Saturday, November 24, 2007

Mainland China, Take One

Last weekend I visited mainland China for the first time on a Gore trip. The trip was organized by the Shenzhen plant and it was called "Family Day" even though it was all weekend. It was a very grueling experience. In total, we probably spent twelve hours on a bus. We traveled north to an area at the very top of Guangdong Province to the city of Shaoguan. There were about 400 Gore associates and their families who went in six big buses. We all traveled and ate together, so you can imagine how crazy it was.

The first day we visited Nan Hua Temple, which is a 1,500 year old Bhuddist temple. On the second day we went to Danxia Mountain and Jinjiang River. The mountain was very beautiful, but you can see the pollution from the pictures. Also, it is not very peaceful to be on top of a mountain with 1,000 other people (see the picture will all the people at the look-out area). There was a huge traffic jam of people trying to descend down the mountain through one very narrow and steep section.

We also visited a famous area of the mountain called Yangyuan. It is famous because the rock resembles a penis--literal translation is "male/father stone". As a result, it is believed that newlyweds who visit the rock will have a son. There are mass wedding ceremonies held at the base of the mountain, and bus loads of brides and grooms come to visit the rock still in their wedding attire. There is also a vagina shaped cave nearby, but we didn't have time to visit it. All of these places have lots of history and superstition, but since the tour guide spoke Chinese, we didn't absorb it.

The areas we visited were very poor. From the bus, you could see lots of small farming villages and people living in shacks or make-shift housing. The hotel was a two star, but it was the worst I ever stayed in. It was very dirty and noisy. There was mold growing all over one wall. The food was better than I expected, and there were lots of veges for me. All of the toilets were squat toilets with zero toilet paper. We were glad we went on the trip, and it made us so appreciative of the luxuries and conveniences in Hong Kong.

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Ah penis rock! Sounds like you are seeing lots of cool stuff...