Having had enough cynicism and political debate this morning over the Snowden/Manning betrayals and the lack of privacy we opt into when we share everything about ourselves on social networks, it's time for a little more wide-eyed anticipation of the wonders that await in my older, more experienced kingdom . . .
16: Hiking Jiangxi
China has some serious hiking trails, with spectacular scenery and lots to see. I'm thinking lots of mini-trips to such spots may be the perfect complement to the hubble/bubble of Beijing. Matt and Delores - this is just west of Shanghai - want to go see the Taoist spires of Sanqing Shan?
And yes, it's another UNESCO World Heritage site . . .
17: Yuangyang Rice Terraces, Yunan
WOW! Google this for images - it is spectacular!
I may have to buy a real camera but I'm always conflicted about that. If I have visual pictures, I may not paint word pictures. For this landscape, it might be worth it.
18: Li River Scenery, Guangxi
Oh. My. Buddha. The images for this are equally stunning, in a different way. Stunning karst mountain backdrops to scenes of rural domesticity - water buffalo, farmers, fishermen.
The point and shoot may not do this justice, though I do have a few photographer friends who want to visit. I may just have to schedule trips accordingly.
19: The Great Buddha, Leshan, Sichuan
Another UNESCO World Heritage site, but one I may choose to skip. It's impressive for many, many reasons, but a little dour for my taste.
I prefer my Buddha to be happy . . .
I will definitely watch and photograph this martial art form, but want to return to one I practiced while in Sydney many years ago, with the most charismatic Chinese master one could imagine (who looked a little similar to the buddha above - old, with a bit of a belly and an easy smile. I've also seen him take down a group of young Kung Fu students without seeming to even move, just a gentle sway, an acceptance of their attack and a tap to render them immobile.
Qigong, or Chi Kung, is similar to taichi but adds the focus on moving the qi/chi around the body and is used primarily as a healing art. Every move is also a block or attack if speeded up, and China is the perfect place to start learning this again.
Martial, medical and spiritual - sounds like a perfect balance to me.