Tag Archives: China

BEST TOUR OF THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA

image I finally arrived in Beijing and couldn’t wait until my life changing tour of the Great Wall! After Googling tour groups after tour groups, my enthusiasm took a dip. It seemed like all the tours used large buses packed with tourists and forced frequent stops at souvenir shops and jade/gem factories. Plus, they usually traveled to highly renovated sections of the wall that I feared would be no more exciting than a trip to Disneyland.

image Refusing to give up my search for real adventure, I was at last rescued when I discovered a small tour group through Peking Downtown Backpackers Hostel in the Nanlouguxiang hutong area of Beijing. They traveled to the Jinshanling section of the wall, an area still retaining much of its original wall and towers.  Plus, they used only a small van, and NO stops at souvenir shops or factories! I was sold!

imageA surprise bonus! The hostel is on a charming street lined with small shops. I changed my plans and spent the day exploring.

The 68 mile trip to Jinshanling was worth every mile. The scenery was spectacular and easy to enjoy without the crowds.

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Several locals would walk beside and offer an outstretched hand to help over the steepest parts.  I finally completed the 20 tower walk, tired in that good way that makes one smile. The local guide, that adopted me during my trek, offered to show me a few tee shirts he carried in his sack.

I now wear mine proudly, remembering his kind assistance. The best souvenir I could imagine!

ART IN SHANGHAI SENDS A MESSAGE

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Art can be small but deliver a big impact!

Even though less than 10″ long, the sculpture was like a magnet, pulling me to view and view some more.

Wu Junyong’s, “Arm Pointing To The Distance”, was hung on a large blank wall in small Shanghai gallery. The tapered extended finger fueled my imagination and didn’t allow me to be stuck in the now….but propelled me to what “might be”.

World Travel does the same…allowing us to  see what might be.

Wu Junyong, born in 1978, is one of China’s new generation of artist developing fresh, unique art and messages. Some even think Junyong may be the most important artist in China today!

His art often “tells us what we know but are afraid to talk about”.

FullSizeRenderChristin Kalweit, in Ifagallery, chose barbed wire to send her message: “There is no innocence, only different levels of responsibility.”

In her art…the razor wire seems to be harmless, not revealing its true purpose.

the refined blades / our words / thoughts / decisions  / actions /  reactions just keep on rolling / neglecting the traces left behind.”

This message has crept into my mind often and in only a few weeks had me rethink and make some changes.

China’s art opened my eyes!