Passage to China: a photo essay

Old Jun 9th, 2021, 09:10 PM
  #21  
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Yangshou, where everything on display for tourists costs several times more than anywhere else in China!

That goes for clothing

and puppets

and peacocks

and paintbrushes,

plus footwear

and also real, imitation wooden mask carvings.

A local tribute to the trio Rush.

Onto Pingan village, via Longsheng. Home to more ethnic minorities and also those iconic 'Longji Titian' ('dragon's backbone') rice terraces.

Its a 40 minute walk uphill, so locals are employed to take everyone's luggage. It was somewhat embarrassing to see seniors insisting on doing this task. Pingan was impoverished til recently and folks here are happy for the work.

Wooden buildings are created here, using traditional techniques.

First order of business was for us to finally buy some osmanthus honey, a unique flavour that was on our shopping list.

Osmanthus blossoms. They attracted the massive bumble bees.

The honey was great in tea, especially on cool morns.

Pingan's residents were hard-working folks.

Building a retaining wall.

Its all about farming here, and also some tourism.

Centuries of living off the land here.

Lots of stairs both indoors and out.

Women from the Red Yiao tribe figure prominently here, visiting from the close-by hamlet Huanluo. They never cut their hair.

Their ritual for tourists is to unravel their very long hair, then comb through it. We enjoyed chatting with them.

This Dong woman was a chili farmer.

Her harvest was left to dry on her cement patio.

The Miao tribe women wear characteristic head-dress crowns made of some sort of metal.

Who is sleepier? This Charpay or

this fellow?

Roof tiles.

Agriculture everywhere.

The contoured rows of Pingan's famed rice paddies are an interesting colour in late fall.

The farm engineering was impressive, all stepped dikes, dams and ponds, most of the water emptied by this time of year.

A unique sight, those cascading swirls plus endless lines.

Pingan sunrises

were a great time

to get up and do local hikes.

Traditional headpiece.

A young Dong woman.

An older Dong lady.

Her shallots smelled great, even at a distance.

Traditional hat.

A Zhuang tribe cutie.

A Zhuang elder. Next: the conclusion In Hong Kong.
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Old Jun 10th, 2021, 02:26 AM
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Amazing. Looking f/w to HK..
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Old Jun 11th, 2021, 03:07 PM
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Wow! Just Wow!!
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Old Jun 11th, 2021, 04:35 PM
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Amazing and beautiful photos!!! I have been to China 3 times and have visited some of the places you visited. Your photos are a million times better than ours!!! I especially love the close-up detail photos and the close-ups of the people. Are you a professional photographer???
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Old Jun 12th, 2021, 12:09 PM
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Merci fellow travelers and shutterbugs, for all the positive comments. As I once mentioned to our Nelson, please lets make this a joint post, with everyone pitching in to share some of their own travel fotos and/or memories. Anything goes from any time period, and lets not feel obliged to necessarily just stick to China. A fun discussion involving all is far better than this just being the ZEBEC SHOW.
And Progol, you'll get to China eventually with the delayed gratification serving you well.

No KarenWoo, I ain't no pro. I did however back in '96-97, briefly attempt a side-business selling my pictures. I displayed 30 such matted and framed fotos at 10 galleries and art shows, selling all of them except for thirty. Very good tax write-off loss, mind you!
A few of my earlier shots were also included as part of the semi-pro travel writing that I did for local newspapers plus one Brit mag, back in the '80s/90s. Laughing now to recall one of those publications, a seniors-focused outfit. They only published shots that were taken by seniors and so wanted me to supply them with a self-portrait to prove my age. I responded that given how I suffered from 'Zebec's Syndrome' a rare disease akin to that of the Elephant Man, no such picture would be forthcoming. They still published my Japan article!
I am done. The next...?


Last edited by zebec; Jun 12th, 2021 at 12:24 PM. Reason: pinched by Confucius while typing
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Old Jun 12th, 2021, 09:13 PM
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Yo HT (HappyTraveler), thanks again for that rave plus above--please tell us about your memories in China, photographic or otherwise.
We're waiting.
I am not done. This is not the end.
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 08:34 AM
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Here's the beginning of our trip to China in 1979:

We were in China in 1979 with an educational group. We had to enroll in a class before taking the trip, but it really was not serious and most of our group (we were divided in two groups for the Chinese portion of the trip) were mid-thirties or older. General tourism was rare if non-existent, and in the cities we attracted big crowds of curious locals. The trip started with 6 days in Kyoto and Nara (lots of temples and palaces):



Here is the album

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjpcysJ5

From there a few days in Hong-Kong and the two weeks visiting Guangzhou (its university hospital, a kindergarten, a night at the opera, a communal farm). In Hong-Kong we did not stay with the group except for a tour of the island. Otherwise we were on our own, and we were treated royally by a cousin who worked in quality control for a German mail-order company.






Here is the album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjp9SHD3

To be continued
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 08:52 AM
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Michael, looking forward to part two. I was fascinated by the kids learning table tennis with the ping pong balls attached to string. Btw, did you see the news about drones in Guangzhou today?
Please, keep it comin'
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Old Jun 13th, 2021, 12:20 PM
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From Guangzhou we flew to Guilin (the Guilin pictures are part of the Hong-Kong etc. album). Most of that portion of the trip consisted in appreciating the natural wonders of the area, with a trip down the Li river, a visit to the underground caves, but this being an educational tour, we visited the local university and saw a troupe of acrobats one evening.





We were supposed to fly to Shanghai from Guilin but bad weather forced us down in Changsha. The guide had to quickly reorganize our schedule, and managed to find a hotel with rooms for the entire group, a meal after hours, and an after hours visit of the museum of a 2000 year old mummy. It is my understanding that many of the artifacts have since disappeared, probably to a black market for the arts.


We reached Shanghai the next day and we managed to leave the group and not see the museum, but instead walked around the old center of the city. Educationally we were taken to an apartment complex, a local plastics factory, Shanghai’s psychiatric hospital with its obligatory concert at the end of every visit to an official locale.




and this is the album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjpadNzy

Last edited by Michael; Jun 13th, 2021 at 12:27 PM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:25 AM
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Zebec, I only checked in here because your photography is legendary and I knew your were starting your report, but wow!!
You have such an eye for detail, and I love how interesting and artistic a part of a scene is, rather than the whole.
And the portraits, this really belongs in a book, you are so talented. Thank you for sharing.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 06:54 AM
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Zebec you asked for others to post pics from their china visits but when I tried to post from my iMac desk top photos it seems this is not and accepted file. This is a first. Always was able to do it before. Puzzled.

Trip report; Beijing, Xian and Kuala Lumpur

here is a ling to our TR in 2018

Last edited by jacketwatch; Jun 14th, 2021 at 07:00 AM.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 08:22 AM
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Yo pewter guy JW,
Sorry to hear about Mac hassles. I'm a notorious technopeasant (a phrase that I got from a Shanghai guy btw) and so cannot assist. I remember your original report and also recall that shot where Sue seems to be, "Don't mess with me!" Also saw your mention of then-upcoming trips--did you ever make it to Yellowstone?
Btw, speaking of KL...in Uni, I played some table tennis with a classmate. She happened to be the training or sparring partner for her big bro, who was the KL Olympic champ rep.

Ade, thank you for your comments. Our fave travel portraiture includes that of National Geographic's star Steve McCurry. I actually tried to contact him prior to this China trip, but got a form letter back stating, "Due to the overwhelming amount of letters that Steve receives, we regret..."
Where to next for yourself?

Michael, Jayzus that mummy!! Hope that the new owner does not have young grandkids. Your imagery takes us all back decades to a previous era. Those primary aged children whom you photographed are probably now the seniors in our shots above!
I am done. The Michael mummy
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 09:58 AM
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"Yo pewter guy JW,"
Sorry to hear about Mac hassles. I'm a notorious technopeasant (a phrase that I got from a Shanghai guy btw) and so cannot assist. I remember your original report and also recall that shot where Sue seems to be, "Don't mess with me!" Also saw your mention of then-upcoming trips--did you ever make it to Yellowstone?
Btw, speaking of KL...in Uni, I played some table tennis with a classmate. She happened to be the training or sparring partner for her big bro, who was the KL Olympic champ rep.

Glad you
remembered our TR and love the new moniker, "pewter guy."

Nope no Yellowstone, at least not yet. We do have an 11 day cruise 6/2022 out of Iceland and another 2/2023 out of Barbados for 14 days.

You went to uni in KL, cool. Our friends in KL went to school at the U of Wisc. Oshkosh.

Are you from KL?

We loved it. its like Singapore at 1/3rd the cost.

​​​​​​​Larry
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
Yo pewter guy JW,
Sorry to hear about Mac hassles. I'm a notorious technopeasant (a phrase that I got from a Shanghai guy btw) and so cannot assist. I remember your original report and also recall that shot where Sue seems to be, "Don't mess with me!" Also saw your mention of then-upcoming trips--did you ever make it to Yellowstone?
Btw, speaking of KL...in Uni, I played some table tennis with a classmate. She happened to be the training or sparring partner for her big bro, who was the KL Olympic champ rep.

Ade, thank you for your comments. Our fave travel portraiture includes that of National Geographic's star Steve McCurry. I actually tried to contact him prior to this China trip, but got a form letter back stating, "Due to the overwhelming amount of letters that Steve receives, we regret..."
Where to next for yourself?

Michael, Jayzus that mummy!! Hope that the new owner does not have young grandkids. Your imagery takes us all back decades to a previous era. Those primary aged children whom you photographed are probably now the seniors in our shots above!
I am done. The Michael mummy
I love the new moniker, "pewter guy." . let me say it sure was harder than it looked as are most thing I suppose.

We did not get to Yellowstone yet but hope to some day. We have two cruises planned but down the road. 6/2022 for 11 days out of Iceland on the NCL star. Our TA got a great deal. Then 2/20203 on RCI Rhapsody of the Seas 14 days R/T out of Barbados to many ports we haven't been to, 9 in all.

Did you go to school in KL? Ironically our friends their went to u of Wisc. Oshkosh.

Larry
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 11:53 AM
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From Shanghai we flew to Beijing. Shanghai showed us its contemporary life for the most part, Beijing showed us the what was left of the old empire, from temples, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and ending at the Summer Palace and its marble boat.





and this is the entire album:

https://flic.kr/s/aHsjoYF4YH
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
Your imagery takes us all back decades to a previous era. Those primary aged children whom you photographed are probably now the seniors in our shots above!
I am done. The Michael mummy
Not quite, but in their fifties.
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:22 PM
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I am sure that you are right about the age gap Michael, my comment was exaggerated for effect. And yet, there are sometimes 'seniors' a traveler may meet abroad, whose taxing workload throughout Life has caused their premature ageing. Reminds us how fortunate we have been in birthplace. Your imagery above was around the same time as a certain NG issue whose cover story was about China. Recall mention in there of the writer's having been surprised at how readily Beijing passerby came to his aid, after some windblown thing had caught in his eyelid---they'd blown out the offending bit of dust with their breath!

LOL, your whispering wall 'listeners' shot!

I am done. The guy standing in front of the tank
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 12:24 PM
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Pewter guy, sorry, I was unclear. No I did not go to uni in KL--she came from there and we were classmates together here in Toronto.
I am done, the gnip gnop
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by zebec View Post
Pewter guy, sorry, I was unclear. No I did not go to uni in KL--she came from there and we were classmates together here in Toronto.
I am done, the gnip gnop
I see. OK, looking f/w to HK!
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Old Jun 14th, 2021, 02:12 PM
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Zebec, you asked “Where to next for yourself?”....and despite poring over the exciting trip planning I see on Fodor’s Europe...Australia is unlikely to allow us out until August 2022, so I guess maybe Kangaroo island. Our recent road trip to Victoria was pretty lucky timing as we returned just before interstate border restrictions.
So, we will just have to hitch a ride on everyone else’s adventures.
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