Thirty six strange peaks,
Immortals with black top knots.
Morning sun strikes the tree tops,
Here in this sky mountain world.
Chinese people, raise your faces!
For a thousand years cranes come and go.
Far off I spy a firewood gatherer,
Plucking sticks from stone crevices.
-Li Bai “Dawn Vista On Huangshan”
There are some places in the world that just seem to inspire gushing wellsprings of poetry. Metaphors woven together to create tapestries that reveal glimpses of those inner workings that lie just below the surface. Meaning layered upon meaning until everything is saturated and more than the sum of its parts. Huangshan in China’s Anhui region is one of those places. Continue reading
A wall of gold has been mounted on Shu brocade.
Craftsmen from Wu collect spare change
To pay tribute to the abundance of a myriad of families.
The watchtowers of the city rise to great heights.
The bustling scene is truly impressive.
It is a chance to explore vestiges of bygone days.
-excerpt from a poem on the Qing Dynasty remake of Qīngmíng Shànghé Tú
Located in the foothills of the Yellow Mountains, Tunxi is Continue reading
Since the new high speed train line opened up in July 2015, it is now easier- and faster- than ever to get from Shanghai to Tunxi, and the foothills of the Yellow Mountains. You can also choose to break up the trip with a stop in Hangzhou (like we did). It is a nice city for a day or two of strolling and eating, and breaks the transit time into two manageable legs (approximately 3 hours from Shanghai to Hangzhou, and just under 4 hours from Hangzhou to Huangshan.)
With a new train line comes new stations and new bits of information. Currently, there isn’t much out there in the way of travel tips regarding this route, and since we learned a couple of things the hard way, I wanted to pass on some useful information. Continue reading