Blogs from TianShui, Gansu, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui March 26th 2018

A 6.30 start (to catch up on blog) and an 8.00 taxi to the Lanzhou Xi (West) new station for the bullet train. Once again, we were staggered, the station is only magnificent, absolutely vast, beautifully clean and efficient; it reminded me a bit of Gatwick 50 years ago, an horrendous contrast with the dreadful sort of transport facilities to which we have become inured in UK. Noted on the way that virtually all buses here in Lanzhou are actually either electric or at least hybrid, but there is no denying that most cars (far too big and gas-guzzling) and most scooters are still on diesel or petrol. The train left on time, fairly near full, and with the same excellent staff arrangements. Once again, we remembered the notion that in UK they might operate trains ... read more
Nice electric car
Feeder channel, Tian Shui
Selfie opportunity

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui March 26th 2018

Day 31: Exploring Tian Shui At 7.30 we were, to some extent, roused by music being played in the street via a public address system, followed by 30 minutes of possibly stirring speech, mostly by a woman. Over an excellent Jinjiang Inn breakfast (including hard-boiled eggs, boiled in tea), Maghnus revealed that he had hit the town last night and gave us an account of his revels. The plan for today was to visit the Buddhist grottoes at Maijishan (Wheat Stack Mountain), so named because the caves have been carved into an isolated geological feature that looks like a stook. It is 35 km southeast of Tianshui, is the 4th most important such complex in China and 194 caves plus extensive artwork survive. Maghnus had a cunning plan – to go by taxi to the “old” ... read more
Our bus to Maijishan
Maijishan Grottoes
Maijishan Grottoes

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui May 18th 2017

Travels with my Xiong di...Hidden Gansu...The God of Fire & Immortal Cliffs Grottoes. We met a grizzled old man by the road past Maiji Shan who raised a wizened finger and pointed..."that way." "The immortal shows the way with lamps" we had heard. He had no lamps that we could see...but a smell of paraffin and coal dust...closest thing to an immortal in these parts we thought. So that way we went...winding up narrow roads without sides...twenty kilometres...meandering as if following the crooked finger of the grizzled man. Then Robin stops the car and we climb ancient steps...600 steps as it turned out...past broken dwellings...climbing through a forest that reeked of ancientness. Through a moon gate...a long sweeping cliff overhang with temples as if sheltering from sun or rain...the leaves from the trees whispering no more. ... read more
Immortal Cliffs Grottoes mountain
West Immortal Cliff
South Immortal Cliff

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui May 4th 2017

Travels with my Xiong di...Maiji Shan...the carved mountain the Cultural Revolution forgot. On a movie set...one is captured by two dimensional landscapes, urbanity or whatever from past or present on picture boards...setting the scenes the camera dwells on to carry you away with the script. But when one looks behind the picture boards there is a different world. China to me is like that...the glitz of the well known sites teeming with tourists and souvenirs...so beautifully and grandly presented...the backstreets oh so different. Then there is Gansu...a province like no other. One feels you are well behind the picture boards...in a world that time forgot. There is a dryness...a silence...a feeling of isolation...the old Silk Road long gone...yet solitary reminders of an exotically spiritual past...like Maiji Shan. When the barbarians.... read more

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui April 14th 2017

China with my Xiong di...Paradise road to Maiji Shan. After Robin returned to China following his visit to our Sydney home, Robin's offer "I will drive you" haunted my dreams. So I entered uncharted territory and contacted him in email exchanges: "Robin, you said you would drive me to Maiji Shan. Were you serious?" "Yes. I will drive you. You come and I pay." "How about in two weeks...and I pay?" "I will meet you at Xian Airport and we will then decide who pays." My guts squirmed...imagination screamed...excitement turned from gas to solid. Never done this before. I got on a plane to China to travel with Robin. Stepping out to pursue a dream from a black & white photo in a 1950s China book...photo to reality...talk about stepping out. ****** ... read more
The Bell Tower
Welcome to Xian
Cave Dwellings

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui July 15th 2015

The MaijiShan Grottoes are the only reason to come to TianShui, but they're a good enough reason to make the journey. For the first time on this trip we're getting the feeling of being a bit off the beaten track. Nobody speaks English, there are no English menus, though Atsuko can read enough for us to have a guess at what we're getting. As has nearly always been the case wherever we've been people go out of their way to help. We're also a bit of an attraction and get people staring and quite a few students wanting to have their photo taken with us.... read more
Gallery
Local Noodle Speciality, All This For CNY18
Local Noodle Speciality, All This For CNY18

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui July 26th 2011

Dinsdag 26 juli: een dagje Tianshui. Na onze tweede nacht in onze “cabin” in het Arboretum bij de Maijishan, wilden we op tijd weer op pad gaan. We zouden eerst naar Tianshui reizen en daar een hotel zoeken, om daarna nog wat van de stad te kunnen zien. Om 7u30 was alles al ingepakt en maakten we onze ochtendwandeling naar de receptie, deze keer was dat met bagage. Ludo kreeg wel de hulp van een professionele kruier. Alles verliep uitzonderlijk vlot: het uitchecken gebeurde snel en probleemloos en er stond zelfs al een wagen met chauffeur klaar om ons naar de uitgang van het park te brengen. Toen de chauffeur hoorde dat we met de bus naar Tianshui zouden reizen, bracht hij ons tot Maijishan dorp, waar bus 30 vertrok, onmiddellijk nadat wij waren opgestapt. De ... read more
Berna voor één van de gebouwen van de tempel.
Groot beeld en kleiner exemplaar van Fuxi.
Ludo komt de tempel uit.

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui July 25th 2011

25 juli: Bezoek aan de Maijishan. Om kwart na 6 ging de wekker, na een lange en frisse nacht. Na het ontbijt vertrokken we zo snel mogelijk naar de Maijishan site, want we wilden zoveel mogelijk zien vooraleer de bussen met bezoekers zouden toekomen. Tussen het hotel en de site lag een wandeling van 15 minuten door een mooi bos van het Arboretum. Toen we rond 8h30 bij de site toekwamen, was er nog bijna niemand. Na een paar foto’s in het ochtendlicht, begonnen we aan het bezoek. De Maijishan is een alleenstaande berg, die zoals zijn naam (Tarwebaal) het aangeeft, de vorm heeft van een baal tarwe. Hij ligt op ongeveer 1.700 meter boven de zeespiegel, en steekt zo’n 130 meter boven het landschap uit. Het is het 4de grootste complex van Boeddhistische grotten in ... read more
Beeldengroep uit de 6e eeuw.
Berna op één van de vele galerijen.
Boeddhabeeld van de 6e à 7e eeuw.

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui July 24th 2011

Zondag 24 juli: naar Maijishan. Na onze bezoeken aan de Xumishan bij Guyuan, en de Kongtongshan bij Pingliang zouden we vandaag naar Tianshui vertrekken, om onmiddellijk door te reizen naar de Maijishan, en daar te logeren. Dit zou dus onze derde Heilige Berg worden 4 op dagen tijd. Onze buskaartjes hadden we 3 dagen geleden al kunnen kopen, we konden na de bagagecontrole onmiddellijk doorlopen naar de perrons en op de bus stappen die al klaarstond. Dit is een beetje ongewoon. In bijna alle andere busstations in China moet je in de wachtruimte blijven zitten tot je bus voorrijdt en je buskaartje gecontroleerd is aan de juiste uitgang; net zoals dat in China gebeurt in de treinstations, en overal ter wereld gebeurt in de luchthavens. De conductrice was een koket geklede vrouw op hakjes. Dit ... read more
Het indrukwekkende interieur van het Arboretumhotel met veel te dure kamers.
Een wandelende tak aan het wandelen.
Ludo en Berna ook aan het wandelen. Ze stevenen af op  onze cabin nr. 4.

Asia » China » Gansu » TianShui December 18th 2010

Tianshui City is the second largest city in Gansu Province of China, and is located about 4 hours S.E. of Lanzhou, the capitol of Gansu, the largest city in Gansu. Tianshui City, a smaller community of some 5 Million inhabitants, is continuing to develop into a more modern city, but still retains much of the flavor of an older Chinese city along the Yellow River. As one of the main settlements along the important routes of the Ancient Silk Road, I found Tianshui more interesting than Lanzhou. Here commerce and religions, traditions and customs have a long history, as all were transported by traders and pilgrims from East to West and from West to East. Tianshui City is a mix of ancient influences and modern development, and the two live side by side. Buddhist Temples, Taoist ... read more
Buddhist Sculptures of Maiji Shan/Mountain
Maijin Shan or Wheat Stack Mountain rises up spectacularly.
Close-up of one of the huge Bodhisattva sculptures




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