Sunday, April 27, 2014

The End of Our Blog

We have reached the end of our mission and the end our blog. Our replacement couple, Elder and Sister Wasson from Washington, arrived on February 25. We spent two days giving them an introduction into what we did as Asia Area Family History Support Missionaries.

On February 28 we traveled by the MTR to Shenzhen, China, for the day. We visited the China Folk Cultural Center and Splendid China. Splendid China has miniature replicas of attractions in China. They had even constructed a miniature Great Wall. It was amazing to think of the amount of time that went into placing each brick in the wall. The Cultural Center is modeled after the Polynesian Cultural Center in Hawaii and each of the cultures in China had an area where you could learn about them. Some areas would put on a brief show. We attended the show put on by the Monguls in which they performed a battle using their horses.

March 1 was travel day to Guilin, China where we would see the Gum Drop Mountains and cruise on the Li River. On Sunday, March 2, we looked out our hotel window at the Li River and decided to walk along it. As we walked out the door of the hotel, there was a woman taxi driver who spoke English that offered to take us to Reed Flute Cave. We rode the tram up to the cave entrance. The cave was is natural limestone with multicolored lighting. Reed Flute Cave is filled with a large number of stalactites, stalagmites and rock formations in weird and wonderful shapes. After Reed Flute Cave she offered to take us to see other sites in Guilin.


After the cave we went to a silk factory. It wasn't as detailed or as informative as the one we visited when we were in China in 2008. Tom found a beautiful comforter that he decided to buy. After the silk factory we went to Solitary Beauty Peak where we climbed to the top for a beautiful view of the city of Guilin. A quote we saw on the peak was from Dr. Sun Yat-sen, "There is
distinction between easy and difficult things. If you try difficult things will become easy. If you give up easy things will become difficult."

Next we went to Yao Mountain where we could see the valley surrounded by the Gum Drop Mountains. We had to ride a tram to the top. We rented what looked like old military coats for 10 yuan each. We were glad we did as it was cold at the top of the mountain with a wind.

 We ended the day with a short boat ride on the Li River to see Elephant Trunk Hill.

Along the way we say these cormorants on a raft. They are trained by the Chinese to catch fish and return with the catch. A band is put on the neck of the cormorant so it can't swallow the fish. It returns with the fish and the fisherman squeezes the neck of the bird to get the fish out. The cormorant is then rewarded with a smaller fish that is can swallow.

Monday, March 3, was our day to cruise the Li River. It was an amazing experience to travel through the Gum Drop Mountains for 5 1/2 hours.

 Nine Horse Painted Mountain

The mountains that on the 20 yuan dollar bill.   
Tom and Garnalee ready to float the rapids on a bamboo raft.
In the evening we attended the Impressions Light Show that is performed on the Li River with the Gum Drop Mountains as the back drop. It was utterly amazing. I couldn't get any pictures with my camera so I copied a couple from the internet. 

Tuesday, March 4, brought another wonderful day as we visited the Longji Terraced Rice Fields and the village of the Minority People of Yao. The woman in this village cut their hair only once in their life at the age of 18. They wear their hair wrapped around their head like a hat. From the style of the hair wrap you can learn about the marital status of a woman. A single woman keeps her hair covered and it is uncovered on her wedding night by her husband. A woman without children has her hair wrapped around her head and a woman with children has a snail-like loop on the front of the wrap. 

After visiting the village we went to the terraced rice fields. The mountains were covered with terraces. In the evening we flew to Xian where we will see the terracotta warriors tomorrow. 
Wednesday, March 5, was spent touring Xian. We started at the National Provincial Museum where we saw the terracotta warriors. There are three pits here. Pit 1 is where most of the excavation has happened. Pit 3 is where there was a royal guard. Pit 2 is where each section of the pit holds a different section of the army--archers, chariots and soldiers, cavalry, etc. Excavation in pit 2 and 3 was halted until the time that technology will have developed a process in which the paint on the figures can be preserved. 

The size and number of figures in Pit 1 is amazing.
 After visiting the terracotta warriors we went to Xian City Wall. Originally the wall had four entrances--north, south, east, and west and was built during the Ming Dynasty. If the weather is nice many people bicycle around the wall. Since it was cold and drizzly we just walked part of the wall.
 A view from the top of the city wall.
After the city wall we went to the Big Wild Goose Pagoda.

We concluded the day at the Drum and Bell Tower. The Bell Tower had a large bell that was rung at dawn each day and the drum in the Drum Tower was beat at sunset. We are pictured in front of the Drum Tower.

No comments:

Post a Comment