Tag Archives: asia

Dragon In Escape To Australia!


aBefore continuing with the dragons, I should write first about Australia… Well, the plans for Australia had been made almost one year ago and unfortunately my flight to Perth was cancelled in last minute. That’s why I changed my itinerary with a new one to Indonesia.

But, life is hard, I had lots of new responsibilities at work in the recent months and I couldn’t write the part about the dragons as promised. But, then, the life is also plenty of surprises and hopes, and right now I’m in Australia for a short trip. And this time, I want to share my third Australian experience with you without passing time.

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After a flight of almost 10 hours, I arrived to Hong Kong where I stayed one night. Hong Kong is lively as it is always. Mainland Chinese people are filling up the narrow streets of the city to celebrate the new year, the expats are having fun after work on a Friday evening and you become surprised to see how traffic is under control in the most populated tiny country of the world. I tried to enjoy the dynamism of the city as much as I can because I know that in my next destination I would miss the crowds(!)

Then, with another 8 hours of flight, I arrived to Sydney on Sunday. The weather is hot, very hot for a traveller like me coming from a snowy city. As do most of the tourists of Sydney, I rushed to take a picture of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, which are the symbols of the city.

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Next day, I took a flight for Ayers Rock, in the center of Australia, known also as Red Rock or Uluru. Finally, I’m in my targeted destination….

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Tranquility everywhere. I’m in the middle of nowhere and Anangu – Aboriginal people of Western Desert think this is the center of the world. The Anangu people have been living here for over 30,000 years. Uluru is the biggest monolithic rock formation on earth where Anangu people have been settled. It dates back to 550 million years and the caves of Uluru had become so far home for Anangu people.

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Today, I woke up early and did a trekking around Uluru. Some of the caves walls are painted – dating back to 5,000 – 7,000 years ago; the stories of those paintings  are still unknown. Hence lots of imagination required. What we know as of today are few childish stories and legends.

But, for the history part;

In 1873, an Englishman, William Christie Gosse became the first European to climb Uluru.

In 1930, the first airplane, ‘Love Bird’ landed at Uluru.

In 1950, first tourists arrived at Uluru. Now, it’s the tourism icon of Australia.

I write these lines right after my camel tour. My camel, Daisy, is well-known in this part of the world, he appeared in many ads… I liked it, and I will continue my touring with Daisy for another couple of days in this beautiful desert….

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Lijiang: Venice of China


A canal with flowers

A canal with flowers

Lijiang is the old capital city of the Tea Road; for centuries it was the central bazaar where Tibetan and Han traders negotiated for their products. It’s at the bottom of Himalayas and Qinghai – Tibet plateau; you can feel the fresh air at an altitude of 2,000 meters. It’s surrounded with mountains, rivers and lakes. Besides of its amazing landscapes, it’s known also by its rich culture.

One of hundreds canals in Lijiang

One of hundreds canals in Lijiang

More than 20 different ethnic minorities live in Lijiang, amongst them are Naxi, Bai, Tibetan, Puma, Yi , Lisu, Miao people. Each of them have their own traditions and the different colors and styles of dresses fill the car-free cobblestone street of the old city.

Local people from Lijiang

Local people from Lijiang

 

 

 

 

In 1997, Lijiang was the first Chinese hill town listed in the World Cultural Heritage List of UNESCO.

Street view from old Lijiang

Street view from old Lijiang

 

 

Old women of Lijiang

Old women of Lijiang

Old way of transporting merchandise

Old way of transporting merchandise

Together with its picturesque landscapes, the arts and architecture of this town are fabulous. They are the masters of Dongba scripts, drawings depicting the Naxi culture. When I returned back home, my Chinese teacher asked me whether I listened to Naxi music. `Of course` I told her, almost everyday I witnessed live music performance of ethnic people on the border of the canals.

Old Naxi Scripts

Old Naxi Scripts

 

Famous Wall Scripts in Lijiang

Famous Wall Scripts in Lijiang

When you enter into the old city, the first thing that you notice is the numerous stone bridges embellishing the canals of Lijiang.  Another interesting thing: there are many shops where you can rent one of the beautiful Lijiang dresses, there you wear your costume and do your make-up and then a photographer takes your picture on one of the 350 bridges. Nice souvenir!

Pose For

Pose For

Another Pose

Another Pose

Thanks to its nature Lijiang kitchen uses lots of mushrooms or jun zi… really delicious in the hot pots!

Famous Mushrooms

Famous Mushrooms

Kublai Khan arrived to this city and drank water from this well…

Kublai Khan Well in Lijiang

Kublai Khan Well in Lijiang

You must absolutely visit Black Dragon Pool Park (hei long tan) , just 15-20 minutes of walk after you exit from the Old Town. It’s a relaxing place located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. You can climb to Elephant Hill if you want to see an overview of old and new city. Or you can visit the Naxi Culture center to listen their songs.

Black dragon pool park

Black dragon pool park

This is not particular to Lijiang but my favorite toys, remembers me the Far East Asia 🙂

My favorite!

My favorite!

And don’t forget, life is full of surprises… you can not know when and where you can see a white camel. Sometimes you should switch your path from main streets to side streets 🙂

What is this?

What is this?

Aside

I arrived to Baku before the sunset; the big sun was shining like an egg yolk in front of me. The international airport of Baku is situated almost 20 km. away from the city center. The heat, the dust and … Continue reading