While visiting the mainland Hong Kong, I hopped on the ferry to nearby Lamma Island to explore hills and temples. The weather was welcoming this time. I took the longer path and continued through some off beaten route to the top. The views were amazing but the way down not so much. The scorching heat was unbearable. Compare that to the awful weather I had on Lantau Island.
Lantau Island has got something to offer for everyone. Hiking, Culture, History, Art, Sports. I focused my visit on two aspects. Hiking to Lantau Peak and filming locations (only for martial arts movie buffs). As mentioned, the weather forecast was very unfavourable to say the least. Foggy and drizzling all the way up and down.
Apparently, they call it Venice of Asia. How much it is accurate you have to see it for your self and compare with the European version. The ancient town, dated back to 1700 years ago, offers with 36 ancient bridges, waterways and traditional Chinese-style residences. In the past centuries Zhujiajiao was a trading area due to the many canals, which were used to ferry products along in barges little boats. I loved the temple where you could tie a red ribbon to the sacred tree. Write the names of your dear family members and they will brought joy and happiness or/and success in business.
West of Shanghai, there is a famous Buddhist temple, Jade Buddha Temple. In 1882, an old temple was built to keep two jade Buddha statues which had been brought from Burma by a monk, Huigen. During the revolution that overthrew the Qing Dynasty, the temple was severely damaged. The statues were luckily saved and in 1928 a new temple was built on the present site. It was named the Jade Buddha Temple.
Shanghai has always invoked some kind of historical and cultural magic in me since I was a child. Was it movie locations in old martial art movies or hard labour of early arrivals? I don’t know but Shanghai had always been on my a must see list. I wasn’t disappointed. First, the Bund then the ancient town of Zhujiajiao and Yu Garden, to name a few. It was part of my Triangle Trip to China, being Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Part of the attractions you get while hiking Huashan Mountain is undoubtedly the dangerous plank walk which draws in all sorts of daredevil visitors. It has been ‘conquered’ hundreds times by Chinese visitors, (actually all families) and overseas travellers, old and young trying to face the fear of heights. The organisation is a bit chaotic and slow, but the reward is unbeatable and the experience unforgettable.
As part of hiking through Chinese mountains I picked the one with famous plank walk. Situated in Huayin City, Mount Hua Shan is 120 kilometers from Xi’an. It is famous for natural vista of steep and narrow paths, precipitous crags and a high mountain range. Its five peaks are the representative attractions and each has its distinctive charms: East Peak is the best place to enjoy the sunrise; South Peak has the highest altitude; West Peak is the most elegant; North Peak is famous as the Cloud Terrace Peak and Middle Peak is also called Jade Lady Peak. The Mount Hua Shan is also home to several influential Taoist temples, where many emperors of past dynasties took part in Taoist activities and sacrificed to the god of mountain, making it a holy land of Taoism.
Off all the sections of Great Wall of China I opted for the one that offered not only picturesque views but some isolation from the usual crowds. This section is a great photographic spot for its its unique style, steep mountains and scenery.
Jiankou’, is translated as ‘Arrow Nock’ in English, for the shape of the collapsed ridge opening is reminiscent of an arrow nock. The Jiankou section has never been restored since its construction, with some sections having fallen into disrepair. This, along with its location along a mountain ridge bordered by jagged cliffs and steep drop-offs, makes this section potentially dangerous to climb, while at the same time a place for experienced hikers and photographers.
In Dandong, I had the opportunity to visit Great Wall of China, but the North Korean side. Before entering the actual territory of North Korea we went near the wired and heavily guarded frontier. The sense of unease and surveillance was omnipresent. The boat trip sends you shiver down your spine, knowing that on side of the border is of the most secretive country in the world and most suspicious to anyone who come too close to their borders.
At the North Korean – Chinese border in Dandong shines politically influenced impressive Sino – Korean Friendship Bridge. It is to remind all visitors about alleged American atrocities on North Korean soil.