A Travellerspoint blog

March 2014

So many ceramics

I woke up in the morning to miss all the crowds at the ancient kilns. I wasn't disappointed. This is the place where they made all the old ceramics for the emperors hundreds of years ago. Amazing. China has so much history, I can't even handle it sometimes. The sites were all dressed up and very renovated, but I guess that's OK.

I texted Laan Liu from Couchsurfing to meet up with her after lunch. The taxi driver couldn't understand where I wanted to go, so I ended up just walking there. In the middle of a terrible torrential downpour. Finally I we found each other and visited all of the places to buy ceramics in town. I bought some, but they shall remain a secret until Christmas, I guess.

Eventually, we ended up near Laan Liu's house and I couldn't sleepover in her dorm, but she showed me a cheap hotel nearby and I stayed there. Ready and so tired to go home tomorrow!

The classy bus to Jingdezhen

The classy bus to Jingdezhen


Guy making bowls

Guy making bowls


Making bowls

Making bowls


Painting vases

Painting vases


Town kiln

Town kiln


Guinness Book of World Records

Guinness Book of World Records


Biggest kiln

Biggest kiln


Another kiln

Another kiln


Woodpiles

Woodpiles


Dragon kiln

Dragon kiln


General area

General area


Gourd kiln

Gourd kiln


Some history

Some history


Ceramics market

Ceramics market


Ceramics market

Ceramics market


Ceramics everywhere

Ceramics everywhere


Me vs. street food

Me vs. street food


Me and Laan Liu

Me and Laan Liu


Me and Laan Liu

Me and Laan Liu


Shopping street

Shopping street


Me vs. Jingdezhen noodles

Me vs. Jingdezhen noodles

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Three ancient villages

We woke up early in the morning in order to drive out to the ancient villages of Anyi county. By doing this, we missed the crowds and also, I caught my train home right on time.

This is an area of the province where they grow rapeseed plants, same as in Saskatchewan. Leona was surprised that I had seen them before. Lots of people would stop on the side of the road and take pictures in the fields.

Leona paid for my ticket again and we wandered around all morning through dilapidated buildings and on hand cut sidewalks. There's not a lot to say about the ancient village, it was the same as most of the villages I have seen, but perhaps there was a more "authentic" feeling there. Probably because people still live there in the old style and there were a lot of chickens running around. I realized THIS is how bird flu spreads. I made a mental note to wash my hands well with soap before I ate lunch.

We wandered around the three villages and checked off all five sites that were included in my ticket, which included a small museum of farming implements, a couple mansions and a dismantled watch tower.

We drove back and made it just in time for me to catch a sleeper train home. Six hours later, it was raining in Changsha.

Gate to the villages

Gate to the villages


Reservoir for washing clothes

Reservoir for washing clothes


Reservoir for washing clothes

Reservoir for washing clothes


Old village

Old village


Old village

Old village


Old village

Old village


Some kids

Some kids


Chickens and a water tower

Chickens and a water tower


On top of the reservoir

On top of the reservoir


On top of the reservoir

On top of the reservoir


Inside of a mansion

Inside of a mansion


1,000 year old camphor tree

1,000 year old camphor tree


Ladies selling eggs

Ladies selling eggs


Old village

Old village


Another mansion

Another mansion


Barns

Barns


Barnyard

Barnyard


Barn

Barn


Old dragon costume

Old dragon costume


"Visit and Go Ahead"

"Visit and Go Ahead"


Rapeseed field

Rapeseed field


Rapeseed field

Rapeseed field


Leona and me

Leona and me


Interesting window?

Interesting window?


Me on sleeper train

Me on sleeper train

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Tall buildings and soup

I got to Nanchang at around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night. I got to take the fast train this time! It only took three hours. I didn't think Leona would pick me up so late at night, but she did and even brought me a red bean pie from KFC when she met me at the station.

Her house is way out in the suburbs and her husband actually drove us all the way there.

In the morning we went downtown and saw People's Square with her husband. He had to go play soccer, so while he was out, we visited two old towers. We could only go up one of them and had some ancient style wild goose soup with noodles and steam buns. The first tower was closed and the signs were translated in the worst way possible, I could not make sense of them.

A strange Chinese man started following us around at the second tower, because he wanted to learn English from me. He was chewing gum that smelled like watermelons. We saw some Chinese dances and went down to stroll around the gardens.

For dinner, Leona's mother in law made some marinated pork, dumplings, lotus root and some sort of leafy vegetable. Delicious.

Then we went out to see the giant musical fountain. The biggest one I ever saw. When we got back I was so tired and went right to bed. I took a video but it didn't work.

Here's a link to it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRixGXU5Qr8

The D series train (not the fastest)

The D series train (not the fastest)


Me on train

Me on train


Multilevel parking lot

Multilevel parking lot


People's square

People's square


Me and Leona

Me and Leona


Monument to the Martyrs

Monument to the Martyrs


Youlin Temple

Youlin Temple


Youlin Temple

Youlin Temple


Wild goose soup

Wild goose soup


I forget the name of this place

I forget the name of this place


Forget

Forget


Forget

Forget


Tengweng Tower

Tengweng Tower


Me and Leona on top

Me and Leona on top


Butterflies

Butterflies


Old books

Old books


Tengweng Tower

Tengweng Tower


Tengweng Tower

Tengweng Tower


Some kind of Chinese totem pole

Some kind of Chinese totem pole


Tengweng Tower

Tengweng Tower


Tengweng Tower

Tengweng Tower


The year of the Horse lights

The year of the Horse lights

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)

Totally whacked out weekend

This weekend was ruined for three reasons 1. I had the old version of Lonely Planet and the whole city is different now. Seriously. 2. I paid a driver before he took me anywhere. 3. There were no trains going to Changsha anytime after 2 p.m. Friday night, I took the train to Yichang and got into town at around 1 a.m. Based on my map, I thought I had arrived right in the middle of the city. Little did I know that they recently built an entire brand new transportation complex with high/low speed train and long distance bus service in the extreme east end of town, where there is nothing around.

Basically I walked straight and then found a little old lady on the sidewalk who sold me a nice enough room for 50 yuan. She would not let me sleep, even though it was 2 a.m. She kept bringing people who spoke like two words of English, asked me how old I was and then didn't understand when I said "32". Ugh. Please! Sleep! Byebye! I shut the door and locked it.

In the morning, I guess she heard me moving around and she came to my room as soon as I woke up. I think she wanted me to take a taxi, but I wasn't really sure where I was going yet. I simply waved and walked away. I wandered around totally lost, not knowing I had an out of date map. The old train station was right downtown, and I couldn't figure out why I wasn't seeing any of the streets. Then, I figured I'd just walk to the river and find out what was going on when I got there. I got to the river and saw what looked like abandoned ferry terminals and other industrial type buildings. I knew I was totally wrong. I took the first bus and asked if they were going to Yunji Street, the street with CITS on it, the big travel agency in China. The alternative way of getting to the dam seemed complicated so I was going to just get on a tour.

On the way there, I happened to see the bus that I needed to get there on my own! I quickly jumped off my bus and got on that one. It took me to the edge of town, where I needed to wander through a dilapidated parking lot looking for "bus number 8". After asking about five people, I eventually found it.

An hour or so later, I was at the dam!

In the book it says to hire a driver to take you to the top. I did, and he promptly ripped me off. Ugh. Then, another woman accosted me and started grabbing at me to give her some money just to climb some stairs. There was no sign and no ticket so I just ripped my hand from out of her grip and ran away.

I got to the top and there was a big mountain in the way of the view of the back of the dam. Disappointed, I went down and then back up another mountain where finally I could see something.

It seemed like I got off at the wrong stop for the best views, but at this point, I was thoroughly over this trip. I just hopped on the bus and went back to town.

I found what I thought was the central train station, climbed up a gazillion stairs, then found it was closed. Irritated some more, I went to the bus station, where they didn't have any buses leaving for Changsha tonight. Ugh. I went to the train station, they had a train leaving at 3 a.m. It was 4 p.m. MORE UGH. So, I went back down to the river, got me some fresh Hunan style fish and noodles, red bean donuts and cracked a beer, watching some kids set off lanterns that floated into the night sky.

Since I had, I dunno six hours until the train left, I slowly but surely walked all the way back down the river. There is a really nice park there, but unfortunately they turned all the lights off at about 10 p.m. I just kept walking and made it back to the train station at 1 a.m. Two hours earlier than I needed to leave! I froze for an hour in the waiting area, then passed in and out of sleep all the way home.

Lantern

Lantern


Found the 8 bus!

Found the 8 bus!


Back part

Back part


This is the first mountain

This is the first mountain


Back part

Back part


Me vs. dam

Me vs. dam


Resevoir

Resevoir


Back part again

Back part again


Huge dam!

Huge dam!


Me vs. dam

Me vs. dam


Three Gorges Dam

Three Gorges Dam


Maybe you can see it through the smog

Maybe you can see it through the smog


Stairs to old railway station

Stairs to old railway station


Fish and noodles

Fish and noodles

Posted by baixing 17:00 Archived in China Comments (0)