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Nanjing, Day 12

Nanjing, China

In the morning we were able to visit an acupuncture clinic. The clinic was much smaller than the hospital but they were especially welcoming and friendly. There was much more room to observe as a group as well. We were able to see patients being treated with acupunture, e-stim, cupping and tui-na massage.

In the hallway I talked with a local farmer who travels to the clinic weekly. He said that he used to go to the hospital that we visited yesterday but hates it there. He said that they just gave him the same patent pills over and over to treat his back pain. The results weren't that great. He said, "That place isn't a hospital, it's a shopping mall! they don't treat you as a patient, your just a number in line there." He enjoyed going to the clinic and said his treatments were getting results now. We later said thanks to the doctors there and stopped for a quick group picture before heading out.

After lunch a few of us went with Robert to hike Zi Jing Mtn. with our local guide Sean. We climbed most of the mountain and got to see several medicinal plants in the wild before the rain started to come down. We then hustled back down to ahve the bus pick us up.

Dinner was at the same restaurant as yesterday, only we had a special meal cooked with medicinal herbs. While there were some novelty dishs such as Bitter Mellon (pretty spicy and darn bitter) and Pig Lung Soup (actually really tasty), the meal was really good. We had fun guessing some of the herbal ingredients before Yulien was kind enought to translate to menu to tell us what was really in the meal.

After dinner Sean arranged Tui Na massages for those interested. The clinic we went to had mostly blind therapists giving 1 hour massages. They were great and we all appeared an hour later glassy eyed and sleepy. We thought how in the States the session would have cost $80 versus the $8 that we spent.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 26, 2005 from Nanjing, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged Food, China, Herbs, Medicine, Nanjing, Hospital, TCM, Acupuncture, Clinic, Doctor, Tuina, ZiJingMountain and Mountain

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Hangzhou/ Shanghai, Day 14

Hangzhou, China

It was a tight day, there was a lot to squeeze in.
We started by hiking up Phoenix Mtn. and see herbs there. This was the last hike, so naturally we had to get separated as a group in order to keep with the tradition. It was a nice day out and the trail was lined with new slate tiles all the way. Robert grabbed a couple of samples to show us on the trail and later on the bus.

During lunch we all decided that while Hangzhou is a niced city, we were ready to move on to Shanghai earlier and wanted to all have a formal, final dinner together.
So we revised the schedule a bit.

Next we visited the West lake tea farm. Along the drive you could see all the tea growing on the hill side. Here we met some of the local farmers who pick the green tea leaves and pan-dry it for 8 hours each day by hand. It's an arduous task and explained why the tea is expensive to produce. Then we met "Dr. Tea" who then explained all the benefits of green tea as well as the various grades there of. He was a total salesman with animated demonstrations. The teas though, tasted nice. Of course, we had to buy some, since it is hard to find good quality tea in the US.

We then had to hurry to catch our boat ride on west lake. The day started off beautifully and continued that way while we were out on the water, the weather was perfect. The ride offered nice views of the surrounded hills which were dotted with pagodas and temples. In the distance you could see the modern city, a drastic contemporary contrast to the ancient buildings. It was a perfect snapshot of modern China.

After the lake, we had about an hour to squeeze in any last minute shopping at the promenade in town. there were lots of paintings, textiles, handcrafts and snacks to be had. So much to buy, so little time.

Then it was our last 3 hour bus ride to our final destination: Shanghai.
The city was all lit up. Shanghai is a city with the height of NYC, the width of LA and the electric light overload of LV. Our hotel was located right on the end of the "Bund," an area along the river where on one bank there are all old European colonial buildings and the other all skyscrapers made during the last 10 years. It was a great drive and a perfect introduction to the chaotic city.

We quickly checked into our hotel, which was all Art Deco and made in the 30's. Then it was nice final dinner together. We were all able to fit at one large table this time. After many toasts and thanks to one another we called it a night. it was great to wrap up the trip together this way. So much had happened in the past weeks, you could barely remember all the events. At this point, the traveling had taken a toll and most of us were exhausted. We had to prepare for the next day, check out and leave Shanghai at noon. A few brave souls walked around the Bund and checked out Shanghai's night life.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 28, 2005 from Hangzhou, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged Food, China, Herbs, Medicine, Nanjing, TeaHouse, Mountain, Hangzhou, TeaFarm, Phoenix, PhoenixMountain, Herbal, Tea, Boat, BoatRide, Lake, ArtDeco and Bund

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Emei Shan (Emei Mountain)

Emeishan, China

Hiking day on a holy bddhist mountain. didn't see any famous monkeys though. Full day Emei Shan, return to Chengdu. Last chance to visit the hot springs for the group. leave 3 star Nine Dragon hotel. nice place!

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on March 24, 2005 from Emeishan, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Spring 2005
tagged Buddhism, Mountain, HotSpring, EmeiMountain, Emei, EmeiShan, Monkey, Hotel, Hike and Hiking

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Lijiang's Ancient Culture

Lijiang, China

Full day Black Dragon Pool park and Dongba Institute; Museum of Naxi Culture. Nice day outdoors in the high altitude sun. You can see Jade Dragon Snow Mountain all day with it's snowy peaks.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on March 26, 2005 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Spring 2005
tagged Park, Mountain, Museum, Hiking, Naxi, Dongba, BlackDragonPool and JadeDragonSnowMountain

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Volunteer Visitor Center in Kathmandu

Kathmandu, Nepal

There's a new visitor center in Kathmandu, Nepal. It's the Volunteer Visitor Center provided by The Mountain Fund. The Center is open to the public, and currently has about 20 volunteering opportunities available, throughout the area of Kathmandu.

If you're in Kathmandu, and have some extra time - stop by the center and see if there's an opportunity which fits your timeframe.

There are opportunities to volunteer in the areas of women's issues, healthcare, humanity, and youth. Or just offer administrative assistance at the Center. It's a great way to give back to this region.

permalink written by  Jenn on January 21, 2008 from Kathmandu, Nepal
from the travel blog: Trekking in Nepal
tagged Mountain, Kathmandu, Volunteer, Nepal and Trek

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Tea party!

Dali, China

The poster in the room suggesting visiting a tea plantation as part of a custom tour where you hire a car for a day. Can I get there on public transit?

"Four kilometer walk from the bus stop."

"No problem, I can walk that far."

"The way is not marked; it will be hard to find."

"I speak enough Chinese and you've written down the location in characters. I can ask for directions long the way."

Short walk to the bus station. Inquired around for my destination and the first minivan was going my way. 3rmb [48 cents.]

The driver stops to let me out. I ask at the corner convenience store for the 'tea factory.' Straight up the road. Easy.

I found the tea factory but nothing of note was happening except renovations. "I want to see tea bushes." "Up the road to and to the left."

I did have to guess as when to go left. My first instinct was correct. Easy.

I did have to pass a gate guard house* where I wrote down my name. They also wanted my company and phone number. I suppose I could have made something up but I just said I don't have one for the first and that I forgot for the second. One asked about smoking. I thought maybe he was asking for a bribe. The other guard did not want me to pass. The first let me.

On I walked. I passed an electric grid substation and a nice but uninhabited compound. The stone road wound its way up the mountainside.

As last I saw rows and rows of short green bushes. Tea! I crunched up a leaf. No aroma. At the factory I was told that it was the wrong season. Further on many bushes were pruned of all leaves, just many gray stumps in a clump. Didn't matter - I've now been to a tea plantation in Yunnan. I walked on.

I passed a few rough and simple homes*, laundry & corn drying in the courtyard. I passed several graves* scattered about the tea bushes, all facing somewhat to the east.

Below me were towns, villages, factories and farmlands stretching to the lake, beyond which were low hills barely visible in the haze. Above me were snow-sprinkled mountain tops. Let's keep walking!

After some time I was passed on a motor bike by a local. I soon came to his destination. Not to many people on this road [I saw some power company people at the substation and no one since] and far fewer big noses, if any. He greated me and asked if I'd like some water or tea. I'm in Yunnan, the home of some of the finest teas in the world and I've just made a pilgramage to a tea plantation even though it's out of season... "Tea, please!!!" There was a small building consisting of open courtyard on the east and three small rooms across the west. The only entrance was from the south. Wanted and conduct posters told me it was a work station of some sort, not a home. The 10 people, 2 women and 8 men, were finishing up lunch, one dish still sizzling in the wok. They invited me eat! A huge pot of steamed rice sat on the table, enough for 20 more people. One gentleman took a thermos of hot water and rinced a bowl and pair of chopsticks. He wiped the rim of the bowl with his probably rarely washed fingers. I ate. I drank tea a few feet from where it's grown. I listened to them laugh hartily, probably at me some of the times. They seemed a happy lot.

Three started singing in turns, each turn being lengthy. I assume it was a tradition Chinese ditty but there must have been some improvisation as one line was sung directly to one gentleman and everyone but me roared in laughter.

But I must return to civilization and end my lovely walk and visit at the foot of the mountain*. Sigh...

Twas super easy day. I walked many more than four kilometers just because it was such a beautiful day with the blue-est skies* I've ever seen in China. It was quiet and wooded - perfect recipe for a walk. When I returned to the hostel I drew a map of my route so the next tea aficionado can make the same trek. So if you're ever in Dali and want to see the tea plantation just go to the Jade Emu and ask for Jan't map. I signed it.

  • Photos coming soon.

  • permalink written by  prrrrl on March 13, 2012 from Dali, China
    from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
    tagged Mountain, Tea, Blue, Easy, Walk and Invite

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    Moroccan's Spirit

    Marrakech, Morocco

    We decided to escape winter month in England to somewhere not too far; reasons are
    1 you know kid on the plane only last 2 hours before they fed up and started to annoyed you.
    2 coming close to Christmas now, end of the year, not much left to spend.
    3 France, Spain, cold cold, where else, I have to use my travel knowledge to the limit.

    Now i can't afford Dubai or any middle east countries as they are now footballer playgrounds, North Africa sounds hot to me as part of Sahara Desserts Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco are the big 3.

    We pined down to Morocco now and have to choose between Agadir and Marrakech. To be fair, we love beach holiday and never spend a holiday without beach unless i went back to Chiang Mai, Thailand, my home town to visit my family. For some reason, we gave it a go, Marrakesh for 1 week in December 2011 anywhere else would have been better than England. Why not?

    Got there it was lovely

    permalink written by  neverending on December 12, 2011 from Marrakech, Morocco
    from the travel blog: North Africa
    tagged Mountain, People, Holiday, Morocco, Family, Snow, Winter, Summer, Dessert, Hot, Marrakech, French, Friendly, December, PanoramicView, SnakeCharmer and MintTea

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