China Star

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Who needs a fishing rod.........

......when your Cormorants can catch the fish for you. The birds have a rope around their necks so that they can't swallow the fish.
Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Tongli (Water Village)

Tongli town if Yuhang county is a famous ancient town on the Grand Canal. To-day, the 300 year old Tongji Bridge and the ancient streets along the canal are well preserved. There are 49 bridges the connect the village, and it is known at the Venice of the Orient.
Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Monday, November 27, 2006

Time for another Doorway

This picture was taken at one of the visits we made to various temples. I was waiting for the doorway to become free, however this man stepped into it, and I love the feeling that I get from the picture. It is not an ornated doorway, but you can see smoke rising behind the gentleman from candles or incense that people are burning for various reasons. Posted by Picasa

Grand Canal of China

China's Grand Canal is one of the greatest projects constructed in ancient China. It is the world's oldest and longest. It begins in the north of Beijing and ends at Hangzhou. It is 1,795 km long with 24 locks and 60 bridges. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Silk Duvet

These women are stretching the silk that has been removed from the cacoon and in the process of making one of the famous silk duvets that come out of China. Photo by Alida. Posted by Picasa


The worms are actually a type of caterpiller. The cacooon that they weave was a long time secret that was held by the Chinese. Silk production is major in China. Here, Alida pets one. I did too, and they are quite soft. Xhejiang & Jiansu provinces are prominent silkworm producers. Every household begins preparing to breed silkworms when the mulberry fields turn green. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

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Overlooking the pond. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

The window frames a small garden. Posted by Picasa

Scrumptious, I'd say Posted by Picasa

Here she is with her doorways again

Now isn't this one just scrumpdeleicious!! This doorway is in the town of Suzhou. The Master-of the-Nets Garden. This garden was designed during the Song Dynasty (920-1279). It became the residence of a government official. There are several buildings on the site, and you can always access the main garden from any room. As you walk about the hallways there are often views through windows and doorways that give you a moment of peace and beauty. Posted by Picasa

Washer but No Dryer

Many of the balconies in China had laundry out to dry. The reason is to conserve energy. When we entered our hotel rooms, our key would also turn the power on in our room. Brilliant idea to save power. Many balconies were also closed in.
Before the year 2000, areas in China did not experience sandstorms and now they do. One of our guides cleaned their house, left the windows open, and when they returned, there was an inch of sand throughout the house. Cancer in China is also on the rise. When you travel through China, they are planting trees everywhere. They realize they have a problem, and are working to solve it. Their wish is that it is not too late. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Park and Viewpoint at Three Gorges Dam Site

You will notice that the flowers are in containers and not directly planted in the ground. We found this to be the case at all the tourist areas that we visited. It is easier to change the flowers when the seasons change. Most of the gardners are local farmers. Posted by Picasa


This is another view of the locks at the Three Gorges Dam. To use the locks, there is no charge, however if you use the ship elevator, there is. Every 24 hours, the ship lock changes direction. Our guide Vivie told us that her Motherland, China will be the biggest and most powerful country in the world due to this project. Our other guides downplayed the need for power and stressed the importance of flood control. 60% of China's power comes from coal, and when this project is completed, their pollution problem will be improved. Not far from this site a resort and golf course will be constructed. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The Dyke

In order to view the Three Gorges Dam Project, we had to board a different bus that was authorized by the Government. We were joined by "Vivie" our Guide. Vivie announced that 5 days prior to our visit, they now have 14 generators working fully. Vivie was disappointed that we were not as enthusiastic about the news as she was.
Here, our bus travels across the dyke which was built in the year 2000. The 6000 people that work on this project, live behind this brick wall. From 1977 -2002 there were 40,000 people working here. All cranes that you see were built in foreign countries. Crane operators cannot drink much water, as they don't leave their cranes. According to our quide, they are highly paid at 200 Yuan per day, which is approx $30 Cdn. Concrete is poured 24 hours a day. They have 3000 gardners planting trees because they had cut down too many trees since they started the project. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

The locks

There is a viewpoint where you can look down on the project. There is an entire park built so that you can shop, go into a building where there is a composite of the entire project. This viewing area was also a project unto itself. Posted by Picasa

Three Gorges Dam Project

There is so much information available about this project on the Internet. It is the largest dam project in the world. It is overwhelming. What I also wanted you to see was the sign. I loved it! I was impressed by the billingual signage in China. It was amazing, in fact one would have an easier time of finding out where you were in China than you would in Quebec. Oops... grin. Posted by Picasa

Dragon Boat

One of many cruise boats that sail the Yangzte
River. Posted by Picasa

Woven Sandals

These woven sandals were similar to the ones worn by the boat trackers. Some of the trackers wore no shoes at all, and you can see by the previous photo that the river bottom is very rocky. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Boat Trackers

It was only 10 years ago that these boat trackers hauled heavily laden boats through dangerous rapids and strong currents, when boats could no longer sail upstream. Then, they were naked and wore woven grass sandals in the high
temperatures. So is the spirit of these men that now pull the (peapod) sampan boats filled with tourists. These men are very small in stature, yet pull these boats with braided bamboo ropes.
There is a Captain, 4 oarsmen, and a bowman, who is referred to as the 2nd Captain. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Sampan ride

We enjoyed a sampan ride down the Shennong stream, which is a tributory of the Yangzte River. Photo by Alida Posted by Picasa

Farming along the Yangzte

These new garden patches will also be submerged when the river reaches its peak. All along the river, we could see new gardens that will eventually be submerged as were the old one. Posted by Picasa

Local transportation

Many of the farmers and people that live along the Yangzte use these pea pod boats to get around. We passed many of these on our cruise. Posted by Picasa


Isn't it delicious? Posted by Picasa

"Ghost City" of Fengdu

A visit to Ghost City was one of the excursions that we took while on the Yangtze River cruise.
In this photo, I caught my tour partner, "Sam" praying to this god or goddess for more abundance. (grin) We are on Mt. Mingsha where there are clusters of buildings and temples. There are also many statues that guard "the
spirit world". It is one of the major tourist destinations and received over 910,000 tourists last year and bring over 1 Million Yuan into the area. Posted by Picasa