Weekly Photo Challenge: Grid ( China)

Screen doors or windows are quite common in China.

We were up in the mountains of Zhangzhejia, China.

In fact, we got into a  restaurant and trying to stay there as long as possible as a heavy fog has set in.007

I have nothing to do and naturally grapped my camera and took a shot out of the screen window.

My visibility was only a few feet; all I could see was some trees just outside the window.

The second picture was a casual shot outside a temple in Yunnan.DSCF2873

There was a long grid of red columns outside the temple.

Also, there was a grid of squares up on the roof, all artistically painted.

The third picture shows a grid of screen doors in the Hanging Temple in Datong.DSCF2448

These doors are very old but not adequately maintained.

The fourth picture was again taken in Yunnan.

We were having tea in a tea house overviewing Lijiang.

The view outside the screen windows was just beautiful.DSC_0179

The fifth picture was taken in Luoping.

This shows a display of various types of screens in a typical Chinese room commonly found at the time.DSCF3025

The last one was taken within a temple which we stopped by in the Three Gorges cruise trip.

The picture shows the grid of columns supporting the temple roof, as well as the grid of patterns on the colorful roof.DSCF6255


From these pictures, it could be seen that the Oriental type of grid can be quite different from the Western ones.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Creepy ( in the Hanging Temple)

The Hanging Temple in China is already a creepy place.

How on earth can you build a temple out of nowhere, jutting out from the rock face of an extensive cliff and not supported from underneath?DSCF2454

I have posted some photos of the Hanging Temple and also more recently a creepy red colored door in the temple.

Here is another one – honestly, I don’t know what it is? A Buddha in the middle, two figures on the side, one seemingly to come out of the opening. ?


Inner Mongolia and ShanXi- Steppes, Desert, Grottoes and Hanging Temple

On China’s northern edge there is a territory that combines the wonder of the desert and the beauty of the grasslands for an experience that will take your breath away; this autonomous region is known as Inner Mongolia. Inner Mongolia’s vastness maintains a feeling of timeless tranquility unlike anywhere experienced in China.

As a city boy, I have never visited any grassland or desert; have seen some small grottoes but never visited any major one or any temple like the Hanging Temple. June and July are the best time visiting  the steppes of Inner Mongolia when the grass is green; but it may be too hot in the desert.  As a compromise, we started our trip end August 2012 and found ourselves in the grassland in the early part of September.

I was always fascinated with the story of Genghis Khan; how, in 25 years, he had conquered an area even larger than the Romans were able to conquer in 400 years. This is the land where he once roamed and lived. He was good in strategies, did not have a hugh army (maybe only around 100,000 soldiers) but his speed of moving his army around in Mongul horses, his tatics and his well planned sieges allowed him to conquer a large part of Asia and even part of Europe.

In our last trip, we were able to fulfill our dreams by combining all these into one trip which included:

Horse riding in the steppes in Gegent Tala of Inner Mongolia.

Camel riding in the Resonant Sand Desert near Baotao.

Wandering aimlessly in the desert.

Sleeping in a Mongolia yurt.

Visiting the Masouleum of Genghis Khan.

On our way back from Inner Mongolia, we also stopped by the Yungang Grottoes.

Travelling further along, we were awed by the Hanging Temple in Da Tong, Shanxi which is south of the Great Wall of China.

Our trip started with first flying to Beijing where we changed plane to Hohhot of Inner Mongolia. Using Hohhot as a base, we visited the Steppes in Gegent Tala, the Resonant Sand desert near Baotao. From there we travelled 8 hours on a coach to DaTong, Shanxi where we had a good look of the Yungang Grottoes and the Hanging Temple which was part of the Hen Mountains in China. From Da Tong, we flew to Beijing to complete our journey.

We learned more about Genghis Kahn and started digging deeper into his history and as to where his burial place is (still unknown and being investigated by National Geographic and other bodies).

It was indeed an eye opening journey. We were totally impressed by what we saw .

Special Photo Challenge: Inspiration

I was inspired by a friend, who writes a Chinese WordPress blog from Tokyo, to start my first ever blog earlier this year.

After working almost 7/24 for 36 years and forfeiting around 140 days of personal leave, I decided to retire last year. In my retirement, I was hoping to develop some new interests. Blogging seems to be ideal for me as I would like to develop my skills in photography and writing. My previous education and work life have nothing to do with arts or being artistic. My writing in English was mainly associated with writing emails and perhaps, very infrequently, some parts of business proposals.

Blogging has offered me a chance to combine my interest in travelling, photographing and writing.  So, in my retirement, you can find me travelling and blogging in addition to my other developing interests like learning a new language and Chinese calligraphy.

The photos were taken in the last three months by my wife while we were travelling in Shanxi and Beijing. The two photos with colored foliage were taken earlier this month in Beijing just before it was hard hit by a snow storm.

We have very good weather up in the MuTianYu section of the less travelled section of the Great Wall; there were no signs whatever  to suggest that  just a couple of days later the weather suddenly turned bitterly cold and killed a few tourists in another section of the Great Wall.

All three photos show I was overly engrossed with taking pictures. The one below with a temple in the background was taken in September this year when we visited the Hanging Temple in Shanxi while the top one was taken in the HuangLuo Temple in Beijing.

You may say my retirement has given me the opportunity to travel; the travels inspired me taking photos, which, in turn inspired me to write and blog.