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The surrealistic beauty of Guanzai mountain--the inspiration for many generations of Chinese painters

Guanzai Mountain I used to think the ancient Chinese landscape artists were either drunk or high on something other than altitude, but Guanzai’s mountains really do resemble Chinese paintings. For 1,000 years, the serenity of Guanzai Mountain drew scholars and leaders seeking solitude and inspiration.
Today, Guanzai draws tourists.

A 5 km boat tour of Shimen Lake winds past mountains blanketed in unusual plants and flowers, and home to rare birds and animals. Chinese especially appreciate the ancient towers, pavilions, academies, and the 40+ calligraphic inscriptions by ancient scholars and officials like the Opium Commissioner Lin Zexu.

Every rock, hill and cave has a name, of course. My host pointed out the Elephant Playing in Water, Monkey Beating Bell, Crazy Monk Weaving a Hat, aThirsty Horse Drinking the Spring, and Bill Fleeing Hillary.

X-rated natural rock formations  on Guanzai mountain--with X-rated Chinese namesSome of Guanzai’s fantastical peaks and caves so closely resemble human anatomical extremities that they should be off limits to minors. A vertical 60m stone column is called “The Root of Life (生命之根).” Lest the lusty allusion escape us, Guanzai brochures depict the Root of Life right smack beside a high, narrow cave lovingly dubbed “The Door of Life” (生命之门). Propriety (and my wife) prohibits photos of The Door. Use your imagination. Carefully.
Back to top Amoymagic Guide to Xiamen and Fujian Chinese vendors have probably carved steps up the side of Mount Everest on the Tibetan side

One Small Step for Chinese Over the past 5,014 years, the Chinese have built steps up every mountain in China, including Guanzai. I suspect that even the Chinese side of Mt. Everest has steps, and probably entrepreneurs on the peak selling roasted watermelon seeds, bottles of mineral water, and oxygen. Give them another decade and tourists will ascend Everest on escalators.

Songfeng Pavilion, halfway up the endless steps of Lotus Peak, was set amongst cliffhanging pines, flaming red wild azaleas, and aromatic orchids. Vendors sold snacks, drinks and local handicrafts. Tourists were transfixed by two men balancing on a cable strung high between two cliffs. They were either acrobats or diplomats in training.

Like virtually every other mountain resort, Guanzai has its ‘Crack in the Sky,’ as well as a site where yet another deceased Tang Dynasty Taoist concocted immortality pills. But the area has plenty of coffin makers so either the Taoist never figured it out or he kept the secret to himself.

World’s Longest Dragon! Every year on Lantern Festival (15th day of the first lunar month), entire villages in Liancheng unite to produce the world’s longest Dragon—a dazzling spectacle that undulates up and down the hillsides. And less spectacular but much more unusual is Zougushi.
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Zougushi (???)Zougushi (走故事) (These photos are by the photographer Babushka. Click to visit his page).
This popular tradition is held throughout Liancheng and Changting, but I’ve heard that Luofang puts on the best show.

Zougushi was introduced from ancient Henan to encourage the gods to prevent both droughts and floods. Fourteen ten-year-old-boys in make-up and ancient costumes are propped atop poles, from morning until night, on ornate sedans that weigh over 400 pounds.

My sons Shannon and Matthew would never put up with that, but I guess American kids are just poles apart from Liancheng lads.
Zougushi (???)
Sedan bearers begin building up their strength on the 3rd day of the New Year, and on the 12th begin a 3-day fast. On the 14th day, they don red robes, and bear the 400 pouned sedan chairs and poled boys around a 400-meter elliptical track until they drop from sheer exhaustion. The sedan bearers are then probably trampled upon by crowds behind who are beating drums and waving bright banners.Zougushi Photos by Babushka photographer in Changting

The next day they go at it again, this time against the current in a freezing river. The two sedans for the Heavenly Official and the General always remain in front, but the sedan bearers behind them weave in and out, racing madly to overtake each other. I strongly suspect the swerving sedan bearers are either moonlighting kamikaze cab drivers from Xiamen, or else the headstrong Hakka of Little Red Shanghai...

Click Here to visit the ancient mountain town ofBeautiful Chanting Town Changting--Little Red Shanghai

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TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming
Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books
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Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu Kulongsu
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Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew
Quanzhou

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DAILY LINKS
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EDUCATION
Xiamen University GuideXiamen University
Xiamen International School  International Baccalaureate ProgramXIS(Int'l School)
Study Mandarin Chinese or Minnan Dialect at Xiamen University  or with private tutorStudy Mandarin
 
China Studies Program Xiamen University  Council for Christian Colleges and Universities Washington D.C. Jay LundeliusCSP(China Studies)
Piano Island Music Events Xiamen Philharmonic OrchestraLibrary Xiamen Museum Library Science Center  World's largest organ museum Asia's largest piano museum China's first anthropology museum Sino Eurolpean art museum etc.Museums
History of Amoy Changchow Chinchew Zaiton Fukien etc.History
DINING
Xiamen restaurants dining western and Chinese cuisineRestaurants Xiamen Asian restaurants -- Singapore Thailand Thai Malaysian  Japanese Korean PhilippineAsian
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RECREATION
Hakka Earthen architecture Massage!
Hakka Earthen architecture Beaches Kite Flying in Xiamen ChinaFly Kites
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BUSINESS
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