HOSTS WITH THE MOST

The Chinese are always great hosts.  Over 350 guests were invited to the very well organized, bi-annual, @International Mayor’s Forum on Torurism-Zhengzhou 2016  which included a few days of sightseeing.

Kaifeng is an intriguing ancient city.  Also known as the site of the first community welcoming Jewish people, historic records show the Jewish presence began in the 8th century. However, there is some controversy since other historians say it was the 10th or 12th century.  Nevertheless, these immigrants were graciously assimilated. Strangely,  some of the traditions remain and many who are no longer of the faith, practice  certain rites, but don’t know why like lighting candles on Friday nigh, the Jewish Shabbath., which still has family dinner together.

KAIFING’S THE TERRIFIC THEME PARK

Most tourists  come to  @Millennium City Park which is what we could call a theme park.   Fire eaters, acrobats, horse show, the view from the Rainbow Bridge, with folk customs from 960.AD.  It is very much a city -oriented park as kiddies, young and old, seemed to be having  a great outing. It’s huge and although we spent over 3 hours seeing shows, which are all free- and looking at the vendors’ stalls, we still needed  more time.  The kid in me showed through.

No time to get to the promised malls for retail therapy but this was special. So I wasn’t upset. 

In the evening, when it gets dark, the water show  (tickets are so very difficult to obtain) on the lake is created with high tech and audio and visual effects. After a welcome dinner hosted by Kaifeng Municipal Tourism Committee, this was one of the finest performances on the itinerary’s ‘menu’.  “Dreamlike Glory of the Song Dynasty” took place against a backdrop of mountains.  From the start when a a large red lotus flower opened to display several actors, it just went  to grander scenes.  Even Las Vegas can’t compare.  It is a Chinese version of Le Cirque du Soliel  on water, bridges  ( Le Cirque’s, Eau?), castles, singing, lovely costumes, all with various coloured lighting, brilliant costumes, wonderful voices and yes,the mountain back drop. Splendid

TAI CHI AND ME

Jiaozuo, the city known for the origin of Tai Chi Chuan. After the master and some students did their remarkable performances, one of the masters, asked the audience if they wanted to try.  I did. Loved my 15 minutes of fame. Then  I was interviewed for Chinese TV (with a translator ) who asked what I thought.  “Ballet and floating gracefully”, I told them and they told me I was terrific.  That led me to  now looking for Tai Chi class in Toronto.  Anyone who knows one, tell me.

kf luoyangP1010687kf greeterP1010684WET AND WONDERFUL

Morning came too quickly. Off to Luoyang, “the city of poems” – a scholarly, cultural centre and also, “city of flowers”  known for the huge, colourful and plentiful peonies which are grown here.  However, the main reason  in this cold, stormy, rainy day, was to see the famed Longmen  Grottoes which have over 2000 niches, 70 Buddhist pagodas and I didn’t bother to count, trying to keep my footing, but have over 1000,000 statues.

We were handed what looked like colourful garbage bags in your choice of yellow, blue or red (maybe fuchsia ?) with hoods.  They didn’t keep us dry.

Ancient cobble stones are so slippery. Taking pity, several  Chinese, young and elderly  men and women, took turns holding my arms  as we climbed up and down dozens of stairs to see the UNESCO Heritage List, Grottoes. Well worth the outdoor shower and sliding along the stones.

pagoda forest

pagoda forest

NO, A TEMPLE ISN’T JUST ANOTHER TEMPLE

@Shaolin Temple, ‘the number one temple under Heaven’,is an UNESCO Cultural & Natural Heritage site.  Famous for Chinese Zen Buddhism,  it is  know especially for martial arts. From the huge  granite gated entrance, stairs lead to other stairs where you’ll find more  halls, temples and pagodas. Originally built in 495 AD, it has become known as the best  Chinese Martial Arts academy in China.  On several hundreds of acres,  there a still more building rising to the sky to accommodate transient monks and visitors who want to stay,  see and learn more. There are amazing demonstrations of marital arts from young lads to more senior men. There are 400 classes and courses for students the thousands of young people who hope to be accepted. With so much to see,  don’t miss the @Pagoda Forest, where distinguished dignitaries are buried.The numerous pagodas, about 15 metres (49 feet) high, made me feel very, very tiny and obviously very, very weak after seeing the older group perform amazing feats. 

http://indulgedtraveler.com  #bestmartialacedemyinchina  #Kaifengapslendidcity 

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