05 February 2018

China revisited - Part 4

Day 9

We leave our hotel early and catch an early flight here . 
Chongqing City

We've never heard of this place but by god its huge. 

The urban area of Chongqing is known as Central Chongqing spanning approximately 5,473 square kilometres (2,113 square miles), it includes the following nine districts.

As one of the most polluted cities in China, Chongqing, with over 100 days of fog per year, is also known as the "Fog City", and a thick layer of fog shrouds it for 68 days per year during the spring and autumn. "There is an old saying in China, probably two thousand years old, that 'a Szechuen dog barks at a sun,' because the sun so seldom appears .

The municipality has a population of 32.8 million !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We won't spend much time in this city...

But first we visit here .

Ciqikou is an ancient town in the Shapingba District of Chongqing MunicipalityPeople's Republic of China. It was originally called Longyinzhen and was also known as Little Chongqing.

Most of the cars in China are of the LWB variant .

Time to walk up .

Wet stones .

We spend some time here .

A quite colourful old town .

Not too bad .

Many shops and restaurants .

Interesting tattoos .

A short walk ,

Then its back to the car .

After tea that is  :-)

A short drive later we board a coach .

And drive into the Chinese countryside .

Foggy .

This is the start of the 3rd highlight of the trip .

That .

We are going to sail down the Yangtze river over 3 days .

Awesome huh .

A long walk down .

Our boat .

Not too bad .

Time for food first .

Then  we look around .

A temple on the other bank .

A big head .

Time to check out our cabin .

Not too bad .

And your own private balcony .

We spend the night here .

And watch the light show .

After dinner we explore the ship .

The main lobby .

Shops and boutiques .

And a theater .

The main lounge .

And of course the Mahjong room .

Private dining.....

...or more open dining .

And a bar on the top deck. 

At the viewing deck at the very top .

Nice and cool .

All those buildings had a synchronized light show .

Like so . Lucky we're not epileptic  :-)

And a hot tub .
A nice start to the cruise .

Day 10 

Our early morning view. 

We have still not sailed as we are going to tour the opposite bank .

After breakfast and a short hop we reach the other side .

Now we walk .

A large city yonder .

We are going up there .

A long walk up the the bus stop .

Hazy .

All uphill .

The bus just takes us to the base of the hill .

Then we walk again . Joy .

All uphill .

Fengdu Ghost City  is a large complex of shrines, temples and monasteries dedicated to the afterlife located on the Ming mountain . in Fengdu CountyChongqing municipality, China. It is situated about 170 kilometres (110 mi) downstream from Chongqing on the north bank of the Yangtze River

Even the kids walk up .

The city consists of buildings, structures, dioramas, and statues related to Diyu and Naraka, concepts from Chinese mythology and Buddhism that signify the underworld or hell. It is modeled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu.

The site's history goes back nearly two thousand years, at least in legends . It focuses on the afterlife and combines the beliefs of ConfucianismTaoism, and Buddhism

Still a long way up .

See  :-(

We need to be in front to get good pics . This is China ,people everywhere .

One of the main temples .

This bridge has a story .

According to Chinese beliefs, the dead must pass three tests before passing to the next life. First they must pass the 'Bridge of Helplessness'. This stone bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty and is a test for Good and Evil. It has three arches and only the middle one is used for testing people. There are different protocols for crossing the bridge depending on sex, age, marital status. At the bridge demons allow or forbid passage. The good are allowed to pass while the evil will be pushed to the water below .

So that means i wont cross  :-)

Then the dead must proceed to Ghost-Torturing Pass where they present themselves for judgment before Yama, King of Hell. This is the second test. In this area there are large sculptures of demons .

This girl decided to adopt us  .Our constant companion for the whole cruise .

Inside the temple .

So colourful .

Warriors ...

And other deities .

A nice place to relax .

She passed .

Bunny  :-)

And still we go up .

Through the moon gate .

To another temple .

Nice tiles .

Bunnies Chinese adventure :-P

More shrines .

And friendly faces .

Still up .

Dragons .

Yet another temple .

You don't need to exercise on holiday .

Very nice .

The view from up here .

See the big head .?

Our ship down there .

The 2nd one .

The giant face seen in the hill is called “The Ghost King,” and it holds a Guinness World Records title as the biggest sculpture carved on a rock. At 138 meters tall and about 217 meters wide, “The Ghost King” can be seen from all around the city.

Upwards again .

The final shrine .

Home  :-)

Like walking through your own front door .  ;-P

Easily 2 km so far. All uphill .

The final landing .

The peaceful olde days  .

The Last Glance to Home Tower (also called Home Viewing Pavilion) which was built in 1985 and is placed where according to legend the dead could have one last look towards their home and families .

Now she can say i dragged her to hell   :-)

The final shrine .

Yup hell .

And the friendly welcoming comitee .

Like a family dinner huh .

Yama -God of hell. 
Funnily enough Yama is from Indian texts .

More statues .

No more walking up.

Nice grounds .

Time for pics .

A place to relax .

And enjoy the child friendly decor .

Good for kids of all ages .

After the fun time to  exit...

We head back down .

A slow walk...

Past some local balcony decorations ...

And plonk ourselves on our balcony .

As we set sail down the Yangtze .

After lunch we chill on the upper deck and take in the sights .

So cool .

Really nice views .

In the afternoon we stop at another attraction .

Look at how far you have to walk .

To that .
We were too tired and lazy to trek so we put the zoom lens to good use . 
From the AC comfort of our suite .

Shibaozhai  literally: "Precious Stone Fortress") is a hill along the bank of the Yangtze River (Chang Jiang) in Zhong CountyChongqingChina. This rocky and craggy hill has extremely steep sides and is about 200 meters (660 feet) tall

On the river side of the hill is a red pavilion which leans against the side of the hill providing a walkway to the temple at the top of the hill. One of the largest wooden temple, red pavilion built at the side of rock and has nine floors. A yellow entrance at the base of the pavilion provides an entrance

At the top of Shibaozhai is a three-storied hall dedicated to Manjusri built during the reign of the Xianfeng Emperor (1850–1861), called the Purple Rain Pavilion. 

In the year 1819, the nine-story pavilion was constructed adjacent to the cliff to aid people in getting to the top of the hill. Prior to the construction of the pavilion, visitors to the temple were hoisted to the top using a system of chains. In 1956, three more stories were added at the top of the structure. On the top of the pagoda is a Buddhist temple.

There is absolutely nothing like enjoying the night on a cruise.  Magical .

We're on the Yangtze . One of the great rivers in the world .

Later in the night ....

We are treated to a show .

Not too bad actually .

Day 10

Our cruise continues .

All these pics are from my balcony .

We are headed that way .

A nice pagoda on the hill .

After the whole trip this part of it was so relaxing .

Many abandoned houses due to the 3 gorges dam project .

Nice huh .

Scenic .

This part was interesting .

Huge Chinese writings and...

Some one had built a walkway on the cliff .

After lunch we head to the top deck .

Really nice views .

Like so .

That part of the river is too narrow for this ship...

So we hop onto a smaller vessel .

Huge cities all along the river .

This is the smaller boat .

Many guides provided .

The views as we set sail .

Majestic .

A smaller branch of the river .

Windy and narrowish .

A different view .

Imagine their daily views .

The views are still nice .

From here .

We go through a narrower channel .

Where we pass this high up on a cliff. 
That's a grave . 

Nice views still .

A really long walkway follows us .

Bridge and all .

Here we dock and an even smaller boat awaits .

Madam and i decided to just chill here .

So time for photos  ;-)

This place is called Shennong stream .

Shennong Stream  is a left tributary of the Yangtze River, located in the Hubei Province of central China. Fed by tributaries some of which come from the Shennongjia Forestry District, the stream flows south, falling into the Yangtze opposite the city of Badong.

Originally the Shennong Stream watercourse consisted of a wild river traversing a tortuous alignment flanked by almost vertical limestonecliffs; however, since the beginning of the construction of the Three Gorges Dam downstream on the Yangtze, the water level has risen approximately 155 metres at the mouth of Shennong Stream .

This is a really nice shot .

We head back and soon are on our ship .

Another night spent cruising down this magical river  . 

Day 11

Early the next morning we stop again .

Tranquil .

A nice entryway .

The only other non Chinese family on board .

We hop on a bus...

And head here...

The Three Gorges Dam is a hydroelectric gravity dam that spans the Yangtze River by the town of Sandouping, located in Yiling DistrictYichangHubei province, China. The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest power station in terms of installed capacity

One of the locks .

Up there is the viewing point. 
And they have escalators  yay .

Once we reach up the weather is better .

Still misty though .

Its a huge undertaking .

The opposite bank .Hazy .

This bank is brighter because of her smile.       :-)

China is beautiful .

The ship locks .

We head down slowly .

To the dam proper .

This is what it looks like in better weather .

Still nice .

A short drive and...

We are back on our ship .

This right here was one of my most relaxing parts of any holiday .

Sailing down the Yangtze . Superb .

Its magical by day...

And by night .

Cool huh .

Nice flame of the forest .

Sadly our cruise ends.   Its has been truly great .

We head in to Yichang city . 

Gloomy .

Some places we have a car, and some a MPV .

Time to tour .

These are exhibits...

From villages that were flooded by the dam.

Actual real artefact's .

All in a 3 gorges museum .

Some whole houses .

Social people .

And treasures .

Soon the weather is better .

We stop by the Yangtze river in Yichang .
Tianran tower .

Nice huh .

Misty mountains .

And this . An old pagoda. 

In the evening we fly to Shanghai .

Someone put umbrellas in checked luggage ??????

Day 12

Today we tour Shanghai .

Bright and sunny .

Its a big city .

This is Shanghai old street .

Shanghai Old Street, historically called Miaoqian Dajie, is an old business street that has a combination of tourist attractions, shops, entertainment and cultural exhibits.

The architecture and the layout of shops in Shanghai Old Street show its development that began during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) until the period when European influence made an impact on the city. 

So basically this is a shopping area .

And next to this is .

Yu Garden or Yuyuan Garden is an extensive Chinese garden located beside the City God Temple in the northeast of the Old City of ShanghaiChina

Its really nice .


It was finished in 1577 by a government officer of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) named Pan Yunduan. Yu in Chinese means pleasing and satisfying, and this garden was specially built for Pan's parents as a place for them to enjoy a tranquil and happy time in their old age.

Beautiful .

In the 400 years of existence, Yuyuan Garden had undergone many changes. During the late Ming Dynasty, it became very dilapidated with the decline of Pan's family. In 1760, some rich merchants bought it and spent more than 20 years reconstructing the buildings

That was just the outside...

Now we enter the garden proper .

Nicely decorated .

Yuyuan Garden occupies an area of 20,000 square meters (about five acres)

There are six main scenic areas here: Sansui Hall, Wanhua Chamber, Dianchun Hall, Huijing Hall, Yuhua Hall and the Inner Garden. Each area features several scenic spots within its borders.

Nicely done .

A uniquely shaped entrance .


and gardens .

The true treasure of Yuyuan is the Exquisite Jade Rock. Located across from Yuhua Hall, it is one of the three famous rocks in the southern region of the Yangtze River.

A really well designed place .

You can just sit and take it all in .

We keep walking .

The dragons run all along the walls .

Decorated everywhere .

Even the roofs .

The wooden throne ??  

Almost at the end .

Models ??

A last look...

And its time to leave .

Through the moon door .

Back on the streets...

From the old to the new .

Outside the building . What a waste .

We go up....and up .

And then up some more .

Then another lift .

For this.....

The whole Shanghai skyline .

A really nice view .

Its really high here .

We're on the Shanghai World Financial Center 

Glass floor...

And death grip   ha ha ha

From there we head here .

The Jade Buddha Temple  is a Buddhist temple in ShanghaiChina. As with many modern Chinese Buddhist temples, the current temple draws from both the Pure Land and Chan traditions of Mahayana Buddhism. It was founded in 1882 with two jade Buddha statues imported to Shanghai from Burma by sea

 The temple was destroyed during the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty. Fortunately the statues were saved and a new temple was built on the present site in 1928. It was named the Jade Buddha Temple.

Side shrines .

Many deities .

And many temple buildings .

The Chamber of Four Heavenly Kings contains the statues of MaitreyaSkanda and the Four Heavenly Kings, who represent favorable circumstance. The chamber is located on the southern-edge, or 'front' of the temple.

Nicely done .

 A large golden statue of Guanyin stands on at northern entrance to the Great Hall, with Sudhana at Guanyin's side and sculptures representing the 53 teachers of his life above.

We walk and take in the sights .

The copy .
Recumbent Buddha which is four meters long and was brought from Singapore by the tenth abbot of the temple in 1989

The original Jade budha
The Recumbent Buddha is 96 centimeters long, lying on the right side with the right hand supporting the head and the left hand placing on the left leg, this shape is called the 'lucky repose'. The sedate face shows the peaceful mood of Sakyamuni when he left this world.

Time to leave .

Its been fun .

The same car we have but a LWB version . Only for China .

For the end of the tour we head here .

The Bund or Waitan  is a waterfront area in central Shanghai

The word bund means an embankment or an embanked quay. The word comes from the Persian word band, through Hindustani, meaning an embankment, levee or dam 

We walk and take in the sights.

As our Chinese adventure .....

...comes to an end .

Tomorrow we fly home.

China is an amazing country .
Its huge , has amazing sights and scenery. 
The infrastructure is really good .
The people are nice and as the country opens up things will only get better. 
 Truly a great experience. 

Au revoir China .