrow together!
Slow down, slow down, more about that later...ha ha!
July 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Zhengzhou City - Henan Province
Amigo and I chatted our way through until seven in the morning.  It was such a wonderful time, full of happiness and a new found friendship.  Soon the house was waking around us and we all then headed out for a local breakfast soup which neither Amigo or I liked much.  It was gravy.  Seriously, it was just like gravy but with chili in it.  No noodles but you had a thin crusty bread to dip in.  This was nice! 
July 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Bozhou City - Anhui Province
After having to say good bye due to too many car horns and people yelling around me I headed across town to the old quarter near Huaxilou Lu (near the river) and found my way to the Bozhuo Museum and mate, was I not prepared for the building.  What an ancient beauty.  It oozed stone carvings and colour.  The intricate carvings and stone work made it hard to enter the building.  Surely what lay behind these walls couldn't live up to the building itself.  I would put it right to the top of the list of `The Most Beautiful Things I´ve Ever Seen!´
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Hefei City - Anhui Province
When I reached Mengcheng Lu I headed back in towards the city and as I was walking I found the most wonderful coffee shop.  For those like me, Hefei not only offers a billion parks but it also offers an Audrey Hepburn Coffee Shop called 'Roma Holiday'.  On the outside are pictures from the Roman Holiday movie and on the inside are many pictures of beautiful Audrey. 
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Nanjing City - Jiangsu Province
A city where many years ago the Japanese did some disgusting things to the people of this city.  The women (young girls, pregnant women, the elderly and even nuns) they raped, disembowelled, sliced off their breasts, nailed them alive to walls, ripped out their unborn, roasted them, hung them by their tongues, raped them with bats until they bleed to death and gang raped them over a period of weeks until they died.  
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Yangzhou City - Jiangsu Prov
Just across from the ferry terminal and down a little back alley I found another Salt Merchants 'former residence'.  I paid my 10 Yuan entrance fee and wallah, another outstandingly beautiful abode.  These places really are unbelievable!  They all have an extensive use of expensive wood for everything from window frames to stunning carved furniture.  All the gardens are stunning and I'd say they are some of the most beautiful places I've ever entered! 
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Zhenjiang City - Jiangsu Prov
The grounds were crowed and the entrance to the first building was filled with the thick aroma of incense that was being burned by the hundreds of Chinese who were doing their `North, South, East and West´ thing.  After leaving the first building the three of us spent a hysterical time trying to feed stone dragons coins for good luck.  They were mounted high on the rear stone wall and watching Cheng Ru was the funniest thing for everyone watching.  She really had no co-ordination at all.  Xie Xiao Lin and I got several in but poor Cheng Ru continued trying time and time again.  In the end her coin finally landed on the dragons head and the crowd that had gathered to watch decided that was good enough.  We left with a cheer for poor Cheng Ru whom bowed to the crowd as we left. 
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Suzhou City - Jiangsu Province
By the 12th Centaury the city was pretty much the same size as it is now.  A city wall used to surround the central city along with a moat.  Sadly the Suzhou Smurfs knocked the walls down and filled in the moat but thankfully they left many of the canals.  By the 14th Centaur y Suzhou was Chinas leading silk producer and by the 16th Centaury over one hundred beautiful gardens had been established within its walls.  
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Zhouzhuang City - Jiangsu Prov
Zhouzhuang Village, built by Puppa Smurfs Great Great Grandpa Smurf over nine hundred years ago is thought to be where they smurfed to when they smurfedup and Smurfpakked away from Suzhou. It really is more beautiful than you can imagine.   BUT, I don´t think as beautiful as Lijiang in Yunnan Province. 
So why did the Smurfs Smurfpack away from this beautiful part of the world? 
Tourists mate!  After a few hours all the people Smurf Hunting begin to make one a little edgy!  All the Smurfs wanted was a beautiful place to smurf and raise their young.
Sadly their popularity (which Elvis and Beatle Mania never came close too) never allowed them to find a permanent home for very long.  This is why they now live in mushrooms and live the life of nomads.  Like the Mongolians who can pack up their Gurt and move at will, the Smurfs luckily were smart enough to learn from their Smurfgolian Brothers and now live a more Smurfmadic existence.  
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Hangzhou City - Zhejiang Prov
When I finally made it to Xi Hu (West Lake) I was where Susan and I had been last night so I began my lake side stroll going the other way and slowly made my way down Nangshan Lu.  Man, there were so many people.  Doesn´t anyone work in this city?  It´s like the cities 6,000,000 people all hang out at the lake and watch the 1,000,000 Foreigners.  The first Gardens I came to were the Liulangwenjing Gongyuan (say that one several times!).  They were extremely beautiful and there were many green lawns that as usual you weren´t allowed to sit or walk on.  
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Ningbo City - Zhejiang Province
Sorry baby, if I can´t afford to ride the ferry to Putuoshan I certainly can´t afford to ride you either!  She didn´t understand most of what I said but the parts in Chinese she did and get this, she then began bargaining with me.  Her price dropped quicker than a bride´s nightie and I soon had my wallet out showing her my life´s worth.  Once she understood that she stopped bargaining and began asking me about my life instead.  Bloody Hell I thought, I´m worth so little that a freakin prostitute stops dropping her price!
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Wenzhou City - Zhejiang Prov
After a bowl of noodles I made my way towards Ou Jiang (River) to find the ferry that would take me across to Jiangxin Dao (Heart of The River Island).  The ferry ticket includes the entrance fee for the island along with the return journey.  Not bad for only 20 Yuan.  I spent the short ferry ride chatting to a lady who is a Chinese English Teacher in Wenzhou.  She was proud of her city and its wealth and truly believed that ALL the old areas should be demolished to make way for all the wealthy new arrivals that move to Wenzhou each year.
Ok! I thought, we really aren´t going to get along to well now are we!
August 2007 - The Beers Noodles & Temples adventure in Fuzhou City - Fujian Province
I rekkon it´s really cool that all Foreigners look the same to Chinese people. 
So much so that someone has confused me for 007 or Austin Powers and is sending me secret messages on my hotel phone.  Every few minutes it rings a different amount of times and then stops.  I rekkon that makes me an International Man of Mystery!
October 2007 - The Non Adventure To Ancient Tainings Beautiful Lake
So without knowledge of the lakes size or any other details of Taining Town, Canadian Jo and I grabbed a local bus and took the two hour journey.  When we arrived it was around midday and once we grabbed a map at the dusty little bus station I began searching for the lake.  I located the Min River but there were no other blue patches on the map.  
October 2007 - Wuyi Shan! A Wonderful Yet Beautiful Hassle
Well what can I say, this week end the Lonely Planet really came to life!
In the Wuyi Shan section it states:
`Unfortunately, it´s a prime tourist spot and is home to glib-tongued hustlers and would-be guides pursuing tourists.´
October 2007 - Wuy Shan! The Noise Level of Bamboo Rafting
You want to talk about bamboo rafting at Wuyi Shan do you?  You don´t want to talk about it?   You actually want to do it?  Have you gone mad?  Are you insane?
My gawd, what a horrid experience that was!
And I bloody well paid 100 Yuan for the experience!
Gawd I love China even when it really annoys the hell outta me!
December 2007 - The Nanping 2008 VISA Medical Adventure
I can back pack all over the country myself but organising and completing a health check in a big city would be one hell of a foolish thing to try.  I was supposed to be teaching today as China has a Public Holiday for the Western New Year we all work this Saturday and Sunday and then have Monday and Tuesday off.  
January 2008 - The Wuyi Shan Adventure With Luo Wei - Day 1
We decided not to climb down the way we came and to do a reverse walk of the walk that the Aussies and I walked.  We headed passed the Beautiful Pagoda and began walking the track behind it.  We were soon climbing down hill again and passing beneath the Wuyi Arch.  I remember my first thoughts when spotting this last June.   
`What kind of a person would make someone else carry such huge stonework up a bloody mountain!´  
January 2008 - The Wuyi Shan Adventure With Luo Wei - Day 2
When the Monk opened the book to show Luo Wei a picture of the author, she (Luo Wei) gave a squeal of delight and excitedly told the Monk that this (Lady) Monk began in a small poor Village Temple in Kaifeng and it was she (the books auther and now famous Lady Monk) who was the Monk who raised her (Luo Wei) in the small poor Village Temple where she (Luo Wei) grew up.
April 2008 - The Colourful World Below In The Yuhua Caves
Yuhua Cave: 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) south of the Jiangle County, the cave is a famous karst cave with a total length of 6 kilometers (3.7 miles), six caves and three springs. It is named after glabrous rocks like jades and shining rays in the cave. It is the biggest limestone cave in Fujian Province. Since its discovery in early Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD), it has always been a hot tour spot
May 2008 - The Taining Geo Park & Golden Lake Adventure
It is situated in the northeast of the scenic area of Golden Lake. Here, red cliffs, rock holes and caves develop on a wide range of area, where the Rock Holes & Caves Museum lies. In the caves, there are a number of temples of different styles. Integrating rock holes, caves and temple culture, the scenic zone consists of two scenic spots Tiantai Rock and Ganlu Rock.  

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