Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Impression of China (1)

Impression of China – 11 days tour (from 15 September 2011) of Feng Huang Ancient Town, Zhangjiajie, Yangtze Cruise, and a brief tour of ChongQing and Guangzhou cities.

Please click here to view photos taken by yours truly (KC) ... In Picasa photo album, click Slideshow for bigger displays and captions.

 
Touch-down at Guangzhou International Airport ... upon arrival, take high speed train to Changsha. After the freak accident happened a few weeks ago, the speed is reduced from 400 km/h to 300+
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For the entire journey of 2.5 hours, the speed is set to 310km/h maximum for a comfortable, steady, vibration-free and silent ride. We alighted from the train at almost 12 mid-night; when we retired to bed in hotel, it was almost 2:00 a.m. the next day.

 
The famous Phoenix Ancient Town (or Feng Huang Ancient Town) of history and culture with the unique local architecture.
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Walking on the wooden slabs requires confidence and stability; however, it requires a bit of manoeuvring when confront with people from the opposite direction without dropping into the water.
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A senior is seen here collecting litter on the river.


Nina – our friendly, dedicated and untiring tour guide at Zhangjiajie. Graduated from a local university and speaking fluent American English, she belongs to the Tu Minority people in Zhangjiajie – one of the minority tribes in China.
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This is how we should carry our backpack to avoid pickpockets.
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According to her, she is practising the 'cry wedding' – a custom of her Tu minority people where a new bride is to cry for one month preceding the wedding ceremony. The cry is a reflection of a girl's ability and virtue; the better the cry, the girl would gain more sympathy from the relatives and would then get more ‘ang pow’ (reward) money.
Seeing double – enchanting night view of Phoenix Ancient Town

 
The famous UNESCO World Heritage of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park.
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In the National Park, 3,000 skyscraper-like stone pillars stand in various shapes are arranged in vertical-cutting appearance.
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The unique and majestic mountains in the background are where the floating mountains in the blockbuster movie, Avatar, got the ideas from.
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Yours truly (KC) in the photo.

 
The tour group of 20 from Malaysia.

 
Comfortable and luxurious hotel stay

 
Good food for every meal including two bottles of beer and a bottle of soft drink.

 
Taking a mini train into the inner part of the park for better view of the mountains ...
yours truly (kC).

 
Close view – taking cable cars up the mountain. Unfortunately, it was bad weather for the past few days and the whole mountains are covered with mist or cloud.
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At higher ground, visibility is bad and could not see anything. The group then descend the mountain queuing for almost one hour for the cable cars to return to base.
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Looks like I need to re-visit this heavenly mountains another time.

 
Enjoying the performance at night for a grand feat of sight and sound at Zangjiajie

 
Theatre hall with high-tech equipment in an ancient setting

 
Start of the Yangtze River 5-star cruise from Yichang town.

 
We met a group of French tourists, almost 50 of them and the biggest group; follow by the Malaysian group, about 30.
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A few of them join us in light exercise and a bit of fun on the top deck. 
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The ship is ferrying 150 passengers – maximum capacity.

 
The Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze River. This project benefits in flood control, power generation, navigation improvement and promote tourism.
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The spillway dam, located in the middle of the river course, connects the two powerhouses at both sides.
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With the completion of the dam, the water level at the upper river rises substantially; while the water level at downstream is now much lower ...

 
Hence, the large-scale shiplock for ships to travel from lower to higher ground, and vice versa.
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Currently, the China Government is building the large-scale shiplift, a one-step vertical movement elevator for smaller boats that would take only 45 minutes to clear (compare to 4 hours of the shiplock); target to complete by 2015.




Precision handling – notice the two cruise ships are parked touching one another when entering the chambers of the shiplocks.

 
Cheers! Welcome dinner from the Captain. On his right is the English/Mandarin speaking guide; on his left is the French/Mandarin speaking guide.

 
Entertainment in the cruise ship while waiting to clear the five shiplocks that require a total of 4 hours.
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To be continued ...

From KC Leong

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