Pictures from a distant land

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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 11:39 am

I'm going to pic spam this thread for a bit, so everyone please bear with me.

Those of you in the know are probably aware that I've dropped off the edge of the internet world these past few weeks because I've been traveling. China to be exact-- Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou and Zhangjiajie, to be precise.

I've promised pictures, so here they are.

First off, we have Chengdu and their Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, where I managed to get a shot of this group of pandas being fed (otherwise, they'd never cluster together like this)

Pictures from a distant land Chengdupandas

Then, for the history buffs here who are familiar with the Romance of Three Kingdoms, there's a Wu Hou Shrine in Chengdu with life-sized statues of various war heroes (who are actually still worshiped by people in this day and age):

Liu Bei
Pictures from a distant land Chengduwuhoushrineliube

Guan Yu
Pictures from a distant land Chengduwuhoushrineguany

Zhang Fei
Pictures from a distant land Chengduwuhoushrinezhang

Zhuge Liang
Pictures from a distant land Chengduwuhoushrinezhuge
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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 11:43 am

My next destination was a place called Jiuzhaigou, literally translated as Nine-Village Valley. It's well-known for its lakes and waterfalls.

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigou

Five-Colour Pool

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufivecolourpoo

Five Flower Lake

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufiveflowerlak

Nuorilang Waterfall

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigounuorilangwate
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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 11:48 am

Last destination was Zhangjiajie, well known for its mountains and cliffs. Apparently the movie Avatar's designs of Pandora (where you get these floating pieces of rock with trees growing on them) were inspired by the natural scenery in this place.

Pictures from a distant land Zhangjiajiehuangshivill

Pictures from a distant land Yuanjiajie1
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Post  Shinra17 on 6/25/2012, 11:55 am

Wild landscapes are my favorite thing about travels wub wub wub

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Pictures from a distant land Empty Yellow Dragon Cave in Zhangjiajie

Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 11:57 am

There's a cave at Zhangjiajie called the Yellow Dragon Cave.

Pretty poor picture quality because of poor lighting, but you get a rough glimpse of what it's like in there...

The first picture is the highest stalagmite in this cave, 19.2m tall; called the 'Sea-suppressing Needle'.

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave1

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave2

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave3

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave4

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave5
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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 11:57 am

Shinra17 wrote:Wild landscapes are my favorite thing about travels wub wub wub

Thanks for creating this thread and moving the posts for me, Shinra fanny2
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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 12:03 pm

Now for the less impressive pictures, which are basically of man-made structures such as street stalls in old towns.

The Chinese can eat anything (except, maybe human flesh). Scorpions and bugs included.
Pictures from a distant land Scorpionsm

Here's a stall selling various small toys. See how many of them you can identify!
Pictures from a distant land Smalltoys

And here's proof that the Chinese don't just drink tea...
Pictures from a distant land Starbucksk

Some sugar art for those of you who haven't seen it before...
Pictures from a distant land Sugarart
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Post  Delight on 6/25/2012, 12:06 pm

That's all the photos I've managed to upload for now.

Here's a photo of the back of the embarkation/disembarkation card for the immigration in China, which I find quite amusing.

Pictures from a distant land Dsc07155f
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Post  BlueJazz on 6/25/2012, 1:08 pm

Thanks for the beautiful pics, Delight bisou Especially after the last spoiler that makes me feel like shit. dryy The pandas are sooooo cute that I just wanna hug them wub wub wub Did you get to touch them?

And the lake, waterfall and mountains looks so magnificent and beautiful, sigh wub I wish I could visit there some day. I've never visited China even though my ancestors were from there :(

PS: Did you eat some "special dishes" there? tonguue Like the bear's palm, Monkey's brain or dog meat?

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Post  Jellyrolls on 6/25/2012, 1:13 pm

To steal a word from Finn, these pictures are Awesome, Delight. Thanks for posting them!

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Post  tanita_mors on 6/25/2012, 1:39 pm

Delight wrote:

Five-Colour Pool

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufivecolourpoo

Five Flower Lake

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufiveflowerlak



OK. When I die, I want my ashes or grave to be on that bank of one of those 2 lakes. That is like the most beautiful mass of water I have ever seen. aa54

Delight wrote:Now for the less impressive pictures, which are basically of man-made structures such as street stalls in old towns.

The Chinese can eat anything (except, maybe human flesh). Scorpions and bugs included.
Pictures from a distant land Scorpionsm
Maybe I should go to China to loss weight in stead of dieting, because there is literary nothing on that pic that would cross my lips. Ivana would officially starve in China.


Anyway, the pics are amazing. I hope you had a phenomenal time and are well rested.

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Post  Emile on 6/25/2012, 2:11 pm

Delight wrote:My next destination was a place called Jiuzhaigou, literally translated as Nine-Village Valley. It's well-known for its lakes and waterfalls.

Five-Colour Pool

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufivecolourpoo

Five Flower Lake

Pictures from a distant land Jiuzhaigoufiveflowerlak
Beautiful!! The color of the water is absolutely fantastic! Such a vivid turquoise.

Delight wrote:There's a cave at Zhangjiajie called the Yellow Dragon Cave.

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave1

Pictures from a distant land Yellowdragoncave2
Wow. wub

Delight wrote:Now for the less impressive pictures, which are basically of man-made structures such as street stalls in old towns.

Some sugar art for those of you who haven't seen it before...
Pictures from a distant land Sugarart
I don't think these are less impressive at all!
Especially this one about the sugar art, whoo. I never heard of it before, but...wow, it's interesting!

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Only from the photos the places you visited are beautiful! Hope you had a great time!

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Post  ColferGirl on 6/25/2012, 8:35 pm

Welcome back Delight! Smile We missed you. I'm glad you seem to have had a fantastic time on your trip, it looks so fun.

And WOW thank you so so much for sharing those pictures! They're all really wonderful and neat, and I love learning about and seeing a little piece of places I've never been. China is such a beautiful, gorgeous place. wub Those lakes especially are soooo breathtakingly pretty!! wub wub wub I'd really love to visit China myself, it seems so great.

The picture of the sugar art is so cool! Does it take them a long time to draw the designs or are they pretty swift? It looks like it'd be really hard and take a lot of concentration. Either way that's so amazing they can do that! And the pandas are just adorable and look so sweet and cuddly. wub

And, I'm with Ivana about starving in China if I had to eat only what was in that picture. I'm not a very adventurous eater at all. ooppss I'll go visit China's Starbucks and get a strawberries and creme frappuccino instead and live on that, yup....
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Post  fantastica on 6/25/2012, 9:18 pm

beautiful pics! are there a lot of people there now? i mean the tourists? I want to take my children to china next year and they've never been there. I hope it's not full of people like I remembered.

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Post  Delight on 6/26/2012, 4:08 am

BlueJazz wrote:Thanks for the beautiful pics, Delight bisou Especially after the last spoiler that makes me feel like shit. dryy The pandas are sooooo cute that I just wanna hug them wub wub wub Did you get to touch them?

The last spoiler made me feel terrible as well, but fortunately, I have my holiday to thank for being able to detach myself from all things Glee a bit better. Being cut off from the internet has its advantages...

And no, I didn't get to touch the pandas. There's no petting pen set up for visitors to do that. All we could do is look from afar.

BlueJazz wrote:
PS: Did you eat some "special dishes" there? tonguue Like the bear's palm, Monkey's brain or dog meat?

Nope, I'm not too adventurous when it comes to food. Most of my meals consisted of rice, vegies and omelette, with the occasional smoked yak meat, which basically tasted like some kind of beef jerky.

I know they sell dog meat in some of the restaurants; and I'm pretty sure I've been tricked into eating some back when I was a kid (Thank goodness I'm not a dog person, otherwise I would've been emotionally scarred for life). One thing I've noticed is that I haven't encountered any stray dogs in the places in China I've visited...

Emile wrote:
[font=Georgia]I don't think these are less impressive at all!
Especially this one about the sugar art, whoo. I never heard of it before, but...wow, it's interesting!

ColferGirl wrote:
The picture of the sugar art is so cool! Does it take them a long time to draw the designs or are they pretty swift? It looks like it'd be really hard and take a lot of concentration.

The drawing was done swiftly, and they had to be, because the melted sugar hardens pretty quickly. Here's a close up of one of these 'artistic' candies:

Pictures from a distant land Sugarart2

These things are actually edible and taste like sugar/caramel; but most people don't buy them for the taste.

ColferGirl wrote:
And, I'm with Ivana about starving in China if I had to eat only what was in that picture. I'm not a very adventurous eater at all. ooppss I'll go visit China's Starbucks and get a strawberries and creme frappuccino instead and live on that, yup....

Just be mindful that Starbucks coffee don't necessarily taste the same in every country Smile

fantastica wrote:beautiful pics! are there a lot of people there now? i mean the tourists? I want to take my children to china next year and they've never been there. I hope it's not full of people like I remembered.

Ooh... You won't be able to escape tourists when you're in China. Thing is, the population is so huge there that China even has local tourists. So, say, someone living in Chengdu may fly across to Beijing for a holiday and crowd the tourist spots there. I've actually visited Jiuzhaigou during its tourist off-peak season this time round, and still there are many people there. Come winter, when the tree leaves are of different shades of yellow, orange and red-- that's when the place gets really crowded.

Some things you need to get used to when you're in China:
- Not everyone closes the door when they use the toilet
- You can't flush toilet paper (apparently the plumbing isn't built for that or something), so the used paper gets thrown in a waste paper basket next to the toilet seat; which you can imagine, adds to the fragrance of the place.
- People spit, sometimes onto the floor on the airplane. Sometimes, these people sit next to you.
- Sometimes, the fruit vendor may sound as if they're yelling and screaming at you, but that's just the way they usually communicate with people. It's not personal, and it doesn't necessarily mean they're angry with you.
- When you buy things in the street stalls, you must bargain. Offer them 10 to 20% of the asking price for something and work things out from there.
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Post  BlueJazz on 6/26/2012, 5:39 am

Delight wrote:
One thing I've noticed is that I haven't encountered any stray dogs in the places in China I've visited...


I don't like stray dogs even some of them scare me but the thought of them being in someone's mouth is still...poor doggies crycry

And the sugar art is indeed impressive wub I've seen some different ones but this one seems quite ... complicated.

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Post  Delight on 6/26/2012, 6:01 am

BlueJazz wrote:
I don't like stray dogs even some of them scare me but the thought of them being in someone's mouth is still...poor doggies crycry

I believe there is a Chinese saying-- something to the effect of 'If it's an animal with a spine that is horizontal to the ground, then it's food in the eyes of the Chinese'.

Dog meat isn't the most distressing thing I've encountered. I've come across cat pelts being sold in the shops in China, on my previous trip there.
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Post  Emile on 6/26/2012, 1:37 pm

Delight wrote:The drawing was done swiftly, and they had to be, because the melted sugar hardens pretty quickly. Here's a close up of one of these 'artistic' candies:

Pictures from a distant land Sugarart2

These things are actually edible and taste like sugar/caramel; but most people don't buy them for the taste.
Ah! I would probably buy but not eat them too, but because these are beautiful!
Thanks for the photos. *-*


Delight wrote:- You can't flush toilet paper (apparently the plumbing isn't built for that or something), so the used paper gets thrown in a waste paper basket next to the toilet seat; which you can imagine, adds to the fragrance of the place.
Eww. Shocked
Delight wrote:- Not everyone closes the door when they use the toilet
HAHA!

This reminds me of a chinese restaurant I read about on some magazine, where the customers don't sit on a chair, but on a toilet.

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Post  Glorfindel on 6/26/2012, 7:21 pm

Thanks for the pictures and stories, @Delight. I've always wanted to visit China, but well..... kids got in the way (not that I mind that at all). Maybe later.

I absolutely love the 5-colour pool with its shades of blue and green. And the wild landscapes, especially those 'Avatar' mountains, are breathtaking.
Love the waterfalls too: they look like they are drawn and are not real.

Lucky you for having had such a beautiful holiday, and lucky for us that you posted those pictures. bisou

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Post  Ireth on 6/26/2012, 8:10 pm

Thanks for posting all these beautiful pictures from your trip! I'm livid vicariously through your holiday Razz

The "Avatar" scenery and five colors lake are especially beautiful, but everything is beautiful wub

I loved the exterior of Starbucks too Smile.

I'm definitely going to visit China someday...
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Post  paulopf on 7/2/2012, 1:10 am

Delight! The landscapes, the cave, the food, the pandas! And here I was thinking to brag about my Galápagos trip from earlier this year... Shocked

Anyway, I have a question that might seem stupid: could you swim at those waters? If so, did you? How was it like?

Why is that stalagmite called the "sea suppressing needle"? I'm an ignorant. Can you enlighten me and tell me if the name has something to do with reality? And what are those colors in the cave's roof? What causes them?

Do they eat roaches? I'm super phobic to them. Please, tell me they don't.

I was laughing my ass off at the word "alien" in the immigration card and at some of the kinda grossing-out facts you enumerated.

Anyway, I hope one day I can save enough to visit China. Someone close to me was there once, so who know, perhaps it's not such a far-fetched dream for me. Thank you for sharing your experiences!
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Post  Delight on 7/3/2012, 6:42 am

paulopf wrote:Delight! The landscapes, the cave, the food, the pandas! And here I was thinking to brag about my Galápagos trip from earlier this year... Shocked

You should share any photos and brag about that Galápagos trip all you want here. I've never been there and am curious to see what it's like neutre

paulopf wrote:
Anyway, I have a question that might seem stupid: could you swim at those waters? If so, did you? How was it like?

Um, I don't think swimming is allowed. Well, to be honest, I haven't seen any signs that specifically forbade the act (maybe I wasn't looking hard enough), but there were many tourists next to the lake/pool, so I'm quite sure the fear of making a spectacle of oneself in front of hundreds of strangers successfully prevented people from daring to jump in. Besides, even though it's summer time there, it's very cold and I don't think it'll be pleasant to swim in those waters.

paulopf wrote:
Why is that stalagmite called the "sea suppressing needle"? I'm an ignorant. Can you enlighten me and tell me if the name has something to do with reality?

The name is translated from the Chinese words 'Ting Hai Sheng Zhen' (or something like that anyway, I'm not that great with pronunciations ooppss ). I think it's just a fancy name, and had nothing to do with any real sea-suppressing effect it may have.

I got the name of the stalagmite off this plaque they set up before it:

Pictures from a distant land Tumblr_m6kvw5taKj1ra2zw3o1_500

paulopf wrote:And what are those colors in the cave's roof? What causes them?

The colours... I'm embarrassed to say that the colours are due to coloured spotlights. It's all artificial effects to make everything look more impressive than they already are Embarassed

paulopf wrote:Do they eat roaches? I'm super phobic to them. Please, tell me they don't.

Not sure I've seen cockroaches in the street stalls. Locusts, yes, but not cockroaches. But I wouldn't put it past them ooppss

paulopf wrote:
Anyway, I hope one day I can save enough to visit China. Someone close to me was there once, so who know, perhaps it's not such a far-fetched dream for me. Thank you for sharing your experiences!

What's the conversion rate from US dollars to RMB (Chinese currency)? I think it's ~$1 to 6 RMB. It's reasonably affordable. Our 10-day trip, which included 4 domestic flights (because of some last-minutes changes to the itinerary), was somewhere around 10,000 RMB per person, with roughly half of that being the price of those plane tickets. Of course, the cost of the flight into China isn't included in this estimate.
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Post  BlueJazz on 7/3/2012, 1:30 pm

Delight wrote:
paulopf wrote:
Why is that stalagmite called the "sea suppressing needle"? I'm an ignorant. Can you enlighten me and tell me if the name has something to do with reality?

The name is translated from the Chinese words 'Ting Hai Sheng Zhen' (or something like that anyway, I'm not that great with pronunciations ooppss ). I think it's just a fancy name, and had nothing to do with any real sea-suppressing effect it may have.

The name "sea suppressing needle" (Chinese pronunciation : Ding Hai Shen Zhen) came from "Journey to the West", one four greatest classical novels of Chinese literature. It was originally a rod to support the undersea palace of Dragon King of the East Sea but was then "borrowed" by monkey king, Sun Wu Kong to be used as his weapon. When he was not using it, it was usually shrunk down to the size of needle to keep it in his ear, that's where the term "needle" (Chinese pronunciation:Zhen) came from.

But of course the stalagmite has nothing to do with any sea-suppressing / sea-calming effect Razz They named it after the weapon in the novel probably due to the fact that it's tall, and I read from somewhere that it'll keep growing. Do you know it is insured for the value of one hundred million RMB? Shocked

@Delight: Did you see see another stalagmite named "Long Wang Bao Zuo (Dragon King’s Throne)"? I've read that it's the largest one in Yellow Dragon Cave.

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Post  fantastica on 7/3/2012, 2:32 pm

delight, I am thinking about taking my children to china next winter. I haven't been there for decades so I have no idea how much to budget for. so for $10,000 a person spent in china, how long did you stay? did you go there w/ a tour group or did you go there on your own (book your own hotels etc.)?

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Post  Delight on 7/4/2012, 11:18 am

Thanks for the history lesson behind the 'Ding Hai Shen Zhen', BlueJazz. I thought the term sounded familiar, but couldn't put my finger on where I've heard it before. neutre

BlueJazz wrote:Do you know it is insured for the value of one hundred million RMB? Shocked

Yes, the tour guide made sure to mention this during the tour inside the Yellow Dragon Cave. I suppose some insurance company is going to lose a lot of money if that stalagmite decides to collapse one day.

BlueJazz wrote:@Delight: Did you see see another stalagmite named "Long Wang Bao Zuo (Dragon King’s Throne)"? I've read that it's the largest one in Yellow Dragon Cave.

Eh... I'm not sure. I did take a picture of some stalagmites up high somewhere, and the plaque before it had words like 'Long Wu Ting', so I guess that's not the one you're referring to.

fantastica wrote:delight, I am thinking about taking my children to china next winter. I haven't been there for decades so I have no idea how much to budget for. so for $10,000 a person spent in china, how long did you stay? did you go there w/ a tour group or did you go there on your own (book your own hotels etc.)?

It was a ten-day trip, and the price includes meals, accommodation, entrance fares into various tourist spots and the cost of those 4 domestic flights I mentioned previously (Chengdu-->Jiuzhaigou-->Chengdu-->Zhangjiajie-->Chengdu). Basically, any additional cost to consider would be the cost of the international flights to get in and out of China; and spending money for souvenirs.

I joined a tour group. We organized this trip by having dealings directly with a tour company that operates in Beijing. If you're interested, I can send you the contact details of our tour guide. But know that he speaks mainly Mandarin, so if the rest of your family can't understand Mandarin, it might be best that you find another tour company that hires English-speaking guides. (One thing to note: our tour guide likes to, um, make lewd jokes ooppss ; the older people in my tour group appreciated his kind of humour though, so I can't complain).
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