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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Future Adventures, Part III . . .

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 . . .

20: Taichi

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.

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