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FOREWORD : I first visited China and Hong Kong in 1986. I was then 17 and was on a two-week family holiday trip through the country where Dad was born...
HEAVEN ON EARTH : Both rain and drought follow the will of the people, Famine in unknown. Time has never seen a lean year ; Everyone knows it as Heaven on Earth...Sichuan : Origins of a Proud People ; Food Culture
CHENGDU : City of Brocades : where the governor’s palace used to be, the Communists replaced it with a giant statue of Chairman Mao. This was where we headed .. True enough, the statue was there, but what really drew our attention were the huge commercial billboards with neon lights behind - Samsung, Bossini, etc. Which is more influential in today’s China is anyone’s guess...The Capital ; Arrival ; Xindu / Wenshu Yuan
LESHAN & EMEI : I saw the squashed body lying in the middle of the road. Looks like a poor peasant with lots of vegetables on his bicycle... The sight of death created a strange silence on our car, one that will only be overcome when we reached holy Leshan and Emei Shan, and offered our prayers... Leshan ; Emei : The Legend ; First Impressions ; The Ascent & Jinding ; Meishan
CHENGDU II : Heroes, poets, kings & governors : Romance of Three Kingdoms. This work is one full of tales of chivalry, courage, romance, loyalty, betrayals, etc, and heroes like Liu Bei (founder of the Kingdom of Shu Han) and his military strategist, Zhuge Liang, as well as the former’s sworn brother Zhang Fei, all loom large in Chinese history and collective consciousness. Wuhou Ci ; Du Fu ; Dujiangyan ; Wang Jian & "xiangs"
DAZU : Magnificent grotto art & country scene : the narrow, dusty and muddy tracks turned our car into a slow, dirty little creature. Xiao Zhu could hardly smile - the prospects of washing his embattled car was daunting. And we had to share the road with bull carts, farm vehicles, goats, pigs and all...The Setting ; Grotto art
CHONGQING : Dragon at the tail of Changjiang : In fact, the SACO was once named the US - Chiang Kai Shek Criminal Acts Exhibition Hall, but has now resumed the more refined name of, ironically, its more notorious days - the Sino-American Co-operation Organization (SACO) - which my hosts joked, must be the first Sino-American joint venture ! The Setting ; The Arrival ; Red Crag Village ; Gele Hill
The tales and opinions expressed on this site are the author’s and by their very nature, personal. You may not agree with them and you are welcomed to voice them by emailing to the author. However, if the intention is to pick a fight, such efforts should be directed to soc.culture newsgroups. The author will not entertain anyone who furl insults and vulgarities.
During the trip, the author was essentially on a business assignment, although extensive sightseeing opportunities was available. Thus, he had not been travelling “on the cheap”, and therefore would not be able to provide useful information for backpackers. Before embarking on the trip, the author had relied extensively on 2 excellent books to find out more about this exciting region : May Holdsworth’s Odyssey Illustrated Guide to Sichuan (published by The Guidebook Company Ltd, Hong Kong, 1993), and Lonely Planet Travel Survival Guide’s China, 1994.
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Snippets, Personal Observations and Viewpoints