tirsdag, september 05, 2006

First Impressions of Southwest China

These are some images and impressions from our first few days in China, starting in Chengdu, and continuing first to Emei Shan, and then on to Chongqing. They are just a few small details to give you a feel for the experience.

Tropical Chengdu. Think overwhelming humidity. Think crickets in every tree, chirping like mad. Think sweat and gunk. Think a laid-back, beautiful city, filled with close to 4 million laid-back (except in traffic), beautiful people.

Not climbing a mountain. Yes, I gave up about half-way up Emei Shan, and we took a bus to the top. I wanted to be strong, but each set of stairs was more difficult than the previous one, and at some point, my legs wouldn't let me go any further. Imagine 3,000 meters of climbing stairs. Then go do it...it is worth it, I'd imagine.

Temples. Europe has churches and cathedrals, which I love. Asia has temples, which I love. They're all different, but similar. The above temple is in the middle of Chongqing, a working temple. The one below is one of many temples on Emei Shan.


The little details. I could spend my life taking photos of the lions guarding doorways and other entrances.

Signs. There's bound to be a post here sometime, so consider this a sneak preview. I am a fan of firepoof areas...you light a fire, and it all goes poof. Very logical.

Chongqing. 8 million laid-back, beautiful people here. Not as cool as Chengdu, but I could see living here, if I could live in this area.

The mist clearing. At the top of the mountain, the multifaced Buddha.

Next stops, the Yangtze River, Three Gorges, a brief stop in Wuhan, and then back for a few more days in Chengdu. Key words: big seated Buddha, hotpot, and the damn Dam.

22 kommentarer:

Leslie sagde ...

AH you're in my home country! That is so sweet. I am sending you my Chinese vibes. :D

sophie sagde ...

Oh my!!!!!! Those bloody stairs!!
i could never ever do it -
hurrah for buses and those
photo's are making me jealous
of your trip:)

portuguesa nova sagde ...

Gorgeous.

Jack P Toerson sagde ...

That looks lovelly. I'd really like to go myself but I'm not sure if I'd be allowed in.

Simple American sagde ...

Great shots.

Can you firing in the second firepoof area?

The bus going up sounds wonderful. Should be able to walk down though. :)

Devil Mood sagde ...

Wow...China, it all looks so different. I can't really comment any further, it's just a question of seeing it, feeling it and thanking you for posting :)

Vanessa sagde ...

Beautiful.
Visiting a working temple is on my list of things to do during my lifetime, your photos only make me want to visit even more.

Daphnewood sagde ...

Those photos are great. Sometimes I hate going upstairs to my bedroom so those steps would be out of the question.

You always hear how China has over a billion people but I never really thought about what that meant for cities. 8 million?! Wow! DO I sound like George W. Bush now? "China is BIG"

Scholiast sagde ...

It looks amazing. Somehow, I've never really wanted to go to Asia, but I must admit China looks worth a visit. Or two. or ...

James Medhurst sagde ...

Hi Kim, great photos. I particularly love the multi-faced Buddha.

Marion sagde ...

Beautiful!! I could almost hear the crickets... And Chinese lions look amazing, like little monsters!

al-Ferengi sagde ...

Oh, I'd love to go there :D

HB sagde ...

Utrolig fine bilder! Gleder meg til å se flere skilt-bilder/lese skilthistorier:-) "firepoof" - ha ha ha!

Meow sagde ...

Wow, great photos. Must be an amazing place. One day *sigh*
Have a wonderful weekend.
Take care, Meow

kimananda sagde ...

Leslie, I was in your home country anyway, and I'm sure I'll be back again...what area(s) of China are yours?

Sophie, I know what you mean...those stairs were pretty brutal, and the humidity and jetlag didn't make it any easier. But it was beautiful!

Ms. Nova, thanks!

Jack, you should go, but...are you worried about your record of Tibetan activism? Your role in Tiananmen Square? Are you a professional journalist? You've got me curious.

Mr. American, you know, I never did see the second firepoof area, but we entered into the first firepoof area a number of times, without ever leaving it.

Ms. Mood, it is different, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone.

Vaness, temples are truly cool. I've been told that other areas of Asia (such as Japan) have even more amazing temples than in China.

Daphnewood, I hadn't thought too much about city populations the first time we were in China, but I did this time, and really most cities have multi-million populations. But they don't always seem that big...I would never have guessed that Chengdu was almost 4 million.

Scholiast, Thor and I only went to China the first time because we couldn't afford tickets to the places we wanted to go, and we could get cheap tickets to Beijing. We both though something along the lines of, 'well, I haven't thought about China before, but there must be some cool things to see there...' and now we have a whole list of regions that we want to see there, we'll be starting Mandaring classes in a week, and well, it's addicting actually.

James, thanks! The Buddha was one of the more interesting ones I'd seen as well.

Marion, thanks! The crickets were wild, and loud. I'd never experienced that, and so it was fun. The lions are always slightly different, and I have a bit of a collection of photos of them.

Ms. Black Scorpio, you should. It's amazing.

HB, tak! Jeg har en store samling af skiltbileder...jeg vil post dem snart.

Meow, it is a very cool place...I'd recommend it if you can make it there.

Rich Dunbeck sagde ...

Great pics! They make me want to hop on a plane and go there right now. Lucky you, getting the chance.

sophie sagde ...

I LOVE the template!!

kimananda sagde ...

Rich, do it...it is a very, very cool place.

Sophie, thanks! I am thinking of this as my 'I can't be bothered to figure out how to do anything in Blogger Beta at the moment' template, but it is growing on me, too!

Chloe sagde ...

thanks for this Kimananda. It looks so different to anything i have seen.
and i like your new blog look. it lets your wonderful photographs breathe. xx

Vesper sagde ...

cool pics!

Helen sagde ...

Looks like a wonderful holiday experience - love the sign about not firing!! Helen

Anonym sagde ...

Wow, thanks so much for the taking the time to share Southwest China with us! I love the shot of the temple with the high-rise buildings in the background...such a great example of the old blending with the new. Beautiful!

Lotus (LotusReads)