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Bozhou, Day 7

Bozhou, China


The morning started out with the Bozhou herb market, one of the largest in China. The warehouse was like an herbal COSTCO, with thousands of items for sale at wholesale prices. There was everything from scorpions to deer antlers. The locals seemed intrigued by our small troop going through the building. Not only is it strange for non-local Chinese to visit there, its simply unimaginable that people from the US would travel around the world to go there. I guess it would be like living in Lafayette, United States and seeing a bus load of Japanese tourists pile out at your COSTCO to check it out from around hte world. It was fun to wander around the many isles and explore the herbs that are not sold in the US like centipedes.

Afterwards, our guides took us to their local herb store for a quick tour before heading out to their pill factory after lunch.

The pill factory welcomed us with 2 large banners hanging on their buildings. There was even a local TV station there to record the event for local broadcasting. We were all excited by the amount of attention we got; we were treated like diplomats from the US goverment.

Inside the plant we saw the process of taking the local farmed herbs and preparing them into powders and pills for resale.

of course, most things are clinically tested and visitors and workers have to wear the lovely sterile looking uniforms. Our guides were as pleasant as ever and they invited us to dinner later at finest retaurant in town. The woner adn director of the factory said that the city's economic leader would be present at dinner and wanted to welcome the American guests in person.

Before heading back to the hotel, the plant owner gave us a quick history of the onve famous city of Bozhou. not only is this area the bitrth place of Lao Tzu and Chuang Tzu (Taoist founders), as well as kung fu... But it is also the birthplace of Hua Tou, the famous Chinese Dr. who formalised Traditional Chinese Medicine. We went to visit a small shrine to him in town on the way back. Hua Tou also created a set of animal exercises that sorta resemble Tai Qi practice. Here's a pic of the owner really getting into doing one of the animal forms. It was pretty fun.

The official dinner started off with a rather formal introduction, some of us felt a little underdressed, but they didn't mind. The welcomedus to their town and country and hoped that we would return again soon and bring more attention to the importance of Bozhou in the herb growing market.

The dinner adn hotel was amazing. It was the best nite yet. After about 100 shots and various toasts to almost everyone... we were ready to call it a nite and asked robert if we could sleep in the next day.

there was one last photo op before we left. We felt like we were part of the UN.

permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 20, 2005 from Bozhou, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged China, Herbs, Kungfu, Bozhou, Farms, Rural, Farmer, ChineseMedicine, Herbalist, PillFactory, Taichi, HuaTou, LaoTzu and ChuangTzu

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Luoyang, Day 4

Luoyang, China


We arrived in Luoyang by train in the early morning. After checking-in to the hotel in town, we got ready for a short drive out to the Shaolin temple. After a local lunch we visited the temple at the base of a mountain whose peak looks as though Buddha is lsleeping on his back (it kinda looks like that). The shaolin temple was one of the most anticipated sites to visit for the trip. The following events occurred:

DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAMERA?!

The Shaolin temple is pretty much on its own park. There are countless children and youth training away and maintaining their own grounds. The main focal attractions at the site are the theatre, where you can see them perform and train (its a choreographed show really) and the pagoda forest, a collection of small pagodas dedicated to the past shaolin masters. The performance was impressive but has an edge of feeling over rehearsed. After the show, which was really too short, you can buy shirts and other momentos outside. This is where we encountered the master of the five-fingered discount. I was talking with the shop keepers and students interested in buying some stuff from the store and I put my video camera down for a second. A minute later, it magically disappeared, in th emidst of only about 5 people. My camera DV got yanked! And not only that, the DVD's that Robert and I bought where bogus. They weren't the performance that we saw, it was a lame instructional video... it was a shaolin hustle. A lesson in impermanence.

Other than the slight damper of the theft, the religious ceremony at the temple and the pagoda forest were quite interesting and impressive. Although, on the way out of the pagoda forest, I did see a monk kick a blind beggar in the back to get him out. Not very compassionate... then again, there is a serious contradiction with having monks be powerful warriors. There's somehting not right about Peace, Compassion, and Butt-kicking. Still, it was cool to see all these things; monks doing head stands, breakig stuff, etc. I mean, we've seen so much stuff in film and TV, it was nice to go to the source of it all.

As we drove away that evening there was a huge reddish moon rising above the mountains. It was the start of the mid-autumn festival (moon cake festival). Later, we finished the day off with hour long foot massages. It was great and I almost forgot that I got ripped off earlier.


permalink written by  Benjamin Satterfield on September 17, 2005 from Luoyang, China
from the travel blog: China Tour Fall 2005
tagged China, Theft, Luoyang, Shaolin, Temple, Buddha, Monks, Kungfu, Pagoda and Camera

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Oriental journey

Harbin, China


Welcome to my blog
Welcome to CHINA


permalink written by  TANKAIYANHAO on January 9, 2009 from Harbin, China
from the travel blog: Oriental journey
tagged China, Kungfu, Picture, Film and ChineseKungFu

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