Friday, March 27, 2009


Locals going to market.
Preparing the tie dye "knots."

Beautiful San Ta. Leaning pagoda on the left.

Getting through towns slowly, but surely! I can't believe we've been "back to school" for a month now. I'm ready for another vacation, but still haven't finished posting the last one. Dali was a blast. The historic city is set against a stunning backdrop, Erhai Lake with the imposing Cangshan mountain range behind it. The old section of Dali was wonderful to explore. We enjoyed an evening bargaining in the old town and had so much fun speaking foreign languages (who knows what), dancing and laughing with an old shop owner than we bought many of his wares....probably the plan, but he was was Terry who can speak some strange Russian and Chinese dialect and a language of his own making......nonsense spoken louder and slower! We visited a tie dye factory where we were shown the intricate process. Takes some serious time. When were were leaving we saw the field behind where they dry the products which were laying all over the ground and bushes. We had a boat ride on a lake that is usually calm. The wind was up and our tour guide was NERVOUS and SICK. The San Ta (Three Pagodas) symbolize Dali. The tallest is 230 ft. and dates back to around AD 800. The pagodas have survived many earthquakes that have destroyed the surrounding villages. The pagoda on the left is leaning reminding you of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Dali was incredibly charming. (photos)

Monday, March 23, 2009


I told you the bathrooms (or as we call them the "toilet" or the "WC") were interesting around here. Yes, Terry is wearing a fishing hat with a "fur tail." Long story.....
Street vendor making something like a hashbrown. Be careful with that big chopper!
Our good friend.....I have later photos with the infamous BYU bookstore bag.
Local folk enjoying the day.
The canals run through the village and they are used for washing clothes, dishes, vegetables and whatever else needs to be "cleaned?!"
Black Dragon Pool Park. Famous mountain in the background. Many brides were being photographed on the bridge and at the pagoda in the background.

We enjoyed historic Lijiang very near the Tibetan border in northern Yunnan Province. We went to the old town which was a delightful maze of cobbled streets, rickety old wooden buildings, gushing canals, bustling street markets all tended by merchants in traditional Naxi costumes. We visited Shuhe ancient town very near which is an older and more natural local village of the Naxi Minority. Black Dragon Pool Park was very lovely and peaceful. (photos)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Guilin to Kunming

A little entertainment at the Stone Forest. The traditional singing and dancing was great.
The Stone Forest was a lot like hiking at Lake Powell.....only no red rock and a little colder.....hmmmm........
Don't wake the dragon........
Trunk Hill Park with our tour guide (and brother), Marvin. I wonder why they call it that?

Near Guilin we visited Reed Flute Cave filled with exotic rock formations and fantastic shapes. The cave was lighted by colored lights. In the center of the cave was the Crystal Palace of the Dragon King. The cavern can hold more than 1,000 people. We also visited Trunk Hill Park which is named because the mountain looks like a large elephant with his trunk in the water. It is quite a climb to the top, but the view was worth it. The next day we visited the Stone Forest, a massive collection of limestone pillars eroded by wind and rain to shape fanciful forms. There were minority dancers there to take pictures and entertain us. (photos)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Li River to Yangshuo

My new friends. They are darling!

I'm getting seriously behind on our travel update. We are now in the third week of the second semester and I haven't finished blogging about our semester break. We left Hong Kong and arrived in Guilin where we took a 4 1/2 hour cruise down the Li River, the connecting waterway between Guilin and Yangshuo. The river forms a green gauze belt, the mountains are like blue jade hairpins. It is extraordinary. It was foggy, but still spectacular. There was bamboo, cormorant fisherman in small boats and picturesque villages along the way. Yangshuo was fantastic. Such a quaint little village with street markets and the mountain backdrop. In the evening we enjoyed watching the cormorants catching fish. The birds dive under water and catch the fish. The fisherman have a cord around the bird's neck so they cannot swallow the fish. Really amazing. We took golf carts on a ride through the countryside to see farming, rice paddies and visit a local home. This was one of our favorite spots on our Southwest China tour. (more photos)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Hong Kong

The double-decker bus ride to this beautiful bay in Stanley was better than a roller coaster!
We have a couple new stars on the Hong Kong Walk of Fame. Steve and Terry have taken over.

Ready to give our presentations. Glad that is over. The church buildings in Hong Kong are fabulous.
Oh yummy....Western food. Let's see how much we can eat.......

The spectacular Hong Kong Temple. What a wonderful sight.

We had a BYU teacher's conference in Hong Kong. We were anxious to see Hong Kong, but nervous to give our speeches. The city was amazing. There was too much to see and do in four days, but we tried. We watched the laser light show on the waterfront the first night. The second day we went to the Hong Kong Temple. It was quite a humbling experience. We had meetings there with the temple president. We took a ferry and a double-decker bus to Stanley which was a quaint little town on the beach. Picturesque! Lunch on the waterfront and shopping at the street markets was fabulous. We went to the night market and wandered the "walk of fame" along the pier. We rode the world's longest escalators, visited parks and ate lots of good food. We gave our presentations at the conference and had a dinner at Dan Ryan's that was delicious. On Sunday we had a district conference. The church owns some beautiful properties in Hong Kong. There is a gorgeous painting of Jesus and Chinese children in the administration building. The last afternoon we had a relaxing picnic in the park with our pals and departed for our tour of Southwest China. What a whirlwind stop! (Hong Kong photos)

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Day in Shenzhen

Dad, this rooster is in your honor! The entry to the park was decorated with all sizes of beautifully painted roosters, but this was the "cock of the walk!"

You can just barely see the people on the hand of this Buddha which is built into the side of an entire mountain. I believe it is one of the largest in the world--if not the largest.

Terry just loves walking on the suspension bridge. Almost as much as riding the gondolas. I miss my pugs so I had to find some new friends.....not quite as cuddly and a little heavy to bring home.

We spent a night and day in Shenzhen located very near Hong Kong. They have a folk cultural village there that was patterned after the Polynesian Culture Center in Hawaii. One side is minority villages with homes, shows, traditional costume and crafts and the other is an incredible "miniature China." All the famous landmarks in China are represented in miniature, including "The Great Wall," "the Hanging Temple," famous Buddhas, etc. It was fascinating and we could have spent much longer there. We saw a Mongolian battle on horseback, a Tibetan show and a Muslim celebration. That evening we were treated to back to back night shows. The costumes, acrobatics and special stage affects were wonderful.