Oct 20 2010

Typhoon Megi

Category: Martin @ 07:03


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Oct 15 2010

Guilin and Shanghai video

Category: Martin @ 09:58


Oct 14 2010

Hong Kong

Category: Martin @ 17:22

Hong Kong from The Peak.

Every night 40 Buildings take part in a 14 minute long light show.

Differences between Hong Kong and the mainland: No spitting, protests on the streets, Nobel peace price winners mentioned in the news.

Hong Kong 2010 from Martin Schaerer on Vimeo.


Oct 11 2010

Minority Report

Category: Martin @ 13:14

Our second organized day trip took us to the remote mountain village Pingan in Longsheng county. This time we had a new guide, Mr. Guo who like the previous one encouraged us to add "Gourou" to his name, which means so much as "dog meat" a local slang for buddy, bro, sis, friend.

Left, a Yao minority woman holding a baby. The nappy problem is elegantly circumvented by the open bottom trouser method. The lovely lady on the right side belongs to the Zhuang minority whose members can easily be recognized by the bathing towel worn on their heads. I asked her to teach us a few words in Zhuang language, a close relative to Thai. All I remember is "doohzeh" for "thanks".

Rice terraces in the mist

Our guide, Dog Meat Guo initially told us not to worry. On his tour nobody will be scammed and there's no extra charge for anything. "Ah, but there's the minority theme park where we'll go and where you can either enter for 70 yuan or wait in the bus for one and a half hours". Needless to say, that everybody paid and entered. I don't even regret it, as it was like a zoo and I quite like zoos.

Figure A shows three specimen of the Tujia instinctively performing a ritual welcome drum concert to all bypassers. Figure B shows a Zhuang female in her natural habitat. Behavioural scientists have found out that Zhuangs can be provoked to sing a folk song in response to any folklore song sung at them. Figure C shows four young and fertile Yao individuals of the red variety displaying their long hair, which they never cut. Red Yao males and females enjoy equal rights and food procurement is shared among them. This is in stark contrast to Yaos of the "white trouser" variety illustrated in figures D and E where females are left to do all the hard labour while males go out and play. Females are polygamous and keep up to 5 potential mates at any given time.

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Oct 10 2010

Guilin to Yangshuo

Category: Martin @ 16:54

Today we did a guided trip along the Li River to a small place called Yangshuo. The boat ride takes 4.5 hours and goes through endless varations of the above scene.

The weather forecast for the whole 4 days in Guilin was "overcast with heavy rain", so I was quite happy to get a small patch of blue sky in this picture.

Monkey business

One of the many caves in the Guilin/Yangshuo area.

As we found out all organized day-trips here are quite cheap. The catch is that the tour guide will bring you to about 7 places where you are encouraged to spend money. Of course you don't have to spend anything and it was fun to see with what tricks they tried to extract money from you. They even scam you in a buddhist temple. When we entered, everyone was handed an inscribed bamboo stick (We politely refused) which you were supposed to show to a monk to decipher it for you. A young chinese guy complained to us afterwards that he had to pay around 100$ for the monks "translation" services, which he couldn't refuse to pay because the monk told him he would lose face refusing it in front of the big Buddha statue. The poor tourist's girlfriend wouldn't talk to him for several hours afterwards.

Later the bus stopped in front of a jewellery shop and the tour guide lady told us we HAVE to get in there. The whole group was brought into a small white square room where we waited a while until a young saleswoman arrived and made us guess which of the 4 jade-rings was a fake one. One was obviously very fake and should probably distract you from the fact, that the other 3 real ones are also fakes. At one point a man came in, talked angrily with the girl and left again. Then the girl started her oscar worthy acting and told everybody that her boss is not happy and will fire her if she doesn't sell anything. Great entertainment.

In total we paid 1$ to take a few pictures of the monkey above.

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Oct 9 2010

Arrival in Guilin

Category: Martin @ 20:43

The nine story high sun pagoda in Guilin, filmed from the adjacent moon pagoda.

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Oct 5 2010

Shanghai Nights

Category: Martin @ 21:08

View over the Huangpu River to the Pudong financial zone.

The Shanghai bund. I was there before, but this year the mile long river promenade was crazily crowded.

Neon lights in the shopping street Nanjing Lu.

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Oct 5 2010

Deja vu at Zhujiajiao

Category: Martin @ 14:30

Shanghai's Venice (31°6′46″N 121°3′1″E) is located about 30 minutes from the City center. Walking through the narrow streets was quite tricky as it was about as crowded as Venice during the carneval. Everything is very old school and traditional giving a glimpse into ancient China with lots of merchants, restaurants and the occasional smell of rotten tofu.

Gondoliere in action.


Oct 4 2010


Category: Martin @ 16:47

Chinese Pavillion near the entrance to the Expo.

The Polish pavillion in its green state (changes colours).

Read my whole detailed Expo 2010 Shanghai Review here.

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