Zhejiang Shaoxing City

Seminar, a good excuse

In April 2019 I participated in a seminar in Zhejiang Shaoxing City , see here.

Shaoxing is a city in eastern China’s Zhejiang province, straddling the Grand Canal and crossed by many waterways. The city’s rich cultural history is also marked by native writer Lu Xun’s former residence, now a museum.
Shaoxing is also known variously as the ‘City of Waters,’ ‘City of Bridges,’ ‘City of Calligraphy,’ ‘City of Tea,’ and ‘City of Scholars.’ It gives off an image of an elegant and peaceful locale with deep cultural connotations,
See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaoxing


We were spoiled by our two guides who took us around Zhejiang Shaoxing City on Monday 22 April.
First stop was Shen’s Garden, with a history of over 800 years. Known for the love story of Lu You and Tang Wan.
Later Lu Xun hometown, his birth place and home. Lu Xun is one of the most famous modern Chinese writers. Lu Xun’s works became known to English readers as early as 1926 with the publication in Shanghai of The True Story of Ah Q.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lu_Xun

After lunch in a local restaurant we walked around in the old town and had a boat trip.

In the evening we had dinner in Shaoxing CBD, SIJIFENGQING XUNWEI Restaurant. Very nice place, nice local dishes. The CBD area is pretty modern, stark contrast to the old city center.

The pictures are in that order of the visit, nearly all from me.

Beijing CBD and Sanlitun landmarks 2016

Contributor: Gilbert
Date 8 February (Chinese New Year Holiday) and 8 June 2016.

Locations: Gongti (Workers Stadium), Sanlitun (new) Yashow and Taikoo Li (“The Village”), East Third Ring Road, present CBD area, new CBD area (east of the 3rd Ring, under construction), Conrad Hotel, Jing Guang Centre, CCTV Tower and the doomed and still unopened hotel next door, Radegast Hotel on Guanghua Lu, the building with our “secret” KTVs on Third Ring Road East, People’s Daily Building (Renmin Ribao), Shash Restaurant (Uzbekistan Cuisine, next to Saint Angel Hotel)

See the progress for the buildings in the new CBD area.

Shanxi Historic villages 2016

Shanxi Historic villages, stunning mountains and the Yellow River
July 2016 by Bruce/Beijing

Shanxi is famed for its great courtyard houses – the historic homes of merchants who had become prosperous through banking or trading. Wang’s Grand Courtyard, dating from the Ming and Qing periods, is adjacent to Jingsheng town. It is well worth seeing – built like a series of large, walled forts climbing a hillside. Beyond the walls are many traditional ‘cave-style’ homes that are characteristic of Shanxi.Beyond rises Mianshan.

On the lower slopes of Mianshan Mountain sits Zhangbi Village – walking on its cobbled, partly covered alleys feels like going back in time – the village is not only unique but is a place where families have lived in the same residences for generations.
Beyond Zhangbi the  road climbs up the seemingly vertical cliff side of Mianshan mountain – an amazing piece of construction that rises past temples, natural water springs, viewpoints and finally to a hotel – a spectacular location high on the mountains.
Descending from Mianshan the journey  eventually led downhill to the Yellow River at the historic small settlement of Qikou – for Bruce, this was an amazing place for photography – a magnificent destination for an eye-opening journey through some enchanting parts of Shanxi Province.

Some sights:
Temple on Mianshan; Historic village near Qikou; Beauty of Mianshan; Qikou – arched passageways; Walking in Zhangbi Village; Stone paved alley Qikou; Yellow River at Qikou Shanxi

There, in the land of the Yellow Earth, bordered by the Yellow River, was history set in stone, for indeed stone featured prominently – narrow sometimes covered alleys were paved in stone blocks.
Stone and local brick lined the exteriors of homes, temples and commercial premises along with outer walls partially enclosing the villages. If only stones could talk what a story they could tell for the townships regionally were within the ‘Cradle of Chinese Civilisation’, at the crossroads of dynasties, armies, traders, pastoralists and now travellers finding something unique beyond mass-tourism destinations. Imagine the people over many generations who have walked through these villages!

Zhangbi, at 1040 metres above sea level on the lower slopes of Mianshan Mountain, traces itself back to the ancient Xia that originated in today’s Ningxia – a region easily reached by expressway though historically the Yellow River formed a water route from northwestern China for sheepskin rafts as far as Qikou where cataracts prevented onward passage.

Sitting high on an artificial platform above potential flooding Qikou thrived for centuries as a transshipment point before the advent of modern transportation. Merchants prospered, their wealth spreading along nearby Qiushuihe River to smaller more inland settlements such as Xiwan.