A Walk Around Beautiful Guiyang City
Trip Start Jan 01, 2005
761Trip End Ongoing
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Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
Unexpectedly extra LONG bus rides!
Don’t you hate it when a supposed two and a half hour ride turns into nearing five!
For some advice to any new travellers here in China it seems that the Chinese time their bus rides from the moment they LEAVE the outskirts of their current city to the time they ENTER the outer most suburbs of their destination. After five and a half years of bus rides I can honestly tell you that this is how it works.
On most occasions anyhow!
No one seems to include the frustrating traffic jams that happen prior to leaving and entering either destination. It is seriously just an estimate that has been thrown around since the introduction of buses and prior to the introduction of the masses of cars in each city.
After a peaceful night’s slumber I rose at the beginnings of dawn and after saying goodbye to my host family I made my way down the tiny cobbled alleys to the Wind and Rain Bridge and as the locals began their slow working day I made my way along the beautiful river side paths towards the nearest main road where I grabbed the first mini-bus back to Kaili city.
Five hours later I began my hotel shuffle in Guizhou’s capital city Guiyang.
Guiyang city is located on the eastern side of the Yungui Plateau and it is said that in ancient times Guiyang was surrounded by dense bamboo groves and was famous for producing a musical instrument known as the Zhu and like Kunming in Yunnan Province it is one of China's Spring Cities.
Its climate is often mild and moist and neither extremely hot nor very cold.
Guiyang is home to more than thirty minority ethnic groups (I would like to say, think of it as thirty Aboriginal Tribes but I can’t as we killed most of them) including Miao, Buyi, Dong and Hui so it abounds with unique folk culture (unlike Australia) and traditions that give rise to many colorful ethnic minority activities (also unlike Australia). The pace of life for its people is rather laid back compared to that of other cities and Guiyang people have a habit of sleeping late and rising late therefore it is a city that more than meets my travel needs.
Life here seems to be easy going!
For now Guizhou's relative poverty continues to shield its indigenous peoples from the encroachment of China's predominantly coastal consumerism. Those travelers prepared to venture far from Guizhou's main roads can still be rewarded with cultures that seem to have escaped the claws of time. As the Chinese tourist industry gathers momentum however, it is more than expected the innocent spirit of these fragile societies will be compromised by the easy lure of the tourist dollar.
I don’t always agree with my bible (the Lonely Planet Guide) but on this occasion I do.
'Guiyang doesn’t seem like much as you roll in on a bus or train, but don’t be discouraged. The riverside and Renmin Square provides enjoyable areas to wander and relax and elsewhere there’s fantastic street food, lively markets and disorienting maze like shopping areas to be found’.
I spent an amazing afternoon in Guiyang city and from my beautiful Homytel Hotel located just up from Dusi Lu (and Hebin Park) I headed down to Hebin Park where I spent an hour wondering amongst its endless Jazz Musicians and wondered aimlessly down its river side walks and found myself at Renmin Square which is a vibrant place filled with locals reminiscing songs and times from the Mao error after which I headed across to the very popular Qianming Temple
The temple was built during the reign of Congzhen (1628-1644) in the Ming Dynasty and was supposedly visited by the current Dali Laima during one of his Buddhist Adventures here on mainland China. As to the truths of such things I have no idea but for me it was the amazing co-existance between the past and the present that captured my reality.
Jiaxiu Tower (First Scholar's Tower)
After leaving the Qiuanming Temple I noticed sublime roofing architecture not far away and decided to make my way towards it and found that it was the Jiaxiu Tower which is also called the First Scholar's Tower.
It was originally built in 1598 during the Ming Dynasty and during ancient times as many intellectuals studied hard for the scholarly honor or official rank in feudal China, in order to encourage them the local majesty ordered a tower be built and conferred on it the name Jiaxiu.
The name Jiaxiu literally means getting the very best in imperial examinations.
Jiaxiu Tower is a three-storey tower rising twenty meters high with green tiles, red pillars, engraved windows and white stone parapets make the tower very unique in China. After visiting the Jiaxiu Pavilion I headed across the bridge to the Gongnan Pavilion which is supposedly unchanged since the tenth year of the Ming Yong calendar (AD 1665) and has a history of three hundred and forty years.
From the top of the pagoda the Cuiwei Gardens caught my eye which can be found sitting on the banks of the Nanming River and neighbor both the Jihong and the Fuyu Bridges that supposedly have a history of over five hundred years.
For no reason feet then took me along the Nanming River until in the distance on a lonely mountain side I saw a temple and what does one do when they see a temple on a lonely mountain side, yes they stand up straight no matter how long they have been walking and they do whatever it takes to find their way there.
Bao Fu Shan Temple
After searching the internet I believe the information below is actually incorrect.
But it kind of sounds like the temple I visited.
At the bottom of the hill I found not only a busy local market place but several sets of stairs so after asking a policeman which stairs to take I began my short journey up Baofu Mountain. The stairs took me to the back of the mountain and after a short exploration I found that I had to head across to the buildings on the far side and take the driveway up.
Built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the temple is the only Taoist place in Guizhou Province and is located in the opening of a cave on a cliff difficult of access with magnificent and solemn buildings that can be found beneath the shade of many trees.
With weary legs I descended Baofu Shan and made my way slowly down Dusi Lu.
As always when day becomes night I became entranced by the cities neon delights and I made my way towards Zhongshan Lu where in the distance I soon spotted the wonderful up-turned eaves of the Wenchang Pavilion. Built in AD 1596 it is twenty meters high with its gate facing west it indicates a notable construction style of the Ming Dynasty with windows and doors decorated by delicate carvings, colorful drawings, eaves raised gently and everything in a grey tone.
It has a unique design and structure which is the only example of its style that exists in China today. I was going to include its history but for the mathematicians just think of the number nine and incorporate it in every which way but loose.
Right turn Clyde!
For those of you whom are confused,
Get in to some real Clint Eastwood Movies!
Beers N Noodles toya…..shane
The soundtrack to this entry was by World Party
The album was ‘BANG’