Highlights of the 2005 China Trip :
Chengdu, Jiu Zhai Gou, Huang Long,
Qing Cheng Shan, Le
Shan, Emei Shan,
Beijing and Shanghai
After three weeks in
China, our Tai Chi
group had plenty of exciting experiences and memories of an ancient
culture endeavouring to embrace the modern world. The first leg of our
tour took us to Chengdu,
capital of the Sichuan Province. Sichuan is an ancient city presiding
over the prosperous farmland basin that feeds a large proportion of
China. It is a land of huge mountain ranges and powerful rivers. On
our journey to Jiu Zhai Gou (named after the nine Tibetan villages in
the ravine, also called fairyland on earth), we left the plains for the
glorious mountains. Words cannot describe the feeling of seeing the
towering mountain ranges that seem to go on forever – mountains that
seems to touch the sky and then descend down into breathtakingly deep
ravines. It was a mind expanding experience. There is a certain power
that exudes from these mountains. No wonder the sages went to the
mountains for enlightenment!
Accommodation at Jiu Zhai Gou,
Our accommodation in Jiu Zhai Gou was a recently built
hotel complex, constructed out from stones by the Qiang people who are
experts in building with stones. The complex looks like a Tibetan style
village with a castle like appearance. It is truly beautiful.
Surrounded by snow capped mountains, we felt we were in Shangrila.
Most of us felt like just staying there for the rest of the trip and it
would have been easy to do. The village has an array of
restaurants and gift shops. At night, it is lit by millions of
During the day, we visited the famous iridescent lakes
and waterfalls. Due to the high level of calcium in the water, little
plant and animal life survives. This creates perfect conditions for the
water to reflect the deep blues and greens of the surrounding
environment. The pristine beauty of these mountains and lakes reminds
us of the importance of protecting our natural environments.
When our local tour guide, John, mentioned that there was
a show on that night in our hotel complex, we all thought that it might
be just a few locals singing and dancing. We were in for a surprise!
It was a show on a scale larger than the Lion King or
Lake, probably more a combination of the two. There were hundreds
of dancers (some in traditional costume and some dressed as animals), a
dozen horsemen, laser lighting and the biggest stage I’ve ever seen.
Thousands of people packed the auditorium to enjoy a truly spectacular
event. It was one of the greatest productions that many of us had
Jiu Zhai Gou, Sichuan
From Jiu Zhai Gou, we journeyed to the Huang Long (Yellow
Dragon) mountain range. At a height
close to 5,000
metres above sea level, we were all feeling the high altitude. It was
another spectacular climb, seeing the trail of white calcium terrace
pools and snow capped mountains.
From Huang Long to the
Mao County, we had
a five and a half hour drive ahead of us. It was a perilous road with
breathtaking views. Our driver, whom we called Master Chen, was
certainly a master in his driving skills. He was an ex-army driver who
regularly drove to
As part of his driver training, he used to practise driving a truck on
railway tracks. He also had to practise going down mountains without
using the brakes and finish the course within a specified time.
Our next mountain stop was Qing Cheng Shan (literally
means green city mountain). It is a sea of thick green trees and
bamboos. We trained with Taoist Master Liu. He talked about the
importance of regular training and how Taoism began in these mountains.
Master Liu’s students demonstrated Sword and Horse Tail Whip forms. Our
group performed the Hun Yuan Tai Chi and some of our Wu Dao Gong martial
Le Shan Buddha, Sichuan
On the way to Emei Shan, we stopped off at Le Shan, the
home of the largest stone Buddha. It is the tallest stone statue in the
world, 71 metres in height. It took 90 years to complete, from
713-803A.D. The Buddha statue was carved from the stone cliffs that
overlook the river. The Buddha was strategically carved at that point
in the river to prevent boating accidents. Many mishaps had occurred
previously on this stretch of the river. According to records, since
the Buddha arrived on the scene, travelling along this part of the river
has been much safer.
Our next stop was Emei Shan, one of the sacred Buddhist
mountains. Up on Emei, the mists were rolling in, so we couldn’t see
the gorges below to appreciate the height of the mountain. On the way
up to the mountain, there were monkeys and a rich variety of plant
life. Back down in the Emei Village, we enjoyed pancakes with chocolate
sauce and coffee at the famous Teddy Bear Café. Seven year old Oliver
thought this was our best treat so far. Many of us agreed.
In Beijing, we trained with Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang,
founder of the Hun Yuan Tai Chi system. Students soon understood the
reason he is called a grandmaster. At 77 years old, Grandmaster Feng is
very strong and full of energy. He effortlessly demonstrated martial
applications of movements with the students. It was a great opportunity
to meet and train with a high level expert. It helped students
understand the more subtle aspects of the art and gave us a sense of the
The final leg of our tour was
where we experienced the brightness of China’s biggest and most modern
city. Shanghai does manage to blend the old with the new. The Peace
Hotel, Yu Garden and the French district are fine examples. In
Shanghai, we had fabulous seafood banquets in a restaurant where waiters
and waitresses wear roller skates.
Spectacular Show at Jiu Zhai Gou
I feel that what I’ve written doesn’t do justice to the
wonderful experience that we had on this trip. Jiu Zhai Gou was simply
magical and the area truly deserves the reputation that it has. Every
day was an adventure. There are so many memories and I haven’t even
talked about the giant pandas that we saw at the eco-park in Chengdu.
Travelling in China certainly broadens one’s perspective on life. It is
always amazing to see that the Chinese don’t even blink an eye over
things that stress us. We all agreed that this was truly an
unforgettable holiday. Some of us can’t wait to see more of China again
in the future!
Chief Instructor Brett Wagland
Although I had some idea of what to expect and had done
some reading before I left, this year's
China trip wildly
exceeded my most optimistic expectations.
Just seeing Chengdu was a
surprise. It's a large city, but not nearly as far along the way to "westernisation"
as Beijing or Shanghai. There are completely chaotic roads,
non-existent road rules, bicycles everywhere and people carrying
everything from ladders to glass doors on their bikes. Regardless of
the time of day, the streets were crowded with people, whether
socialising, singing, practising ballroom dancing or doing Tai Chi.
The vibrancy of the city defies description.
Sichuan is famous for its spicy food, and certainly didn't disappoint.
Even after being asked to tone down the amount of spice (on account of
the foreigners), there was more than one desperate grab for a tea cup
over dinner. The food quality was amazing; no matter where we ate,
whether a high-end tourist restaurant, or a place on the side of the
road half way up a mountain, the food was fresh, tasty, and always
different. This trip was one of the first times I'd tasted good Chinese
food free of western influence, and since returning it's the thing I
After a few days in Chengdu, we headed up into the mountains on the
border of the province (near Tibet) in the company of "Master" Chen (a
bus driver with no fear and the skill to back it up). The scale of the
mountains was astounding (there's certainly nothing comparable in
Australia), and the scenery (along with the driving) was enough to make
an 8 hour bus ride interesting all the way.
Photos can only give a vague impression of the beauty of Huang Long and
Jiu Zhai Gou. One look is all you need to understand why temples and
monasteries were built at these sites. One of the tour guides mentioned
a saying, "Don't go to Jui Zhai Gou when you're young", the implication
being you would never want to leave. It's easy to understand why.
at Jiu Zhai Gou
While near Jiu Zhai Gou, we stayed at a hotel fashioned after a
traditional Tibetan village, with dozens of three and four storey
buildings, each with a large roof-top terrace. Doing Tai Chi on the
roof as the sun rose over the snow capped mountains on the edge of the
valley was an exhilarating experience. At an altitude of about 12,000
feet, it also left you a little out of breath.
The remainder of our time in Sichuan was a blur of mountains, temples
and martial arts schools which needs photos to do it justice. After our
final night in Emei (involving chocolate banana pancakes at a sidewalk
cafe, followed by a trip to the
hot springs), we
headed back to Chengdu before flying out to Beijing.
Beijing gave us the chance to settle down in one place for a while,
start our shopping, and see the sights for which China is famous
(Forbidden City, Summer Palace and Great Wall). We were lucky enough to
enjoy dinner with Grandmaster Feng and his daughter, and to train with
them most mornings. It is always a great experience to see people with
such a high level of skill first hand, and I feel fortunate to have had
Towards the end of our time in Beijing, we got the chance to try a lunch
at the Old Beijing Noodle House, an event upon which Brett insisted, but
our tour guide held reservations. The lunch was raucous, messy,
suffused with some of the harshest fire water (50% alcohol) I've tasted
and one of the best meals of the trip.
The Nuorilang Falls, Jiu
Zhai Gou - the widest waterfalls in the world
The markets provided the most enjoyable shopping of the trip. Never
before had I seen shopkeepers dragging customers back to their store
while slowly lowering their prices. If you so much as looked at an
item, they had no intention of letting you leave without buying. While
initially intimidating, bargaining turns out to be great fun
(culminating in accusations of "You bargain like you're Chinese!").
Shanghai showed a very different face of China. The city is much more
commercially developed and very densely populated, with high rises
everywhere. The architecture is impressive, with every building quite
unique and distinctive. While impressive during the day time, when seen
from the river at night, it's truly beautiful.
trip is an experience I am not going to forget in the near future, and
after being back for a month, I still miss the food, the environment and
the people. I'm sure I'll be heading back some time in the future.
The highlights of the trip for me were definitely in the
first half of the trip. Getting to see giant pandas up close was a
real treat. The crystal clear lakes of Jiu Zhia Gou and the rock pools at
Huang Long were so amazing that even the photos do not do them justice.
Our stay at the Jiu Zhai Gou Tibetan village was excellent. We stayed
under snow capped mountains on the first night, followed by a visit to
the magnificent clear lakes the next day in near summer weather.
The experience of meeting Master Liu at Qing Cheng Shan was very
interesting. His school and style have a very long tradition with a
strong grounding in Taoism. Their style is very snake-like and their
Tai Chi form is very elegant to watch. The trek up the mountain, and
the thousands of steps, was well worth it.
Practising Tai Chi with
of the Hun Yuan system,
Grandmaster Feng Zhi Qiang (1928- ),
We got to perform for the local Tourism Minister with the Emei Martial
Arts school. Initially, it looked like we might get rained out, but the
performance was moved to a local, covered basketball court. Both the
Tai Chi and martial arts students did the Academy proud with their
performances, and we left a lasting impression.
The training sessions in Beijing with the Hun Yuan group were a real
eye-opener. We had the privilege of training with Grandmaster Feng, his
daughter Ms Feng as well as Master Feng's senior disciple, Chen Xiang.
Seeing the same form expressed in such different ways really gives one
an appreciation of its depth.
coloured pools at Huang Long were outstandingly beautiful. Although I
didn’t make it to the top of the walk, because breathing at that
altitude was a lot of work, I still feel that I saw the beauty of the
pools near the beginning, and have a lot of photos to remind me.
Although the crowds were dense at Jiu Zhai Gou and Huang Long, they were
very well managed by means of good walkways and plenty of buses, so we
could still see and enjoy the wonderful scenery.
The Huang Long
Pools, Sichuan Province
was a great surprise to see such a wonderful show at the hotel
auditorium at Jiu Zhai Gou: it was professional and polished to the
highest degree, and our guide had somehow managed to get us the best
seats, at the front near the enormous stage. We couldn’t understand the
language but it didn’t matter. The story was simple and beautifully
illustrated in brilliantly costumed dance and song and aerobatics, with
fabulous lighting. At the end, the huge doors at the back of the stage
opened and we walked across the stage and out into the cold night air,
high and remote from the big cities. It was a night to remember.
monastery on Qing Cheng Shan was a beautiful place, and I enjoyed the
quiet interview we had with Master Liu, drinking tea and looking out
over the forest from a beautiful room decorated with intricate carvings
and lattice work.
a less exotic level, I enjoyed the bus rides through the big cities,
looking at the brilliant neon signs which somehow seem much more
interesting when they are in Chinese script, and also appreciating the
immense energy of millions of people getting to and from work by bus,
bicycle, taxi and on foot. I was impressed with the fresh farm produce
which appeared everywhere, even in the middle of the biggest cities.
Building work in Beijing seemed to continue through the night. The city
will be thoroughly ready for the Olympics in 2008.
Little did I know how vast Jiu Zhai Gou would be –
unimaginable thousands of metres in
height, covered with trees and rivers
running wild in between. I am not a mountain climber but I feel
as if I have climbed thousands of stairs. I was too tired to look
sometimes but I had to open my eyes to make sure I didn’t miss this
beautiful panorama. For days and miles, our driver diligently took us
through this dream world – breathtaking waterfalls over the mountain
rocky walls. Surrounded by all this, I
was overwhelmed at times.
Du Jiang Yan
Wier - ancient irrigation system, Sichuan Province
I was very impressed by the
Du Jiang Yan irrigation
system which lies on the Minjiang River. It was built 2,200 years ago
under Li Bin, the governor of the Shu Prefecture
“How clever is that!” The man power needed would have been enormous,
which China has in abundance.
In one of the mountain towns, we had a mushroom feast for
lunch. I have never seen so many shapes, sizes and colours of
mushrooms. They were fresh and yummy. I nearly overate.
My favourite city is Beijing because it has kept its old
city charm. There are lots of bikes. It seems chaotic but it works.
Chinese sure like their lights in the city – like flower shapes
spiralling on a pole (there are 12 rows in some of them and lots of
light bulbs). Streets so wide and long that
you can’t see the end. What do you call them – avenues, roads or
I have really enjoyed my China trip! Thank you Fontane
and Brett for organising it.
On our second day in
we flew from Guangzhou to Chengdu. After a banquet lunch, we went to
visit the Panda
Pandas at the eco-park in
Eco-park which is only about 10km from the city centre.
Even though the distance was short, it took nearly an hour to get to the
park. Our tour started with the panda museum which showed the genealogy
of all the pandas in the park. Various aspects of the scientific
research into the breeding of the giant pandas were displayed. The
eco-park has been set up with international cooperation to try and help
preserve the giant pandas which are a threatened species. A short film
about the captive breeding program outlined the difficulties involved in
ensuring the survival of the tiny, rat size day old pandas to maturity.
The new born pandas are pink, blind and almost hairless and can easily
be squashed by their huge mothers. More spectacular than the film, many
giant pandas could be seen in open range enclosures. Pandas at
different stages of development from juveniles to mature adults could be
seen at play in their separate enclosures. Breeding pairs however did
not look so happy in their concrete floored houses. Apart from the
giant pandas the park was also home to a large group of red pandas, four
red capped cranes and many large colorful butterflies.
Incense at the
Taoist Green Ram (Qing Yang) Temple, Chengdu
The next day we visited the
Temple of the Green Ram. This temple was different to any of
those visited last year. The central octagonal temple had one of the
eight trigrams (ba gua) depicted per side. Each of the corner pillars
had eighty one dragons entwined around it. The temple is home to the
three treasures: golden incense, the Green Ram and the Emperor's symbol
of happiness. The golden incense is unique to this temple and must be
handled and lit in a special way so that your wish would be granted when
it was placed in an incense burner. The Green Ram is a composite of all
of the Chinese animals and to bring good fortune you rubbed the part of
the animal of your birth year.
After lunch we had a two and a half hour bus trip to
Jiang You. We found out that our bus driver had been an army driver and
learnt to drive a lorry on railway tracks. He had also driven supplies
on a regular basis to
over winding mountain roads. He was totally fearless and any challenge
by any other vehicle on the road was met with an immediate response.
The offending vehicle had to be overtaken irrespective of the situation
on the road. Arriving in an unfamiliar town, our driver stopped and
asked directions at the edge of the town and a lone motorcycle policeman
with red flashing light, escorted us through the centre of town to our
On the Way to
Jiu Zhai Gou
We were up early as we had a minimum of six hours
travelling to reach our next destination. It was drizzling lightly as
we set off through some very spectacular mountain scenery. The road
wound along a very large river, through a tunnel and followed another
river, always climbing upwards. Many hydro power stations were seen.
The river diverted to one side and through a turbine before continuing.
A new power station necessitated a detour of the road around the dam
site, a task the driver easily managed even though the detour looked
like a four wheel drive track. There were many places where the road
surface had been damaged by land slips as the bedding planes of the
country rock were tilted nearly vertical. As a consequence, we were not
able to travel as fast as expected and we stopped at a place for lunch
where the local mushrooms were a speciality. At Pingwu we saw our
first of many road side stalls where Tibetan handicrafts such as
weaving, beads and silverware could be purchased.
Road Side Stalls selling
After many more hours
of driving on winding roads and another long tunnel we arrived in Jiu
Zhai Gou county, a new town which is the administrative centre of the
region. The narrow road turned into a four lane highway for a few kilometres. Passing through the town, the road climbed for many hours
till we passed under an archway which announced that we had entered Jiu
Zhai Gou special region. The view from the top of the range was
spectacular and the road could be seen winding its way down below with
its many hairpin bends. The altitude of the mountain pass we had just
driven through was between 3,500 and 4,000 metres. After another two and
a half hours of winding downhill, following another river through
spectacularly steep limestone hills, we arrived at our destination, Jarpo. Jarpo is a complex of buildings based on an ancient Tibetan
village at an altitude of 3,200 meters. This was only the start of an
amazing adventure in the high country of Sichuan.
On leaving China after our 2003 trip, my main thought was
“how soon can I get back?” – a feat finally achieved in 2005
Red Panda at the eco-park
and my son
and I were not disappointed. The major difference this time was the
twelve days spent touring the spectacular sights in the mountainous
regions north of Chengdu in Sichuan Province – definitely a highlight.
Our first taste of Sichuan cuisine in Chengdu was a pleasant surprise –
quite spicy and yes, hot, and but for one later exception, most
enjoyable. Under the always-misty skies of the capital, we visited the
Taoist Green Ram Temple with its beautiful gardens and central
eight-sided pagoda, incredibly built without nails or pegs. It was
great to finally see giant pandas “in the flesh” at the eco-park and
watch Oliver and Jaden cuddling the red ones.
scenery at Jiu Zhai Gou and Huang Long was unique. The remarkable blue
green colour and clarity of the Jiu Zhai Gou lakes, the waterfalls,
Tibetan villages and surrounding mountains and the colours of the ponds
at Huang Long, were all worth the long hours in the bus and (in some
places), the hundreds of steps we climbed to reach them. The Du Jiang
Yan Weir was amazing. This vast irrigation system, conceived and built
in 250 BC by Li Bin, is still in use today and has played a major role
in making the Chengdu Plain one of the most fertile regions in China.
At Qing Cheng Shan, we climbed again to reach the Tian
Shi Temple and met Master Liu. He talked to us about Taoist religion
and philosophy and Zhang Dao
Ling, the founder of Taoism at Qing Cheng
Shan, who planted the now 1800-year-old Ginkgo tree, which continues to
thrive in the temple grounds. On our boat trip at Le Shan, being
confronted with the staggering size of the giant statue of Buddha made
one feel miniscule in comparison. I’m glad we didn’t have to climb the
rather scary looking zigzag staircase at its side!
Demonstration by students
of the Emei Martial Arts School,
Having worked our way by bus, foot and cable car to the
second highest peak of Mt Emei, we were prevented from experiencing the
views when the clouds closed in around us and the rain began falling.
We did see and feed the cheeky Buddha monkeys (named because of their
fat tummies) on the way up. At the base of the mountain we walked
through the halls and attractive gardens of Bao Guo Temple, containing a
3.5m tall porcelain Buddha and many rare trees and plants. Later that
night, pancakes with chocolate and bananas was our “western fix” and a
fun meal that was enjoyed by all of us at the Teddy Bear Café.
The demonstrations at the Emei Martial Arts School,
having been initially washed out by rain, were transferred to a local
undercover basketball court. The talented staff and students of the
School performed some amazing feats, after which our group performed the
Hun Yuan 24 and some martial arts forms.
and Shanghai are still forging ahead with many new buildings at a
frantic pace – Beijing in particular preparing for the 2008 Olympic
Games. The Forbidden City and the whole of the Temple of Heaven were
undergoing renovations and parts of both were shrouded in scaffolding
and green shade cloth preventing entry. Although the misty weather,
courtesy of recent typhoons, limited visibility at distance, we still
enjoyed revisiting many sights and seeing new ones. Peking Man relics,
Marco Polo Bridge, the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling and the Yu Garden are
each impressive in their own right and the shopping is always great
fun. I don’t know that my bargaining skills have improved any, however.
Very early morning Tai Chi on the roof top at Jui Zhai
Paradise Resort under the snow capped mountain, and also at Emei Shan
Hotel on a circular wooden-decked stage over a flat calm lake,
surrounded by misty mountains – magic!
On the Rooftop of our
at Jiu Zhai Go
The driving skills of “Master” Chen, our bus driver in
Brett & Brett – both look good on a yak.
The Chinese peoples’ fascination with 7-year-old
Oliver’s fair colouring and his stoic endurance of much patting,
stroking and shaking hands.
John’s enviable ability to eat anything and everything
with enthusiasm and no after effects.
Walking through the back streets of towns and gaining a
glimpse of local life.
Ingrid’s bargaining skills!
Tai Chi sessions with Grandmaster Feng and Ms Feng in
the Temple of Earth and Temple of Heaven parks.
Our Peking Duck dinner combined with Andrew’s birthday
party – much local ‘firewater’ consumed (and much
Lunch at the Old Beijing Noodle House – 12 inch long
ribs and noodles with a mind of their own. More firewater and
Andrew’s and Jaden’s faces after “tossing-back” some – hilarious!!
John running back down the Great Wall at Ba Da Ling to
break his own record from 2004. We thought something nasty had
happened to Ingrid!
extremely crowded shopping area outside Yu Garden on National Day
Weekend. Thank goodness Andrew is tall!
Many thanks to Fontane and Brett for another magnificent
trip and to the rest of the group whose company we enjoyed.
Jiu Zhai Gou
Since I arrived back from the China trip, people have constantly asked
me "how was it?" I still haven't been able to find a suitable answer
without talking for more than an hour, and even then I feel I haven't
done justice to the experience. When I first heard about this trip, it
was something that immediately interested me because I've always wanted
to go to China. It was a bonus to know that it was with the Tai Chi
Academy and that we would be able to visit many places and meet many
people that we wouldn't have been able to otherwise.
The first half of the trip was spent travelling in the western Sichuan
Province of China right up to the Tibetan plateau. We went to some
amazing places like the Nine Tibetan Villages (Jiu Zhai Gou) where we
stayed in what everyone liked to call a "New Old" traditionally built
Tibetan village hotel. It was so amazing. I can't begin to describe it
in words without some photos to show people. Even then, it doesn't
capture the snow peaked mountains that we were at the base of, or the
clear crisp air we breathed, the so friendly Tibetan people we met.
It's really something you have to see and experience yourself. While we
spent a lot of time on the bus in the first part of the trip travelling
from one place to the other, every part of the bus trip was just as
amazing as the places we visited. The scenery was unbelievable, and the
driver had the best driving kung fu I've ever seen!
Some of the mountains we visited were so big that the mountains we have
here in Australia really don't compare. And the temples built at the
summits of these mountains were so intricate you have to wonder how they
got the materials all the way up there. The people are amazing, so
happy and content with life whereever we went. I was so awe struck by
the people, the culture and the land. There were so many points on the
trip where I was so overwhelmed with emotions that it was hard to talk
as there was a large lump in my throat.
Jiu Zhai Gou
second half of the trip was equally amazing, being able to see Beijing
and Shanghai. The number of things we got to see and places we visited
were so mind blowing that it was actually hard by the end of the trip to
process everything. I almost felt guilty at thinking "another amazingly
beautiful and ancient temple ..."
highlights of the trip were seeing panda bears and getting to hold and
hand feed a red panda, climbing for 2 hours to reach the summit of 5
amazing mountains, seeing Beijing and the amazing shopping there, the
Shanghai river cruise by night and definitely visiting the Nine Tibetan
One thing I definitely can say, China is a land of so many contrasts and
amazing mystery. Some of the places we went to were so mind bogglingly
beautiful that you could almost see into the past and understand how
China developed such a rich and ancient culture. Yet at the same time,
at these picturesque places there would be hundreds of Chinese tourists
on their mobile phones.
big thanks to Fontane for organising everything for everyone on the
trip. Thanks to Brett for teaching us Tai Chi along the way and sharing
his knowledge of China with everyone. Also a special thanks to Vincent
(our national tour guide), John (our Chengdu tour guide) and Master Chen
(our bus driver in Sichuan). I will definitely be going again in the
future! All I can definitely say about the trip: If you can, you
just have to go and see and experience the world of China.
(constructed entirely without nails)
at the Taoist Green Ram Temple, Chengdu
Turbulent racing rivers
Gnarled ancient trees
Peaceful mountain energy
Street sweepers with mobile phones
Circles of sumptuous food
Climbing - precision brickwork, gnome steps, goliath steps
City traffic - seemingly chaotic, workable system
Extensive tree planting
Cycles of history - conquer, control, rebel
Exploring the limits of limited language
Curiosity at foreign Tai Chi-ers
Tai Chi serenaded by opera singers and revolutionary choristers
Increasingly discerning eyes when watching Tai Chi
Paradoxes - ancient temples with digital photo opportunities
Gratitude for drinkable tap water
Insightful dialogue with masters
Joke punch lines lost in translation
Overwhelming holiday crowds
23 days without a major decision to make
Greater understanding of what and how to practise
at Jiu Zhai Gou
the Auditorium of the Show at Jiu Zhai Gou
Highlights of the 2003 Trip - Shanghai,
Wuhan, Mount Wudang and Beijing
Highlights of the 2004 Trip -
Shanghai, Mount Wudang, Xian, Hua Shan, Luoyang,
Shaolin Temple and Beijing
Highlights of the 2006 Trip
Shanghai, Mount Wudang, Xian, Louguan
Shan and Beijing
Highlights of the 2007 Trip
Beijing, Tibet, Chengdu and Shanghai
Highlights of the 2009 Trip
- Guilin, Xian, Hua Shan, Mount Wudang and Beijing