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A retired Aussie programmer from Sydney, I am an ardent traveller, student of things Chinese, and in retirement both an online teacher and online MOOC student. I write mostly about travel and experiences in China, and of interaction with Asian culture and people. Don’t expect controversy because, like a cat in a puddle, I tread carefully - but sometimes I just might throw in a ‘googly’!
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Travels in Zhejiang and Hunan - Lost photos    

By LaoGui 老鬼的博客
214 Views | 7 Comments | 10/24/2019 11:41:07 PM
Tag: China Travel  

I thought I had lost all my photos from this 2015 or 2016 trip, since they showed up neither in OneDrive, nor on Flashdrives or any hard-disks.  Two of my computers used from 2010 through 2016 had expired or had replaced disks.  My old DSLR had gone the way of eBay, and current phone and camera memory has been uploaded to OneDrive and emptied. On this trip or trips I had been to Changsha, Zhangjiajie, Fenghuang, Zhugecun, Qiandao hu, Ningbo, Suzhou ZhaoZhuang... so the loss of the entire suite was to have been something of a disaster. 



During my 2012 or 13 trip I had used an HTC and at some point 200 photos mysteriously disappeared without trace; it took me 6 years to track down the restaurant in Xi'an I had so liked where I had photographed the menu and the Biang Biang mian and everything from Xi'an and Pingyao disappeared, never to be recovered.  Dropbox was functioning then in China, but nothing had been uploaded



Zhangjiajie was amazing, scenery-wise, despite the ever-present fog, stunning scenery.  Be prepared to pay triple on top however of what you'd pay below.  Simple chicken and rice I recall was about 45 as was a can of Qingdao beer.  Where I stayed there was no lock on the door and the lights went out at 9pm, so in this case the adage is 'you get at most what you paid for'



An interesting side note on the Biang Biang noodles (how rapidly the world changes):  Here in Hurstville they have now opened up a Biang Biang restaurant at the railway station, fresh handmade on the spot as you wait.  What is more, they accept payment by wechat!  Wow, I get to use up my leftover renminbi.



Of fenghuang, nothing memorable, despite my anticipation.  By now I have visited at least half a dozen guchengs in China.  In Shanghai (scarcely rates a mention) Ningbo, Lijiang (which I enjoyed despite the commercialisation, 3 night stay) , Fenghuang (totally commercial and forgettable, a stay of 2 nights), Dali (soso, a week stay which I still greatly enjoyed despite being always cold), Zhengzhuang (a canal town near Suzhou, so rather different).  The two most authentic old towns I have visited are in Zhejiang, Lanxi Zhuge bagua Zhugecun (Zhugeliang village) and a nearby second smaller one which I trudged through one wet day, shoes besmirched in duckshit.



 



 



 


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#2019-10-24 23:40:56 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I have not seen many of the Old Towns in China, but I wouldn't mind someday spending a lengthy tour of China specifically in order to check a large number of them out. The ones I have visited I have much enjoyed. You can find a nice summary of 31 of them here:


https://thatadventurer.co.uk/31-ancient-towns-in-china/



Of the ones I have visited the one I found to be the most authentic was Pingyao. I enjoyed it very much and spent several days there. It is out of the way I must admit, but worth the going. I happened to be in Tiayuan in Shangxi on business and from there it was a short trip. Another plus was that enroute to it we stopped briefly in the village that was the setting for the famous Chinese movie "Raise the Red Lantern", which was a bit of a treat.


Wuzhen Water Town is also very authentic. It sits near Huzhou in Zhejiang.


We own a condo in Lijiang (which we have never lived in yet) and have spent a lot of time in the famous Lijiang Old Town (Dayan). While I agree it is over commercialized I also agree it is still highly enjoyable, very well kept and loaded with good pubs, restaurants, hotels and B&Bs. 


Our Condo looks out at another small Old Town in Lijiang which name escapes me at the moment. While small it is extremely pleasant and a short walk from our condo. We hope when we finally get back to live part time in China we will spend many pleasant days whiling away our time there.


I'd love to see you do some blogs where in each one you focus specifically on one of the Ancient Towns you have visited. 


Just saying...


#2019-10-25 07:43:57 by melcyan @melcyan

CLM is at its best when it opens cultural and relationship doors. @oldghost, you tour China in a similar way to the way I did on an 8-month tour of Europe in 1981. I had previously written off that sort of travel in China but every now and again you make me contemplate it. Unlike you, I love Shanghai the birthplace of my partner. I will never tire from visiting Shanghai.

 

@JohnAbbot, your comment was helpful to me. I tried to find your movie "Raise The Red Lantern" but instead found Chinese historical story/myth TV series on Netflix that I can use to help get me back into more active learning of Mandarin.

#2019-10-26 11:08:10 by roughdiamond @roughdiamond


@melcyan

Raise The Red Lantern

https://youtu.be/0BVKEaXhWak

#2019-10-26 15:52:23 by oldghost @oldghost

I preferred another of his with gongli - the Story of Qiu Jiu 1992 with its depiction of village life.  His later epic movies like Curse of the Golden Flower 2006 were as bad as his early movies were good.  Same with Tarantino - Pulp Fiction wonderful, The Hateful eight dreadful!

#2019-10-26 16:33:22 by melcyan @melcyan

@roughdiamond

 

Thank you!  I couldn't find this when I searched. Great movie. I know the foot massage was not supposed to be funny but it certainly made me smile. A foot massage sends my partner into another world. Does it have the same effect on all Chinese women? Maybe it has the same effect on women all over the world.

#2019-10-26 18:38:07 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

China has some beautiful, and fascinating old towns. I am fortunate to have visited many. Shanghai has some beautiful out-of-the-way places too, but overall I think Shanghai, although stunningly beautiful, is far too commercialised for me to ever want to live there.

For the more commercial traveler wishing to experience some of this culture, Xiamen, and the island of 'Gu Lang Yu' are well worth a visit.

As for interesting Chinese movies, 'The Great Wall' is an excellent movie IMHO.

#2019-10-27 13:59:08 by melcyan @melcyan

Shanghai is not a tourist attraction for me. It is where my partner was born and lived until she was thirty-four years old. To walk the streets where she played as a child is fascinating. To share the hearts and homes of her relatives, lifelong friends and former classmates/ work colleagues (also lifelong bonded) is amazing.

 

There are many different worlds inside Shanghai that are outside the normal tourist experience. To get glimpses of these very different worlds through the eyes of locals is so rewarding. Sometimes you can feel the history of Shanghai radiating from the walls of buildings that are off the tourist trail. All of these experiences further help me understand my partner better.

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