Entries Tagged as 'Uncategorized'

Yunlong 云龙 and Taijitu 太极图

Location: Yunlong 云龙

China, Yunnan province, 150 kilometres Northwest of Dali.

Having arrived safely in Yunlong after a long and somewhat eventful journey from Xiaguan (Dali City), we set about visiting the sights and exploring the town, which to be honest doesn’t take very long, as there is precious little to see or do.

It’s not an unpleasant place, but definitely a little dull. There’s a nice area by the river for strolling and [Read more →]

A Great Photo

This photo was published in the China Daily this summer and shows Chinese security personal under-going training before the Asian Games in Guangzhou.

Photo by Chen Fen

At first I thought it was a photo of another mudslide until on inspection it turned out to be a training exercise.

On The Road Again

Tomorrow we take off for yet another trip to China. We plan to combine it with a visit to Myanmar. We hope to go overland but this is increasingly looking impossible.

Our plan is to visit Beijing and then take the train to Kunming.

From Kunming we’ll try to get to a number of places in Yunnan, including: Heijing,Yunlong & Nuodeng, The Nujiang Valley,Tongcheng and around, Ruili (if it is possible to cross into Myanmar).

We still have a lot of material pending to put up on the blog, which we’ll do in October. I am not sure how much we can put up while we are on the road.

Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall outside Yushu Collapses

Parts of the amazing Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall outside Yushu collapsed during the earthquake. The tradegy is not only for Tibetan heritage, but also for human life, as we understand at least one woman was crushed to death by the falling stones.

The Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall was a special place of worship for Tibetans.  Pilgrims travel hundreds, if not thousands, of miles to walk around this astonishing pile of stones. My photos don’t do it justice.

What is a Mani Wall?

Mani Walls are rows of piled-up stones, engraved or painted with orations. The size of such Mani Walls can vary from the humblest pile to a circuit of several hundred meters. Pilgrims walk round these walls of holy stones in a clockwise direction, uttering prayers and twirling prayer wheels.

The Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall was truly enormous; a sign by its side proudly proclaimed that it is 283 metres long, 74 metres wide, 2,5 metres high and consists of 2 billion stones! What’s more, the Wall was still growing, as we witnessed with our own eyes: devout pilgrims contribute new stones everyday, which are hoisted up on to the pile carefully. The billions of beautifully carved stones carry the Buddhist prayers “Om Mani Padme Hum” or, “Hail to the Jewel in the Lotus”, and other orations.

I’m sure that whatever the damage caused by the earthquake, the indomitable spirit of the people who live in this harsh yet spectualar land, will rebuild and continue to build the Mani Wall.

Click here for more pictures.

Click here for AP photos:

Curso de HSK (Examen Oficial de Chino) Nivel 3 en la Universidad Complutense Madrid


Para cualquier persona que tenga interés en aprender el idioma Chino en Madrid:

Mañana 4/3/2010 es el último diá para matricularse en el Curso de preparación para el examen HSK nivel 3.

45 horas en total. Las clases son de  10:00-14:00 los viernes. Para mas información haz click aqui.

2009 Map

Here is the map of our 2009 summer route.

We’ll be putting up some more material in the next few days and weeks related to the trip. The next text will be about the Sichuan and Chongqing towns of Pingle and Songji. This will be followed by more information about Yushu and the area around. We took so many photos that it is taking ages to sort through them.

Our route 2009

Our Route: August / September 2009

Here is a quick breakdown of our route this summer made over a period of nearly six weeks using a combination of train, bus, taxi and boat travel. Some serious problems with altitude sickness made us cut short our visit to the area around Nangchen in Qinghai province.

As soon as we get back to Madrid (in 2 weeks) and go through our photos we’ll put up small texts for the blog and longer ones for the Web. We are also working on a new Photo gallery.

  • Tianshui and around: Maiji Shan – Gangu and the Moustached Sakyamuni – The Longmen Water Curtain Caves
  • Lanzhou – The Gansu Provincial Museum – The Yellow River
  • Xining – Youning Si and the Tu minority
  • Yushu and around – Longxi Si – Nangchen – Leba Gorge – Princess Wencheng Temple – Seng-ze Gyanak Mani Wall – Zhira Gompa – Trangu Gompa – Domkar Gompa – Sebda Gompa
  • Yushu to Ganzi – Serxu Dzong – Dzogchen Gompa – Manigango
  • Ganzi and around – Beri Gompa – Dagei Gompa
  • Chengdu and around – The New Jinsha Site Museum – Pingle – Luodai – Kuan Xiangzi
  • Chongqing and around – Ciqikou – Songji
  • Chongqing to Yichang – The Three Gorges – The Three Little Gorges – The Three Gorges Dam.
  • Wudang Shan – Climbing up – Climbing down
  • Wuhan – The Hubei Provincial Museum – Colonial Buildings- Great Food.
  • Beijing – New restaurants – The New Capital Museum – Black jails

Books read during the trip:

  • Author – Mo Yan / Big Breasts and Wide Hips
  • Author – Yu Hua / Brothers
  • Author – Zhu Wen / I Love Dollars And Other Stories of China

Forbidden City

Try this French Site for a virtual view of the Forbidden City in Beijing. Looks like Sim City. La cite interdite

Holachina on the road again …

We are currently on an overland trip from Thailand to China to Laos and back to Thailand. Due to blogging restrictions in China we will be updating the blog when we reach Laos in a few weeks. Keep looking.

Hotan / Khotan / Hetian/ 和田

City of Jade / City of Anger


Hotan is remote. It is one of those end of the world places beyond which begins one of the world’s largest deserts, the Taklamakan, an enormous area of sand dunes and barren rocks forming some of the most hostile terrain on earth. Boiling in summer, freezing in winter, towns like Hotan hang precariously to the desert’s outer ring, hemmed in by the looming Kunlun Mountains that rise up to the Tibetan Plateau. Over the centuries, many other once thriving oasis towns like Hotan have succumbed to the advances of the Taklamakan, and their half hidden remains lie buried in the sand, a poignant testimony to the harshness of the environment.

[