Climbing the Dragon’s Back in Southeast China

August 5, 2014

The Dragon Back Rice Terraces are located in Guangxi Province in southeast China near Vietnam.  The nearest city is Guilin, which is close to the Li River.

When we arrived, there was two-legged transportation for anyone who wasn’t strong or healthy enough to climb to the top.

There are fifty-six minorities in China and this is an autonomous region where the Zhuan minority lives— the largest minority in China with more than sixteen million people. The ancient Zhuang culture has been traced back more than two thousand years.

Halfway to the top, we passed this woman cleaning rice.

We arrived in the autumn and the rice had been harvested. The terraces were turning brown. For lunch, we ate in the village.  The terraced rice was cooked in segments of bamboo over an open fire.

At the top, we looked toward the far mountains—a foggy blue outline.

On the way down, we noticed an entrepreneur making money by letting tourists dress in minority costumes and take pictures.


Video from Oregon Lifestyles

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Low-Res_E-book_cover_MSC_July_24_2013

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline


Li River Cruise 2008

June 27, 2013

Southeast China near Vietnam and Laos is a beautiful area to visit.  The air is clean. The sky blue. One morning, we left the hotel early to join a river cruise along the Li River. Click on the photos for a larger view.

Soon after leaving the dock, I snapped this shot of the boat in front of ours. While the tourists were on the upper decks, the cooks were preparing lunch.  The dinning room is in the large, first-deck cabin.

Cruising the Li River will carry you past one of the ten places to see in China.

I couldn’t resist taking a picture of water buffalo eating the plants that grow under the water.  They would dip their heads under and come up with a mouthfull of green.

Small boats and villages are scattered along the river.

I wasn’t the only tourist taking pictures.  Most of the tourists were from the Chinese middle class.

If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy Shanghai Huangpu River Tour

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the unique love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

#1 - Joanna Daneman review posted June 19 2014

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Impressions of Liu Sanjie

March 5, 2013

While visiting China in September/November of 2008, we went to Guilin, went underground to the Reed Flute Cave, hiked the Dragon’s Back, cruised the Li River and spent two days in Yanghsuo.

Then we saw Zhang Yimou’s breathtaking staged production, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie, that I recommend to anyone visiting Southeast China.

Zhang Yimou, the director, is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker. He made his directorial debut in 1987 with the film “Red Sorghum”.

In the 1990s, Zhang Yimou directed “Raise the Red Lantern”—nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1991 Academy Awards.

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed on the river at night. However, you may be more familiar with Zhang Yimou’s opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed with the Karst Mountains and the Li River as the setting.

 The cast comes from the local Guangzi Zhuan Autonomous Region  and many may be fishermen by day and actors at night and are from the Zhuang and Yao minority groups, who live in that region.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

2015 Promotion Image for My Splendid Concubine

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Impressions of Liu Sanjie

August 16, 2010

While visiting China in September/November of 2008, we went to Guilin, went underground to the Reed Flute Cave, hiked the Dragon’s Back, cruised the Li River and spent two days in Yanghsuo.

A brief tour from Guilin to Yanghsuo

Then we saw Zhang Yimou’s breathtaking staged production, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie, which I recommend to anyone visiting Southeast China.

One of the lightshow scenes from “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”

Zhang Yimou, the director, is an internationally acclaimed Chinese filmmaker. He made his directorial debut in 1987 with the film “Red Sorghum”.

In the 1990s, Zhang Yimou directed “Raise the Red Lantern”—nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 1991 Academy Awards.

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed on the river at night. However, you may be more familiar with Zhang Yimou’s opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

More from the “Impressions of Liu Sanjie”

 

The “Impressions of Liu Sanjie” is performed with the Karst Mountains and the Li River as the setting.

The cast comes from the local Guangzi Zhuan Autonomous Region  and many may be fishermen by day and actors at night and are from the Zhuang and Yao minority groups, who live in that region.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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Climbing the Dragon Back

May 18, 2010

The Dragon Back Rice Terraces are located in Guangxi Province in southeast China near Vietnam.  The nearest city is Guilin, which is close to the Li River. 

When we arrived, there was two-legged transportation for anyone who wasn’t strong or healthy enough to climb to the top. There are fifty-six minorities in China and this is an autonomous region where the Zhuan minority lives—the largest minority in China.

Halfway to the top

Halfway to the top, we passed this woman cleaning rice.

We arrived in the autumn and the rice had been harvested. The terraces were turning brown. For lunch, we ate in the village.  The terraced rice was cooked in segments of bamboo over an open fire.

at the top looking back

At the top, we looked toward the far mountains—a foggy blue outline. On the way down, we noticed an entrepreneur making money by letting tourists dress in minority costumes and take pictures.

To see more photos of the Dragon’s Back, click on Travel Pod.  You may also want to join me on a Li River Cruise.

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the author of the award winning novels My Splendid Concubine and Our Hart. He also Blogs at The Soulful Veteran and Crazy Normal.

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First China Quiz (there is one prize)

March 3, 2010

China Quiz—the answers are in the first hundred posts at iLook China. The first person to answer all the questions correctly will win a free copy of either “My Splendid Concubine” or “Our Hart”.  If the winner lives outside the United States, I will provide a free e-book copy for them to download. There is no deadline. This quiz and the prize will be kept open until the first person answers all the questions correctly. The answers may be found in the first one-hundred posts.  If you find an answer from another source, provide the source but it must match or be similar to the answer found in iLook China. Write your answers in a comment to this post. Make sure there is a way for me to contact you.

1. Why did I write American Hypocrisy, my first post at iLook China?
2. What Chinese city would you find next to the Westlake?
3. What is the name of Zhang Zimou’s night spectacular on the Li River?
4. What is the first of all virtues to most Chinese and what does it mean?
5. Why was the Reuter’s employee roughed up outside Foxconn’s walled city-like facility in Guanlan?
6. During what Dynasty did the Chinese invent paper money and add credit type loans to the banking system?
7. Bob Grant said, “In all honesty, over the years, I have ___ ___ __ ___________ __ ________ flight anywhere inside China.” (fill in the blanks for the six words that are missing)
8. After Mao died in 1976, what did Deng Xiaoping introduce to China for a brief period-of-time, and what was the public allowed to do?
9. What American president’s administration seems to have been the role model for the changes in China’s health care system and what kind of health care system was this?
10. Before the Communists won China in 1949, what was the life expectancy for the Chinese people?
11. What was the name of the health care program that Mao started and how did this system work?
12. (Fill in the blank) Chinese Internet users are _____ times as likely to have blogs as Americans.
13. How far did Tom Carter walk while taking pictures for China: Portrait of a People?
14.  Where will a Disneyland be built in China?
15. On February 28, 60 Minutes ran a segment about a Taiwanese man spying on the United States for mainland China. What was this man trying to discover and why would China care?
16. Who moved China’s first Capital and what was the name of that first capital?
17. Construction of the Longi Rice Terraces was started during what Dynasty?
18. What do the Chinese think about the crew of the Tough Titi, an American B-24 Liberator bomber?
19. What did Confucius say about the importance of gaining an education?
20. What happened in 1421?


Disneyland Chinese Style

March 2, 2010

President Obama’s half brother, Mark Okoth Obama Ndesandjo, is married to a Chinese woman and lives in China. Ndesandjo speaks fluent Mandarin and practices Chinese calligraphy. In a TIME interview, he said, “I’ve experienced the warmth and the graciousness of the Chinese people.” Ndesandjo is overwhelmingly positive about his life in China.

Disneyland

TIME magazine also reported that a Shanghai Disneyland has been approved, and according to a report by the Burbank, California based Themed Entertainment Association, “Chinese consumers have a lot of love for Disney. They’re more excited about Disneyland than the EXPO 2010 Shanghai China.”

To give you an idea how much Chinese love everything American, visit Zhang Yimou’s musical, the Impressions of Liu Sanjie. This musical with a cast of hundreds is staged on and alongside the Li River in Southeast China near Vietnam. The theater reminded me of similar theaters at American theme parks like Six Flags or Disneyland but the musical was local and ethnic.

_______________

Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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