A Travellerspoint blog

China at Play

semi-overcast 14 °C

We’ve been in China a few weeks now and one thing is clear – the Chinese are not easing ahead of the West; they are racing ahead. They are not rebuilding their country; they are building a new world – a glittering world of glass spires and mega-cities. Yet, for many who’ve joined the rat race, it may appear that the yoke of communism has merely been supplanted by the shackles of consumerism, and it is easy to believe that in their quest for the Western good life they no longer have time to stop and smell the orange blossoms. However, if that were true we wouldn’t have had to fight our way through huge throngs of locals with the time to sample the tourist sights of their country. Despite the fact that it is mid-November, the hotels, restaurants, trains and planes have been packed with Chinese tourists intent on enjoying themselves. So, after battling the crowded hotspots of Beijing, Xi’an, Shanghai and Suzhou, we visited the city of Hangzhou – a supposedly peaceful oasis of just 7 million people – in search of a little tranquility.
Here at the city’s picturesque lakefront we found the quiet side of China where tourists and locals meet for moments of Zen, and we were moved to a little poetry.

As the dawn lifts the shutters of night a pagoda emerges slowly through the mist…
The fisherman’s boat waits patiently for her master amidst the lotus fronds…
A calligrapher pens his promenade poems with water so the warming sun can send them skywards to his ancestors...
An old Diabolo player displays a long forgotten art with a teenage agility…
An erhu fiddler sweetens the morning air with just two strings…
…while sword dancers chase away the spirits of the night…
…and fan dancers waft in sweet air from the misty mountains…
The noonday sun brings out the crowds, but as dusk falls the singers croon praises to the rising moon…
…and the twilight brings out the dancers for whom life in Hangzhou is just a waltz in the park…
But enough of all this peace and tranquility, we still have a long way to go in our quest for the real China. Next stop Xiamen – a reportedly quaint seaside resort just eight hundred kilometres south; a short hop on a fast train.(if we can get tickets).

Posted by Hawkson 19:18 Archived in China

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Love it all! And both of you more.
Trudy xxoo

by taboyle

Ah, the poetry...how lovely. The pictures and the words truly capture your remarkable journey..
hugs, Sharron

by Sharron

Hangzhou is wonderful. It is where Sumiko and I saw a solar eclipse in 2009. I just saw another eclipse in Cairns, QLD. Very different environment, but large number of Chinese tourists watching here too - so they are smelling the orange blossoms a long way from home!

Terrific poems an pictures. Naomi would be thrilled.

by Tom

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