De' Tour Guide

Monday, September 24, 2007

Xi'an : Big Wild Goose Pagoda

This is the " BIG WILD GOOSE " pagoda. Everyone asking the same question, do you think its a goose? why this pagoda doesn't look any like a goose? Why they name it goose?

hahaha ... dont ask me ... i also don't know. This is a holy place for Buddhists. It's some sort like a temple and some part are cemetery burial for holy monk.

In this area , what interest me are the structure and monument build by some ancient monks.

This area is damn big. Bigger than a Queensbay Shopping Mall.

The wall engraving are fascinating. I bet in this days , most of the modern architect can't do what the ancient does.

Story behind the curtain :

As the symbol of the old-line Xian , Big Wild Goose Pagoda is a well-preserved ancient building and a holy place for Buddhists.

The pagoda is located in the southern part of present day Xi'an, in what used to be Chang'an City in the Tang Dynasty. Actually, the formal name of the pagoda is Ci'en Temple Pagoda, but since the temple disappeared a long time ago, the pagoda is known by its other name.

The square, multistorey, brick structure is sixty-four meters high. On a high mound, it seems to rise into the sky.

Big Wild Goose Pagoda was first built in 652 in the Tang Dynasty. Xuanzang, a prominent Buddhist scholar of the time, planned to have a huge stone pagoda built to house the Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures he had brought back from India, but the plan fell through because it was difficult to find the needed stone and the cost was prohibitive. He decided instead to build a mud pagoda reinforced with bricks, but the mud pagoda was not strong and the construction was not done properly. The pagoda collapsed not long after it was built. It was rebuilt between 701 and 704 on the order of Empress Wu Ze Tian.

The pagoda tapers sharply from the first storey up, giving the entire structure the shape of a pyramid and making it stand very firm. Wooden steps and flooring inside allow people to go to the top and enjoy the splendid views in the suburbs of Xi'an. In the past, those who had passed the imperial examinations to become officials went there to inscribe their names on the pagoda, the ambition of every young official. As a result, gathered in front of the pagoda were tablets inscribed by those who had passed the imperial examinations in Shaanxi for more than a thousand years, from the Tang to the Qing Dynasty.

The outer walls of the present pagoda were covered by a thick layer of bricks in the Ming Dynasty. A tablet on the lintel of the door on the first storey is vividly carved with designs of a wooden hall in the Tang Dynasty. Kept under the pagoda is a stone tablet with an inscription made by Chu Suiliang, a calligrapher in the Tang Dynasty, which is an important relic.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Xi'an : Huaqing Hot Spring

After the terracotta warriors , we sat back the coach bus and they took us to another hotspots in Xi'an which is the Huaqing Hot Spring. This hot spring situated at the northern foot of Mt. Lishan in Lintong County. Huaqing Hot Spring is famed for both its dainty spring scenery and the romantic love story of Emperor Xuanzong ( 685-762 ) and his favorite concubine , Yang Guifei in the Tang Dynasty ( 618-907 ).

Interior of the Huaqing Hotspring * everyone was at the front of statue ( right hand corner ) - wonder why? *


Buahahhaa .. some nut fella trying to peel off Yang Guifei's Skirt to see what's down under -___-"

Beside that " central of the attraction spot " there's alot of ancient spas in this area. Damn they already invented spas during before our time :D Imperial families are really enjoying their stuff very well. Now i know why Chinese love Spas , Long Bath , Jacuzzi and all those reflexsology products.

At this spa, there are four hot springs. They have a flow of 112 tons an hour and a constant temperature of 43°. The water comes up the ground from the geographic faults and cracks at the stratum about 1750-2500 meters deep.

The spring water contains limes, sodium carbonate, sodium sulfate, and other materials, which makes it suitable for bathing and the treatment of quite a few diseases such as dermatosis, rheumatism arthritis, and muscular pain.

Climb the steps east of the hot springs, and you will gradually see the Five-Room Hall where Chiang Kaishek stayed temporarily during the Xi'an Incident. Up the winding path, east of the Five-Room Hall, you will see a bridge-like structure. On summer and autumn evenings, the sunshine's off this bridge in a way that makes it look very much like a rainbow. Therefore, it gets the name the Hovering Rainbow Bridge.

Located on the Xixie Ridge ("the West Embroidery Ridge") of Lishan Mountain, the remains of the beacon tower of the Western Zhou Dynasty (1134 ~ 771B.C.) it easily identified.

Close to the Huaqing Pool on the Lisan Mountain, there are many scenic spots. Such as, East Garden, Peripateticism Pavilion, The Remonstration Pavilion, Sanyuan Cave, Palace of Laozi, Peony Ditch, Evening Glow Over the Lishan Mountain, Palace of the Grand Mother, Beacon Tower, and many others.

The local government and a Singaporean company joint-ventured, to build cable car on Lishan, they introduce the cable product from Austria. The carriage proves to be comfortable and safe. The transportation capacity one way is 1200 people per hour.

Travelling in the cable car, you will have a panoramic view of the Lishan Mountain and the nearby towns. From a distance away, the Wei River looks very much like a white ribbon. During sunset, tourists can really enjoy "Evening Glow Over the Lishan Mountain" - one of the eight scenic spots in Guangzhou Area. It is obvious that touring the Huaqing Hot Spring, people can not only appreciate the beauty of the ancient Tang palace constructions but also can visit many other places of interests to pursue a tour of history.

According to legend, the Grand Mother was an outstanding leader of an ancient tribe in the remote matriarchal clan community. Some people still hold the fact that she was just Nu Wa who made up the sky with the smelting stones.

An open-air spa

Everyone was having fun playing waters like a small kid

The little fountain was believed that whoever wash their face and hand will bring good luck or something. You need to lineup to get those water -__-" It's hard to get to your turn as Chinaman are rough and bad manners. They often cut your queue. Eventually i saw someone bringing his toothbrush and paste for his morning chores :X

History of Huaqing Hot Spring :

The famous love story between Tang Ming Emperor (Tang Xuan Zong) and Yang Guifei (Lady Yang). "In cold spring months, Lady Yang was granted to take baths at the Huaqing Hot Spring together with the emperor. Her peach cream body gently touched by the smooth hot spring"; "The drum in Yuyang which indicated a rebellion startled the Music of Nishang Yuyi".

These are poem written by Tang poet Be Judi describing the beauty of the plump Lady Yang when she was granted to take baths at the Huaqing Hot Spring. The significant "Xian Incident" which had the National Party and the Communist Party involved took place here in the Huqing Hot Spring.

The beacon tower was build at the top of the mountain to give alarm of border attack in ancient times. It was constantly guard by special soldiers. Once the enemy pressed towards the border, the signal from the beacon tower was send. The way to make smoke during the day was called "Feng", and the way to light the sky with fire at night was called "Sui".

"The Beacon Tower" was the place where such stories took place like "A single smile costs one thousand pieced of gold" and "the sovereign rulers are fooled by the beacon fire".

In April 1982, on a construction site that was well under way, the ruins of the Imperial Pools in the Tang Dynasty Huaqing Palace has discovered. After excavation and sorting out the information at hand, archaeologists found the ruins of the five pools in an area of 4, 200 square meters.

They proved them, the Star Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool, the Crabapple Pool, the Crown Prince Pool, and the Shangshi Pool, all of which were in historic records. The Museum of the Imperial Pools in the Tang Dynasty Huaqing Palace was build on their ruins and was opened to public in October 1990

I guess this is what they called " The Tower Beacon " or perhaps .. Love beacon?

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Xi'an : Terracotta Warriors

Date : 1st Sept 2007

We left Gloria Plaza Hotel ( where we will be staying for 2 days 1 night ) at North Yanta Rd and hop into a coach bus which took us about 45 minutes from our hotel to the Terracotta excavation site.

As we're heading to the excavation site , we do really suffer enjoy our 45 min bus trip. The bus keep on bumping up and down. The suspension must be too hard. Some dealers and I were at the rear seats and we do really digested our food instantly * within 45 min too * -__-"

Finally all those bumpy rides , we reached the most significant archaeological excavations site of the Terracotta Warriors and Horses.

This excavations exhibition exterior looks like a grand palace style * chinese do have their creativity minds *

Before you enter their halls , you need to purchase a ticket for indoor tour. It doesn't cost much as the entrance fee is about RMB 20 ( RM10 ).

Outside of the entrance , there's a little cottage which contained lots of terracotta warriors and horses in miniature size. Some even in boxes ( contained the general , officer , archer , horse , warrior ). Besides that , you can get autograph from those farmer ( the discoverer of the ancient dolls during 1975 ). Each book stated price of RMB 100. Everything is expensive inside here. Some even act as fake farmer. You wont realize until you see the signature of the book are totally different and did not have any documents to proof but the advantage is that they charge lesser for a book * 50% discount * :P Actual farmers whom discovered the excavation are only few. About 5 of them. Most them passed away due to old age. Only left 2-3 only ( if not mistaken after translated by our pretty tourguide )

Here are some picture of the interior excavations site. This section was not suppose to be photographed. Why?

There's a man open a stall for group photo business. If each of us wanna take a picture with this blardy background ( only this angle ) , we have to pay RMB 50 for that. Awww China man are really money minded :(

More pictures of PIT 1 excavation site ( the largest excavation pit ) ...

A fake up close of a terracotta warriors and horses ... * if we can reach this close , mostly are fakes *

Some old-fashioned weapons during the era of Dynasty Qin were found in this excavations.

The warrior that squad down are mainly the Qin's Archer. Always alert.

Some were left with no head ( due to some crazy warlord burn down Qin's tomb ) and with some landslide incident too.

Some Short Stories of the famous ruler of China , QinShiHuang.

Emperor QInshihuang was the first emperor in China's history. He was a great politician, leader who unified the country and started off a 2,000-year-long imperial history in China and exerted a far-reaching influence on the subsequent dynasties.

Emperor Qinshihuang seceded to the throne at the age of 13. During the Spring and Autumn Period china experienced a social turbulence and chaos. Though the king remained his position as the overlord, he has no more controlled his vassals, intrigue and vice rampant. The whole country was actually divided into several small states, each with a ruler. In order to expand their territory, strengthening their power, the stronger claimed wars on the weaker regularly, resulting in the disunity and disorder of the country. Qin State gradually became stronger through series of power struggle. In 230 Bc, Yinzheng conquered the other six smaller states and unified the country. He claimed himself the first emperor-shihuang, means the first Emperor.

Although, Emperor Qinshihuang reigned his country for a short period of less than 40 years, he has made great achievements in the social development in Chinese history. To consolidate and protect his newly-established regime, the emperor reformed politics, economy and culture. He had the walls built by collapsed six states along their frontiers linked together and had the Great Wall built. After the founding of the dynasty, Emperor Qin standardized the language and writing of China, which had varied greatly from area to area during the Warring States Period. Also, currency became standardized as a circular copper coin with a square hole in the middle. Measurements and axle length were also made uniform. Many public works projects were also undertaken. He had the walls built by collapsed six states along their frontiers linked together and had the Great Wall built. Roads and irrigation canals were built throughout the country. The famous Ling Canal, located in Xing'an Town, some 70 kilometers away form Guilin in Guangxi Province was built at that time. The century long irritation project now still works very well.

At the same time of taking effective measure to strengthen his country, Emperor Qinshihuang exhausted his resource to built luxurious palaces for personal pleasure. Shortly after his succeeding to his father's throng at the age of 13, the emperor began to build his huge mausoleum for enjoyment after death. Interestingly, Emperor Qinshihuang believed in eternity and he even ordered his ministers to seek for an elixir of immortality.

The emperor died in 259 BC and was buried in the elaborately built mausoleum in Lishan.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Xi'an + Luoyang + Zheng Zhou + Guang Zhou

Organiser : Nikon ( Malaysia ) S/B

Duration : 7 Days / 6 Nights

Map of Location :

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Our Depature Date For this trip was on 31-08-2007 from KLIA ( KL International Airport ) to Guang Zhou. Our depature time was 6:20am. We have to wake up at 4am -____-" We stayed overnight at Concorde KLIA on 30th Night to celebrate Merdeka ( Malaysia Independence Day - 31-08-2007 ) ... ok atleast im PATRIOTIC enough that i've secretly celebrated in my own room * hey i did turn on the TV ok .. watch our Pak Lah shouted several times until soar throat *

Next ....

Here's our flight schedule to Xi'an :-

KLIA to Guang Zhou ( 4 Hrs Trip )

Guang Zhou Transit to Xi'an ( 2 Hrs Trip )

We have to spend 6 hrs ride on plane to get to xi'an. As the big plane does not cover direct flight to Xi'an. I can say this is my first real " ass pain " ride.

Here we are at the Baiyun International Airport ( New Airport in Guang Dong )

Some outlook of their latest infrastructure :-

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Pretty Stewardess on the road ... * psst even the worker stretch his neck to look at them *

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One more thing .. Water Bottles ( contained water ) are not allow to get through customs checking. They request us to take out. They are afraid passenger carry liquid contained items - suspect osama/hijacker carry toxic. One thing i know that their customs are helluva strict. They check everything. My whole Body Checkup , X-Ray , Body Scanning. Thank god they din even check my underwear!! -___-" * maybe they did...i din notice *

Before we sit on the Transit Plane , we need to get on a small coach bus to get us up to the plane.

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Here we will be having a small introduction among dealers from the whole Peninsula Malaysia and crack some ice breaking jokes to get ourself warmth and friendly among dealers ( atleast i wont be standing there like a ku ku )

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We will be deployed shortly right beside the small little transit plane. A ladder will be hosted to get us up.

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Everyone has to show their ticket to confirm seat and right plane.

Once we've boarded into the plane , pretty stewardess greeted us " ni hao " ( You good ) ohh hell ya i'm good :P you are pretty too hahahaa :X * buaya mode on *

Rating/Comment for China Southern Airline :-

Mark : 8/10

Reason :

1. Friendly and Pretty Stewardess

2. Punctual on schedule

3. Foods are good

4. Their English Language are bad. When announcement , I heard French

Overall their services and qualities are much more better compare to our local flight airliners. Always not punctual. MAS delayed our flight on 30th August. From 8:40pm to 9:40pm and from 9:40pm to 10:40pm. Totally insane. Waited in the airport for more than 2 hours. I'm so disappointed with their quality services.

After 2 hours flight , we arrived to the airport and fetch by xi'an local coach conducted by a xi'an pretty tourguide. Her name is Susan. Susan will be taking us to our Hotel for check-in and relax at Gloria Plaza Hotel continue with our dinner at Xiang Yue Lou Hotel. We ate 5 times today. This is insane. My tummy cant support it and had a ache during this first day trip. Darn *#&@( and some of us were sick. Thank god i had some medicine with me.