China
China

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427 travelers at this place:

  • Day95

    Kunming (Red Land) II

    November 18, 2015 in China ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    's Ochtends zitten we in de bus naar The Red Land. The Red Land bestaat niet als subject voor locals. Het is een toeristenterm. De verbaasde en verwarde blikken van de chinezen bij het busstation begrijpen we nu beter. In hun ogen waren we twee lange blanke vreemd sprekende dieren die iets wilden maar wat ze onmogelijk konden ontcijferen. Glimlachend hobbelen en slingeren we de bergen in. We worden na anderhalf uur ergens op een top in een klein dorpje afgezet. Als we terug gaan moeten we ook hier weer zijn. Zo maken we op van de buschauffeur. Om 13.40 uur. Het is nu net tien uur en we staan in een soort van middle of nowhere. Waar gaan we tukken? Gaan we iets makkelijks vinden? Er is een absentie aan engels. Ook nu worden we verrast dat er 1 chinees is die ons in het engels aanspreekt. Een toerist in eigen land. Ze werkt en woont in Shenzen. Tegen Hongkong aan en werkt bij een bedrijf dat computeronderdelen verkoopt. De voertaal is engels. Soms is alle geluk aan je zijde.

    Het landschap is overweldigend. De stilte heeft een enorme dichtheid. Zo een die zelfs pijn aan je oren kan doen. De wind waait stevig. Er zijn wat huisjes. Hotels met eetgelegenheid. Niet veel maar genoeg. Vrachtwagens zijn er ook. Veel van hen. Er wordt hier blijkbaar veel erts gewonnen. Op en af rijden ze. Kabaal. Roet. En veel warmte. Luidruchtige monsters zijn het. In het dorpje negeren we ze. We eten wat en gaan op zoek naar een slaapplek. Tijdens het verkennen van de omgeving worden we getrakteerd op schitterende vergezichten, rode en groene lappen die als terrassen tegen elkaar aanliggen. Het rood en het groen zijn samen een magisch duo. Eindeloze velden met lieve witte bloemen, een blauwe hemel zichtbaar tussen een grauwe deken van wolken maakt deze plek uniek. Helaas wordt dit spektakel danig verstoord door opspelende darmen die niet tot nauwelijks te controleren zijn.

    Landschap als dit katalyseert zonder te ontkomen direct het contact met jezelf. Er is geen afleiding en bent enkel afhankelijk van je eigen fysiek, geestelijke toestand en elkaar. De rode stilte reflecteert en bezint. De stad zorgt voor afleiding. In een stad is het zelf afwezig. Het individu wordt vermaakt. Gevoed met prikkels die het zelf overstemmen. Leeg consumeren zonder diepgang. Die optreden als een barrière. Wat gebeurt er als die barrière verdwijnt? Wat laat zich dan zien? Wat voel je? Wie ben je?

    Duisternis daalt af en onze dag was indrukwekkend. Het ongerepte. De duidelijke gecultiveerde grond voor landbouw. Die paradox. Hoe anders wordt dag twee. Volkomen uitgeschakeld zijn we gedoemd om de dag te spenderen in onze kamer. Een kamer waar kosten en moeite gespaard is. Enkel een tv. De chinees kan niet zonder tv. Waar hebben we dit opgelopen? Een arsenaal aan wilde geluiden resoneren keer op keer vanuit de badkamer. Het leidt zelfs tot hilariteit. Romantiek is je partner aanhoren met een niet te sluiten badkamerdeur. Tranen rollen over onze wangen. Meligheid maakt zich van ons meester tussen de lamlendigheid door. Een kleine wandeling ontaard in een fysieke veldslag. De zon is heftig. De wind schuurt hard in ons gezicht. Een oude herder met een verweerde kop en een lange grijze sik stuurt zijn geiten langs ons. Het is tijd voor ons bed. Tijd dat de dag voorbij trekt. Zoals de geiten. Dat de bacteriën verdwijnen.

    De nacht verloopt voorspoedig en nu is het tijd om weder te keren naar Kunming. Een lange dag van wachten en busreizen ligt voor ons. Rond acht uur 's avonds arriveren we op een vertrouwde plek. De plek waar we kunnen relaxen en bijkomen. Waar de vietnam visa's en backpacks op ons liggen te wachten.

    'Hello, we are back again?'
    'Hi, i see it.'
    'Do you have a double room for us?'
    'With or without a bathroom?'
    'Without please.'
    'We only have one.'
    'Can we see the room?'

    De kamer is de eerste kamer dicht bij de gemeenschappelijke ruimte en bar. Reisgidsen waarschuwen voor lawaai en adviseren om zo ver weg mogelijk een kamer te bemachtigen.

    'We take it'
    'Okay, can you give me your passport?'
    'You already have our information because we already spent three nights here.'
    Yes, I know, but i need your passport.'
    We don't have a passport, it is with the vietnamese embassy.'
    'Sorry, then we don't have a room.'
    'But you have already everything in your system!'
    'You already saw our passports when we checked in.'
    'Yes i know but i have to see your passport.'

    Mijn geduld raakt op. Mijn verstand heeft kortsluiting. Wat gebeurt er nu? Hoe is dit mogelijk?Het gaat om de regel resoneert in mij hoofd. Dit keer is boef pragmatischer. We zijn een goed team. We vullen elkaar aan wanneer het moet. Gelukkig maar.

    'If you sent us away we have a big problem.'
    'There is no place to stay.'
    'You could help us a lot, please will you?'

    De baas moet worden gebeld. De drie zijn hevig in conclaaf. Ons bewijs, dat onze paspoorten bij de ambassade zijn, wordt nauwgezet bestudeerd. Er is even geen contact. Ze zijn drukdoende om te bepalen of de gegevens in het systeem corresponderen met onze kopieën. Dat onze backpacks wel degelijk ons toebehoren in de opbergruimte. Er wordt veel in de computer gekeken en nieuwe gegevens toegevoegd.

    'It is okay.'
    'For one night?'
    'Yes for one night.'
    'Tomorrow you have to show us your passport?'
    'But we leave tomorrow and we dont come back.'

    Het meisje achter de balie is flexibel. Ze is de meest klantvriendelijke en begrijpt duidelijk onze situatie. Ze beslist voor ons. Ze gunt ons de kamer.

    'Okay'
    'Sorry for this.'
    'It is the rule.'
    'And we have to follow the rule.'
    Read more

  • Day16

    Beijing & the Great Wall of China

    May 19, 2018 in China ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Beijing surprised us. Our expectations were low and we were prepared for a cultural shock. But Beijing was a well organized, architecturally rich, relatively clean city with friendly people and abundant green spaces. The language barrier was huge as almost no one speaks English, but we were able to get what we wanted without too many surprises :) we got lost in the city and its hutongs, visited the Forbidden City and the beautiful Jingshan gardens, the National Museum of China, the Centre for the Performing Arts and hiked for 3 hours a section of the breathtaking Great Wall. We fell in love with Chinese paintings, ceramics and handicrafts, maybe one day we’ll come back for shopping! On the other hand, we felt a lot under surveillance, thanks to the thousands of cameras everywhere on the streets and strong police presence in every corner.

    We leave Beijing in a night train to Xi’an, which should be a small adventure in itself... let’s see what the next episode will bring!
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  • Day114

    Moon Hill - Highlight des Tages

    September 26, 2018 in China ⋅ 🌧 29 °C

    The highlight of our day was the hike up to the moon hill. The view was nice but the way up was really hard.

    Das Highlight des Tages war eine Wanderung auf den sogenannten Moon Hill. Es war zwar sehr anstrengend aber der Blick war Entschädigung genug.

  • Day20

    Train ride to Tibet

    May 23, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    We took a train from Xi'an to Xining and then to Lhasa. Only 28h in total 🚂 🚂 🚂 🚂

    We went past endless sand dunes, then past endless plains, spotted by so many yaks, goats, sheep, a few horses and camels (or dromedaries? 🤔), and lakes, such as the huge and beautiful Qinghai lake. We saw some seriously remote homes decorated with praying flags. We also saw a handful of cities, some rather big, all rather ugly. Still, that's max 4 or 5 isolated cities in almost 2000 km!

    But the real reward for the hours spent in the hard sleeper compartment came at dawn. We saw the sun rise over the golden plains and the many small lakes and streams of the central Tibetan plateau, and started to see some snowcapped mountains in the distance. No photos could ever do it justice (especially taken through the dirty train window) so I'm not giving you any 😁 gotta come here yourself!

    It was also the time of our lives where we felt more like aliens 👽 since we were in the middle class of train tickets, we were surrounded by local families. Eventually the ones in our corridor got used to us and stopped staring 😂 we tried to communicate with them and vice-versa, but we were very limited with zero language in common.

    We finally arrived in Lhasa, which is bigger than we expected. The historical center is surrounded by ugly recent buildings. Today we just lay low and try to adapt to the 3600 m elevation, and tomorrow we'll start exploring.
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  • Day26

    Mt Everest

    May 29, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ -14 °C

    Our journey to Mount Everest, also know here as Mt. Qomolangma, took us 2 days with a sleepover in Xigaze mid-way. The long bumpy bus ride was compensated by the rural and peaceful Tibetan landscapes, frequent stops for sightseeing, visiting the Tibetan Mastiff breeding region as well as the city of Gyangze and its temple (yes, another one 😱). Along the way were the endless barley fields for the production of the Chinese barley wine.

    The weather forecast announced cloudy and rainy weather in the Himalayas, so our hopes to have a clean view (or any view) of the mountains were low. However, when crossing the last pass at 5200m... there they were, the highest mountains on Earth, clearly visible to delight our eyes.

    One hour later, we reached the basecamp just 5 minutes before the end of sunset (what a luck, and hectic dangerous bus drive to get there in time). We finished the day staring at the colossal Mount Everest (even when you’re already 5200 m high it looks colossal) until the sun was replaced by the full moon and stars, what a perfect day ending!

    Sleeping was hard at 5200m and with 6 persons in the same room and half of them snoring. Luckily, we woke up in great shape and full of adrenaline to marvel at the sights of the Everest during sunrise on a blue sky, freezing cold morning. We couldn’t have asked for better, this was probably the best moment of our trip so far!
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  • Day66

    Haikou, China

    February 21, 2015 in China ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    February 21.
    Haikou is the capital and most populous city of Hainan province, People’s Republic of China with about 2,000,000 people. The southern end of the Hainan province is considered the Hawaii of China. I’m not sure we agreed with that, but hey, our standards are a bit different.
    We were only here a short time, but we wandered into a park, and it being a Saturday morning during the Chinese New Year celebration, it was packed! There were probably 8-10 dance events taking place. We weren’t sure if these were classes, had someone leading a group or werjust for fun. As we continued to wander through the park, there was croquet, numerous pingpong games, cards and ball games involving 2-3 people. Then we came upon an area that had dozens of pieces of permanent exercise equipment – all in use! It was fascinating!
    The only ones having a better time than us, were all the locals taking pictures of us!
    There was even one mother that gathered her childen around us to get a photo. So, if you see us on Facebook, don’t be surprised!
    In any case, this fairly busy city broke us in to the crowds we will encounter in Hong Kong tomorrow. We have become fairly complacent, sailing around small islands here and there throughout our trip. Even some of the bigger cities didn’t seem too intense. We’ll let you know how it goes.
    The first photo is of a very active pingpong game. The second is the exercise area in action and the third is one of the dance events, all three photos in the park.
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  • Day28

    Nam Tso lake

    May 31, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    We were lucky to see the Namtso lake in all its colors: sunny and warm, windy and stormy, freezing and snowy. It is amazing to see a huge salt lake at 4600 m elevation, with snowcapped mountains on its background. It was a tough cold night in the guesthouse, but we woke up to a beautiful surprise - everything covered with snow!

    Our time in Tibet ends back in Lhasa with night views of Potala palace. I don’t know if we will ever come back, but even if we do, I have a feeling we won’t see the same Tibet... development seems to be going on so fast and the remoteness of places like Namtso and Everest could be at risk. I can only hope it turns out for the best!
    Read more

  • Day41

    Longji Rice Terraces

    June 13, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Longji was our most authentic experience so far in China. It was a throwback to our childhood memories of the Portuguese rural - the green landscapes molded by traditional farming, wood oven smell, the rosters crowing, home-made food (best noodles ever), the warm and simple people...
    We’re glad we spent 3 nights here. It allowed us to relax from a demanding China and freely hike around the rice terraces and Chinese jungle in different weather conditions. The views were spectacular and constantly evolving as the weather changes and the sun moves.Read more

  • Day18

    Xi'an & Terracotta warriors

    May 21, 2018 in China ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

    We took the night train from Beijing to Xi’an mainly to take a peek at the Terracotta warriors museum. Once again, the chinese trains surprised us with clean and comfortable 4 bed cabins that we shared with two quiet and kind locals.
    Xi’an is an important landmark of the Chinese culture as it was the capital of the Qin dynasty, the first to unify most of China. The Terracotta army was secretly ordered by the Qin emperor around 200 years BC and only found in 1975. Our curiosity on the lengthy Chinese history and culture is growing as we move around. We read more and more about it everyday.
    In Xi’an we wandered and got lost inside the busy area within the old Ming city walls despite the rainy weather. What we loved the most was the crowded Muslim quarter, where we took some risk to try some local specialities of street food. The Big Wild Goose square Pagoda from the Tang era failed to impress us, and tickets were a rip-off just to access the garden.
    Around one hour away from the city was the place that delighted our eyes and left us speechless and totally amazed: the Terracotta Warriors Museum. This 8th wonder of the world is worth by itself the visit to China. Around 7000 terracotta warriors, human size, all slightly different, made using advanced techniques and science more that 2000 thousand years ago. Most of it is still unearthed as well as the emperor’s mausoleum. The history and facts behind were totally worth a read that made us appreciate this wonder from a different perspective.
    Next: Tibet!
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  • Day22

    Exploring Lhasa

    May 25, 2018 in China ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    We finally recovered from jet lag and now are only suffering with altitude 😂 as a result we were forced to spend a significant amount of time sitting in rooftop terraces with some Lhasa beers, delicious Tibetan food and nice views over the old town at sunset...

    We spent the first few days exploring the old town, including of course Potala palace and Jokhang temple. We also visited the two largest buddhist monasteries in Tibet - they used to host 5000 to 7000 monks each, but now have no more than 400, in part because 80 000 tibetans left for exile in India along with the Dalai Lama, but mainly because the Chinese government decided to control and limit the number of monks who are allowed to live there. It was weird to realize that our guide was not allowed to talk about the current Dalai Lama, and this prohibition was enforced by cameras and mics in our van...

    We saw LOTS of Buddhas, inhaled a lot of yak butter and incense smell (often too much really), learned about the history of Tibet and understood how Buddhism is in practice. We were surprised to see every day lots of people doing pilgrimage and prostration around the palace and the temples, and especially to see how much money it involves. People who do not seem to have a lot give significant amounts of money to each Buddha statue and to each photo of one of the past Dalai Lamas. All this money seems to be used in part for the subsistence of the monks, but a big part seems to go to the scandalously rich tombs of each past Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama, some containing more than 3700 kg of gold...

    Overall, we were surprised by the amount of gold, jewels and other expensive metals in the monasteries as well as all the money many poor Tibetans were giving to their gods. We pictured Buddhism way differently, more focused on the soul and not as much on the luxurious, extravagant objects. We don’t have pictures of these because you have to pay high fees to be allowed! I guess these gods are shy and their keepers greedy...

    Now let’s go see some landscapes. Fingers crossed for the weather to allow good views on our next destination 🤞🏼🏔
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You might also know this place by the following names:

People’s Republic of China, People's Republic of China, China, Volksrepubliek van Sjina, Kyaena, ቻይና, Cīna, الصين, চীন, República Popular China, Çin, Кітай, Китайска народна република, Siniwajamana, རྒྱ་ནག, Sina, Kina, Xina, Republikang Popular sa Tsina, ᏓᎶᏂᎨᏍᏛ, Čína, Китай Халăх Республики, Gweriniaeth Pobl Tsieina, Folkerepublikken Kina, རྒྱ་མི, Tsaina nutome, Κίνα, Ĉinujo, Hiina, Txina, چین, Siin, Kiinan kansantasavalta, Chine, An tSín, ચીન, Caina, Sin, סין, चीन, Kína, Չինաստան, Republica Popular de China, Republik Rakyat Tiongkok, Chaina, ꍏꇩ, Tsina, Populala Republiko di Chinia, Cina, 中国, jugygue, ჩინეთი, Қытай Халық Республикасы, ចិន, ಚೀನಾ, 중국, Res publica popularis Sinarum, Volleksrepublik China, Cayina, Sinɛ, ຈີນ, Kinija, Shine, Ķīna, Haina, Кина, ചൈന, Хятад улс, Ċina, တရုတ်, Volksrepubliek China, Chinne, Kitai, ଚିନ୍, Китай, Maldang Republika ning Tsina, Chiny, Chunwa, Ubushinwa, Kiinná, Shîna, චීනය, Čínska ľudová republika, Kitajska, Shiinaha, Kinë, சீனா, చైనా, จีน, Hytaý Halk Respublikasy, Siaina, Ol Manmeri Ripablik bilong Saina, Çin Halk Cumhuriyeti, جۇڭخۇا خەلق جۇمھۇرىيىتى, Хитой, Trung Hoa, 中华人民共和国, כינע, Orílẹ́ède ṣáínà, Cunghvaz Yinzminz Gunghozgoz, i-China

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