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Shaoxing Yueguo Heritage Museum

More about the history of Shaoxing

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This amazing Museum is opposite the entrance to Lu Xun's Native Place but while thousands of people throng to see the places that featured in Lu Xun's life, there are few across the road in this amazing Museum.

There is an entrance fee of 40 RMB but there are four floors of glass cases with items from the Shaoxing area going back many decades.

Sadly there is NO ENGLISH anywhere in the Museum - not on any of the museum pieces, and the staff I spoke to had no English language skills, so it was rather disappointing not to understand the detail about the exhibits.

On paying the fee, one is presented with a rather grand brochure - the English on the front "Existing dust-covered history here let you see civilization's passing And dynasties' substitutions; Your ancestors stories here Make you aftertaste contend for hegemony And talk the world events at will" and on the back "Only in here Can you see more and better finer and nicer Elites of enriched culture and wisdom of Ancient Yue Kingdom's ancestors: Only in here Can you know truer and kinder Wider and deeper Historical and cultural Shaoxing."

Now I don't meant o be disrespectful, but I have no idea what it all means!!!! I wish that after translation from Chinese to English an editor[u] be employed to make some sense of it.

Many of the exhibits are pottery items - with such fascinating items as a "Long Neck Frangrant Fumed Bottle." and a "Lucky Beast Pulse Pillow" There were daggers, swords, urinals, bowls, mirrors and jewelry and on the top floor which has a grand view over Shaoxing was a wonderful display with the "Tomb Figures of Military Forces"

Well worth a visit - but if you can take a Chinese translator it would be a good idea.4033.jpg

Posted by Aussi Di 04:05 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Lu Xun Walk

A Shaoxing hero - the writer and poet Lu Xun was born in Shaoxing.

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Right in the centre of Shaoxing, is Lu Xun walk which is dedicated to the life and work of the famous poet and writer who went under the name of Lu Xun.

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He was born in this place in 1881 and his ancestral home is part of the tourist walk here. A small canal runs through parallel to Lu Xun Lu (Lu Xun Road) and these days Shaoxing Boats, which are little wooden boats with bamboo awnings ply the waters taking tourists for a look at the place from the water. Shaoxing Boats are propelled by the boatmen using their feet on a long oar at the back of the boat.

He left Shaoxing in 1899 and later returned from 1910 and 1912, and taught at the teachers training centre there.

Along the street are many stalls to purchase food, Shaoxing Wine, and other momentos of one's visit to the street.

His ancestral home, the school, the Memorial Hall are all open to the public - for a fee - and there is an office at one end of the walk to purchase tickets or meet with a tour guide.

There is not much English translation anywhere, so if anyone has little Chinese langauge skills it is best to take someone who can explain things for you.
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Sometimes the name is written as LuXun.

Posted by Aussi Di 16:05 Comments (0)

East Lake

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east_lake_010.jpgWe've heard so much about "The East Lake" which is abut 6 kms to the east of Shaoxing. Claims about it being like the West Lake in Hangzhou are really exaggerated. We were bitterly disappointed. Mind you, it is never the best time to do during holiday period as most tourist spots are packed with local tourists.

But it wasn't that. It was nothing like the West Lake of Hangzhou. It was small, with the "lake" being hemmed in between huge cliffs of bluestone, and a canal. Giant impressive cliffs on one side leaving a pool, a deep pool at the base of the rock cliffs, with narrow walkways between the lakes, and stone bridges spanning the waterways with no handrails. Somewhat precarious especially on a busy day, with folk not particularly caring of others on the bridges.

The stone workers rmeoved the stones since the Han Dynasty (2006BC to 220 AD) so the area has a long history. The area is quite pretty with hanging willows, and water, and small pavilions along the way. Little boats ply their way through the lakes, and into the grottos formed by the rock walls. The boats with the boatment using one or two feet to push the huge oar and propel the boats. The boats took passengers right into the grottos, and under bridges. The scenery from the boats would have been spectacular, but on a busy day there were long queues for the boats, that formed lines as they followed the rock walls.

There are several famous grottos, ingluding the Taogong Grotto, and the Peach Grotto. Wonderful opportunities for photos.

Interested in climbing? There is a path right up high above the stone rock face - with views for miles.

Inevitably there is a little shop selling a variety of souvenirs for the tourists, and wonderful icecreams and cold drinks for those wanting some sustenance.

The highlight for us was two Chinese Opera singers at the end of the walk, who performed in a pavilion overlooking the lake.

There were plenty of food stalls, and much to see, but I would hardly compare it with the famous West Lake as mentioned above.

No. 1 Bus from the centre of Shaoxing will take you there, and it is 40 RMB to enter.

Posted by Aussi Di 18:26 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Kuaiji Mountain and Da Yu

One of the most famous historic sites in China.

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Since arriving at the college I have been aware of a “Scenic Spot” opposite the college. One day one of the other teachers and I went there with the plan to visit – but the ticket office was unhelpful as no one spoke English. At the entrance there are two roads – one apparently to a temple high in the mountain, and the other to what is called Da Yu Mountain. Da Yu (Emperor Yu) who is famous for taming the rivers of China and preventing much flooding. Read all about Da Yu here.

So it was on Saturday May 17th, that, with a student from the college to help me with translation, that I saw close up this extra ordinary park. To be honest I had been in before – early on morning with a fellow teacher I was in the park when he was preparing for a historic event called “1000 people climb the mountain” which gave me an opportunity to see close up what this park was about, but as I didn’t have a ticket on that occasion, I resolved to go and see more of this huge park.

From Shaoxing City a number 2 and number 10 bus will take visitors to the entrance to the park which may be called Kuaiji Mountain Scenic Spot, or Da Yu Mountain. (confused? – so was I). In the ticket office get on ticket for 50¥ per person, and then enter via the big entry. You can also get a ride on a cart – perhaps costing 10¥. We chose to walk. Along the man road way are stone statues on either side and each has a story about the significance of the animal in the story of Da Yu – and that you would miss if you took the cart).

There is a central square where many ceremonies are held on the edge of a lake which has a series of boats that take passengers on a tour of the lake. One of these boats is the famous black covered Shaoxing boat, but they did not seem to be operating on this day. Of course there would be a fee for taking a boat ride.

The ticket that we purchased at entry gives you entry into three of the four places within the park, and as it was a very hot day and we were keen to get out of the park before the Olympic Flame ceremony.

What is described as the Ancient Village features the life and stories of Da Yu, including his Mausoleum and buildings associated with his life and family. One pavilion had magnificent photos of an opera that is famous in China telling the story of Da Yu.

The gardens are magnificent and any garden lover would enjoy a whole day exploring the gardens.

We went to the Bird Garden – where there were many magnificent peacocks, some black swans, ducks, geese, and many other birds that I did not know.
One sad part about the park is that Cock Fighting is still held, and I was pleased that there was none to see on this day, but we walked through the Cock fighting area, and saw some of the magnificent birds in their cages.

The birds are probably well cared for – but many are in cages that are far too small, and reminiscent of the way birds were treated in parks in Australia some years ago. No doubt China will change.

There was another temple that we did not visit. It is a lot of walking and one needs to spend a whole day there really – or perhaps two days. There is much to see, it is very beautiful and exploring the history of Du Yu is fascinating.

Well worth a visit (or two)!

Some sites with more information here and here.Photos_May_2_050.jpgPhotos_May_2_058.jpg

Posted by Aussi Di 18:07 Archived in China Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)

Night time ride in the Shaoxing canals.

Shaoxing - China's Venice.

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Shaoxing is an historic city – very much known for its canals. The Venice of China it has been called. The network of canals throughout the city snake their way around and it seems at each corner there is another canal making its way in another direction. There are small canals that surround apartment blocks and take turns here and there as the canal boat journeys through the amazing water ways.

Our boat was a little party boat – with half a dozen white plastic tables each with one or two trays containing a teapot and some cups. As we boarded the boat a tea bag was put in the teapot by the tour guide, then some boiling water and later when the tea had steeped we poured some into each cup and drank its refreshing contents.

We had quite a wait – but enjoyed the scenery, changing as it was dusk, with the big boats going past – the ones that carry coal, cement, and other building materials back and forth along the canals to building sites. People wandered along the pathways beside the boat dock, and some joined us on the boat.

We had purchased our tickets at the little ticket stand which found after a short walk in from Huancheng Rd (not far from the corner of Zhongxin Rd. The ticket prices were printed on the window of the little office and at first we were quoted 50 Yuan, but in the end were only asked for ¥40, and received a prettily printed ticket that we handed to the tour guide on the boat.

Our journey started at 7.30 pm., by which time it was dark, at least allowing us to observe the amazing lighting on the bridges, and on the buildings along the canals.

The journey took us over an hour – some places we would recognize and others not. In parts the buildings were old, and in others there was massive building of high rise residentials, as well as large corporate establishments.

We passed the impressive Shaoxing University, and under some bridges were fascinated to see groups of people ballroom dancing, line dancing or doing Tai Chi.

Apparently there is no day time boat trip from the boating dock, but I understand that there are other tour boats, and I shall be seeking those out.

The boat dock is a short walk from Jeifang Road – so for folk staying in the heart of Shaoxing City, the night canal ride is easy to get to – and well worth going on. (In fact we arranged a second trip several nights later.)Photos_May_08_308.jpgPhotos_May_08_300.jpgPhotos_May_08_313.jpg

Posted by Aussi Di 22:34 Archived in China Tagged cruises Comments (0)

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