Alishan Nature Park, Taiwan

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It took us about 3 hours to reached Alishan Mountains,  half way up to the mountains, it was fogging and the roads totally covered by the mist. All we can see is misty white covered a large part of the mountains and the reserve. We got into park and found our way to check in our hotel, the tour company had booked us into a lousy village hotel, every where we can see dirt and spiderwebs around the walls and floors.

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The staff working there were very friendly and we  booked our additional trips to visit the reserve and  morning sunrise with them.  Our driver was not allow to take us into the reserve, it was a regulation set by the reserve, and  we must wake up at 3.00 a.m. in the morning for this mini tour. We been offered 2 tours – one is by the train which we  will see only the morning sunrise and the train trip and another more expensive tour  which covered all the important landmarks in the Alishan and cost 3 to 4 times different.

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Ailshan National Scenic Area is a mountain resort and nature preserve in the mountains of Chiayi County. The reserve is about 415 square km in area which include wilderness, four villages, waterfalls tea plantation, Ailshan train station and hiking trails. This place is popular with tourists and mountain climbers, and it become one of the major landmarks in Taiwan.

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Ailshan is well known for the sunrises, and on a beautiful day one can observe the sun come up on a sea of clouds in the area between Ailshan and Yushan.

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We went for our walk to the train station and in time to see the sunset, then we went to the local restaurant to have our dinner which they offered steamboat and various dishes as a package deal.  Enjoyed our dinner and wine, we back to our hotel to have an early night for the next day excursion. When we reached our hotel,  the place were full of butterflies and moths, I have never see such a great varieties of these before.  So spent a great time time taking photos of the butterflies and moths and totally forgotten I need to wake up at 2.00 a.m. the next morning for the mini tour.

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Phoenix Ancient Town (Fenghuang), China

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After our visit to Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China, our driver proceed to drive us to Phoenix Ancient town also know as ‘Fenghuang’. It took about 3 to 4 hours to reach Phoenix Ancient Town and the hotel which we booked online do not has any car park  so our driver had to let us off behind of the hotel. It about 10 minutes walk to the hotel and once we check in, we took our dinner at the restaurant in the hotel

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It was not expensive to eat in the restaurant as my children and one of my friend didn’t want to go shopping in the nite at the Phoenix Ancient Town. We left the hotel around 8.30 p.m. and our guide arranged for the driver to take us to visit the nite market where there were stalls selling local crafts, and embroidery.

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There is an entrance fee charge for entering into this town, it used to be free of charge but the local governments want to charge tourists for visiting this town so the monies can be used for upgrading this town.

 

‘Fenghuang’ is Chinese for ‘Phoenix’, the mythical bird of good omen and longevity that is consumed by fire to be re-born again from the flames. Phoenix Ancient Town is so called as legend has it that two of these fabulous birds flew over it and found the town so beautiful that they hovered there, reluctant to leave.

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There were lot of locals and tourists in this town and it was surrounded by the river. We were shocked to see that lot of night clubs or bars have notices that Japanese are not welcome in their clubs. The shops and the streets are brightly light up and there are bridges for tourists and locals to cross over the the other sides of the river.

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We did some shopping and went back to the hotel around 10.30 p.m. as our guide will meet us at 8.30 a.m. the next day. This is quite a different experience as we didn’t expect night shopping in this ancient town and all the shops opened till 11.00 p.m.

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Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China – Part 2

_DSC1061.1 _DSC1056.1We enjoyed ourselves and love the mountains songs sung by the Shop owner and our tour guide from the Red Rocks Forest National Geopark.We talk with the locals about their life living in this beautiful place. From the youngsters they want to earn more monies to survive but the older generations they are happy and content with present life.

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After hours of free entertainment from both of the guide and the shop owner, we have to carry with our trekking into the red rocks forest. We are amazed to found that one section of the red rocks  were surrounded with sunflowers and other species of flowers.  It just getting better than we expect as in these conditions we don’t expect to see flowers and it was a shock to see sunflowers blooming among these rocks.

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About half an hour, we came upon the lake where the rocks were reflected on the still water.  We stay here for a bit to take photos as we have to trek for an hour to reach the visitor’s shop where the staffs were busy embroidery beautiful landscape painting onto the canvas.

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This is an amazing beautiful, and astonishing  place to visit. I would love to come back to this place again once they are fully completed. I tried to download the mountains songs unfortunately, the system can’t accept my itune video on it.

Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China – part 1

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After our tour at the Furong Ancient Town, our tour guide lead us to the Red Rocks Forest, Zhangjiajie, China. This park is near to Furong Town, it was opened to public in 2011 and it is still under construction to built this park.  The weather was about 38 degree and it was so hot that we had difficulties to walk under the hot sun.  The rocks are bright red colors under the bright sunlight.

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Sources from the China Tourism

Xiangxi Red Rock Forest locates in Jietong and Duanlong township in Guzhang county with an area of 30 kilometers square. Its opposite bank is the famous scenic spot“Fu Rong Town”. It is the unique red carbonic acid rock forest in China formed in Cambrian. Very long time ago, here spread over a sea of water.

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Now,Red Rock Forest is being developed into a national geological park where karst, gorge, karst cave, valley and waterfall are distributed together. It is really a resort of both high value of geologic and scientific research, aesthetic appreciation and tour landscape. Another attracting and mysterious thing is that the color of rock here can change with weather and temperature. In summer with hot sun, its color turns into fiery red. During cloudy day, it would be maroon with purple. However in heavy rainy day, it is black.

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We walked  for about 1 hour and stop for a break to buy some water melons from the hawker selling the fruits. It was refreshing and gave us some energy to walk further into the forest of red rocks.  We walked for another hour and came to the top of the mountains where there was a small shop with seats under the shelter of the hot sun and sitting at there we can view the forest of red rocks.

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We bought bottle of drinks from the shop and owner of the shop  is an old man sitting with us. He is so kind and helpful and he started to sing to us so as to entertain us. We also have a lady guide from this park which our tour guide provide it for us and both of them singing together.  Sitting around in this shelter we have so much fun that we stayed at this place for about 2 hours.

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He look so happy even he earn peanut for his living as we found out that there wasn’t  a lot tourists come to this park as it is  not fully finish yet and there are still lot of works to be done so that it is worth the value for money they charge for the entrance fee for this park.

I will continue this Red Rocks Forest in my 2nd blogging.

Merry Christmas

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Wish all my friends in WordPress.com have A Merry Christmas and Happy 2015 New Year.  Thanks for all the support and comments for my blogs, it give me the motivation to write,  post my photos of my works and travel photos in my blogging. In this year I have learn and achieve a lot from my friends in wordpress.com and  Warm hugs and thanks to all of you.

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Ikon Gallery – Artist Imran Qureshi -19th Nov 2014 – 25th Jan 2015

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I am feeling a bit down after our interim assessment, it has nothing to do with my works as all my works are pretty up to-date. My previous lecturers  were quite good and tried to talk to me, hopefully I can lift up my energy to do my works but it seen nothing can help me.  We been given the morning session on Friday to go to Ikon Gallery, , Brindley Place, Birmingham B1 2HS.

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I have  a shock in my system when I saw  this Great Artist, Imran Qureshi ‘s works. He lives and works in Lahore, Pakistan. He is trained in the regionally and historically rooted discipline of miniature painting, Qureshi combines this tradition with current affairs, and the formal language of abstract painting. Personal observations of everyday life in Pakistan are juxtaposed with references to violent acts that a terrible reality in his home country.

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The theme is introduced in Ikon’s first floor through the powerful imagery of Still Moving (2014 and This Leprous Brightness – 2010 -2011. The blood- red impressions of the artist’s feet are embellished with intricate drawings of flower petals. There blossoms, represent “germs of hope” and using this motif throughout the artist’s work.

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The title: “They Shimmer Still -2012, the artist uses acrylic and gold leaf on a pair of large oval canvases to dramatic effect. The red pigment simulates the bloody aftermath of the atrocity witnessed by Qureshi in Lahore. “It became personal after a terrorist attack in a busy market place in Pakistan 2010, …the imagery of the blood spattered surface emerged then.

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On the Ikon’s second floor  galleries feature large scale drawings and installations made in-situ by the artist. The exhibition concludes with and they still seek the traces of blood – 2013 to 2014, a mountainous pile of thousands of sheets of crumpled paper printed with images of the artist’s previous installations. The title  is about those who have been buried without their lives honored or the circumstances of their deaths investigated.

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I am  so emotionally connected with his works especially on the second floor when I saw the white drawings papers with drawing on it, all the blood flows everywhere on the floor and the walls. I image that a person is being dead and cover with a white blanket with blood flowing everywhere. I have a shock impact when I saw this artworks and it lifted me from my depression and have the energy to move forward with my artwork again.

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I would recommend this exhibition to anyone who is keen in Fine Art or see beautiful works this is a must to see if you happen to be in Birmingham, England. The entrance fee is free of charge and you can take photos of the artist’s works.  Qureshi’s exhibition will be end on 25th January 2015.

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Scored for this place and exhibition: 10/10

Day 3 – Secret Hideaway – Zhangjiajie, China

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Visiting two museum a day, our team need a break of Chinese Culture and they were tired and need something to lighten up their day. The tour guide told us that the driver have arranged lunch for us at a seafood restaurant in a secret hideaway where the locals go for fishing.

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Once reached the restaurant, one of my friend was sick  with flu. We enjoyed our lunch but this lunch was too expensive it cost us 800.00 rem which the tour guide let us know that all this was arranged by the Driver. So we had been conned but it was alright as we spend the late afternoon in this village with spring water flowing  into dam. The children enjoying themselves catching little crabs.

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We just don’t want to move any more so we just soak in the fresh water and enjoy the scenery. Times passing very fast and it was time to go back to the hotel to get change and out for dinner.  We didn’t want to have any dinner but our tour guide told us the night market where the locals  go for barbeque foods and local cuisine is worth a visit.

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We went to the night market and it was crowded;  our tour guide know which stalls is the best and arranged a table for us and we did enjoyed the local cuisine which was cheap and the foods were well cooked.  Our guide is a young teenage  and he make sure we enjoy our day and all our day trips ended around 9.00 or 10.00 p.m. which is value for monies as his fee is only 200 rem per day. Normally all guides finish at 5.00 p.m. and sent you back to your hotel. We are very lucky to have him to guide us in Zhangjiajie.