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A journey to Yunnan

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This is a backlog travel note.

@~@
What to bring?
see 2bring4travel.txt in my folder of China2012.

@~@
I make a marking for every (large in amount) RMB note that we bring to China.
Why?
The money changer staff told us that her son was cheated.

Her son gave the shop assistant a large note.
The shop assistant went to look for change.
She came back and told him that there was no change and returned him a fake note!

@~@
Our tour guide to Shi Lin was Mr Wang.

He told us that to travel by yourselves will cost more than joining tour.
Mr Wang said his salary is RMB 1600. A month expenditure is RMB 1000. Therefore, we have to shop, the more we shop, the more commission he will receive.

If one earns RMB 2500 per month, he or she is considered high earner.
The main sources of income for travel company in Yunnan:
1. tourist attractions.
2. air tickets.
3. hotel (we were promised 4* hotel-room but we got a RMB 80 / night 2* motel-room).

4. food (Wang told us to expect the food to be not delicious).

China has 56 tribes.
Yunnan has 52 tribes.
Mr Wang said that fast and dark female are desirable.
女孩十八岁像老太太
老太太像老妖怪

To leave the mountain, the minority people have 2 paths:

1. study well
2. join the army
In his village (Shi Lin), the eldest woman in the tribe is the head. If a man run away to leave the mountain, all family members will be punished.

According to Wang, silver can remove ‘wind’.

To me, A Shi Ma (Yunnan) to greet female sounds similar to Ajuma (Korea).
A Shi Ma 阿诗玛 means diligent and beautiful.
To greet male, A Hei Ge 阿黑哥 / A Bai Ge 阿白哥 / Hei Bai Ge 黑白哥 aka A Hua Ge 阿花哥.

Lake is called Sea.
River 河 is called Jiang.

FOOD that we tried:
@~@ flower pastry. We love it (JiaHua brand).
@~@ over-the-bridge rice noodle.
@~@ The eight treasures of Yunnan. Too sour for me.
@~@ Wild mushroom banquet. Thank you to our tour guide Wang for driving us there (for free), he said he stayed near there. The waitress was also honest to return a forgotten phone.

@~@ Hui cuisine. The wild vegetable was unique, my first time eating such kind of vegetable.
@~@ 青稞饼 (barley bread).

FAUNA
@~@ grazing yaks (black, white, brown) : Zhongdian / 中甸, Blue Moon Valley
@~@ sheep
@~@ horse riding, LaShiHai / 拉市海*. It costs us RMB 350 / person, latter someone told us that you can have the ride for RMB 100. My travel partner was happy for the first time riding horse.

* When I prepared for the trip to Yunnan, 拉市海 seems so tranquil like Lake Bohinj, but when we visited 拉市海, it was hot and crowded (especially at the horse riding sites). The tranquil site was frequently visited by couples taking pre wedding photos.

Be careful of:
pickpockets / bag slashings.
Avoid barber shops, massage centers (con involvement).
police num: 110

Black Dragon Pool / 云南黑龙潭
The front cover of my favorite travel book: DK Eyewitness of China features the Black Dragon Pool with Yulong (Jade Dragon) Snow Mountain and its reflection.

When we were there, the pool was dried that we could see the cracking soil and smell the unpleasant fishy odor.

Sometimes, virtual travel (through travel books / documentaries / videos) seems, sounds and smells more relaxing. Personally, this is possible if only we have experienced similar things before, so that we can imagine and re-feel. If not, we have to travel our lives!
Many times, we have to travel indeed.

Lijiang 丽江 to Zhongdian 中甸:
terraced fields (reminded me on the journey to Sapa in Vietnam).
the upper reaches of the Yangtze River.

@~@
See also:
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/04/01/dream-of-love-in-the-spring-2012/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/plan-for-our-love-photos-china/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/02/12/travel-china-sichuan/
https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/01/26/asia-regional-travel-ideas-2012-2014/
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Written by blueroselady

March 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

Revising my notes on how to take beautiful photographs

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I love photos because photography literally means painting with light.
When we are taking photographs, we should think it as an act of our respects to beautiful scenery created by God.
Though photography is very subjective (I do like particular photographs but not others), photography enable us to connect to people across nation, geographical, and cultural boundaries.
I strive to have the curious eyes of children, the mind of philosopher.

Here are some tips:
Photography for the very beginners.
Practice!
Mini shoot.
Photo shoot session as a date (cheaper than fine dining / watching movies).
Discovery projects
Study work by others (the same goes for every field of professional pursuit, though I am not a professional, but I strive to create work of high standard). As of early 2013, I have over 6,000 photos for reference. Perhaps, I have to declutter them, to focus more on quality than quantity. Some good online places that I have used include : Flickr, Pbase, Corbis, websites of bridal studios or professional photographers, travel / photography books.

How to photograph people?
How to photograph your little ones?
I am committed to photography my little ones once every month.

How to pose for photos?
Be photogenic!
Not to forget make-up, even for gentlemen.
“The best shots reflect a relaxed simplicity."

Celebrate and take photos. I especially love to celebrate the four seasons.
Do you want to travel and take photos?
Here are interesting locations:
1. China: Beijing (warning the sky is so often polluted that I had to degrain and make the sky blue in a photo taken at the National Palace that I cherish), Yunnan, Sichuan (especially near Chengdu), Hong Kong,Taiwan.
Korea: very romantic for autumn and winter shots.
2. Malaysia : Malacca, Penang
3. Indonesia: Bali (many couples are getting married at the island of God), you can get forever summer photos here.
4. United Kingdom because I lived there. I always love the England gardens! I even love their fine porcelain mugs printed with garden flowers. Think of Alice in the Wonderland, Harry Potter, all magical things! I love England in spring and autumn.
5. France: forever ROMANTIC Paris! Imagine perfume, Lavender, Mediterranean sea of French Riviera, and beautiful delicious food.
6. Oceania : Australia (because I think I am going there more often) and New Zealand (after I finish enjoying and experiencing The Lord of the Ring as promised by my lover).

Some reflections about travel photography:
1. Always bring TRIPOD when you travel, especially on your own. Tripod can help you take photographs with slow shutter and produce magical photos that our normal eyes cannot see.
2. "When we are taking photographs, we should think that they are our love letter to our beloved ones." My love letters sent from Canada.
3. I wrote "Shangrila (Zhongdian) in Yunnan reminds me on Switzerland."
Personally, I do not like Zhongdian.
Switzerland is a better travel destination.
Friendlier people / safer environment.
Lower altitude / more oxygen.
Better experience and memory.

Although I am not considering a career in photography, I believe that my photographic skills are improving with time.
I may also earn some pocket money from my passion in beauty and photography.
If I can, so can you!

I am in love with slow life in Lijiang

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I am in my 20s and for the past many years I have been living a hectic city life.
I am highly competitive and committed to my undertakings.
Rush from a place to another, across countries and continents.
Fighting for projects, awards, rewards, admissions, and jobs is a daily endeavor.

In short, before I arrived in Lijiang and after I left her, I have lived a competitive, rushing, multi-tasking life. Do you also live in similar ways?

Lijiang allowed me to appreciate a different form of life: slow life.
Perhaps, it is due to my discovery of a book “slow life in Lijiang”.

Quoting my hero Gandhi, “there is more to life than increasing its speed.”
On a side note, for my 1-week stay in Lijiang, I saw only an Indian family. Perhaps, the language barrier is discouraging Indian tourists.

Why am I in love with Lijiang?
Perhaps, I visited Lijiang with a lover.
We held hands, kissed, and made love.
Perhaps, my artistic thirst was quenched by the beautiful and charming old towns, graceful willow leaves, little streams, shining cobble stoned, and red sexy lanterns.
To me, Lijiang is a re-discovered Venice in the East, for I love the Venice of Italy so and had been surviving on countless gelato, I love the delicious dishes of Lijiang (stir fried jasmine, wild vegetables that I may not eat again!).

The ladies in Lijiang
The Naxi hardworking women, I put my hat off to you.
I love the happening music of the garbage collecting little truck.
All the workers are women.
That is why Lijiang old town is relatively much cleaner than other parts of China.
My partner said I seem considering of applying for this job.
I kept on saying so fun to work with those music broadcasted from their little truck.

The ladies in Lijiang
The tourists in Lijiang:
Beautiful Chinese ladies in long colorful skirts and round hats
Carrying umbrella
I love taking pictures of them.
Who can resist beautiful things?

The children of Lijiang
Toddlers wrapped in thick clothes.
Your playground is so beautiful, yet you may not realize it.
It is the funny nature of human beings.
People cherish what they do not have or what they hardly get or what they have to fight to have.

The dogs of Lijiang: from small size to large ones.
Dogs with innocent looks
Dogs with hairstyle

The sound of Lijiang

I love the positive ending of this song.
The drum, the free feeling

The never-worry attitude of Lijiang
Time seems stop for you (when in fact time flies without you realizing it)
Let us enjoy life
Sitting at the courtyard
With swing, red lanterns, bougainvillea, a cup of tea – a private enclosure in the midst of crowded, ancient, beautiful old town
Chat with old and newly-made friends
A Shanghainese entrepreneur invited us to his inn; he bought the usage license (for 15 years).

The arhictecture of Lijiang
I love the roof.
I love the cobbled streets, shiny due to years and centuries of pedestrians walking on them.
I love the red lanterns, sweet and sexy against the cool grey roof.

Now, I only think about food and hugs from my beloved ones.
Dear said I am becoming like a bimbo on the 2nd Sunday of June 2012.
Sigh, it is time to enhance my intelligence.

Written by blueroselady

June 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm

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I no longer want to visit Tibet in China

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In 2006, I was greatly inspired by the photos of Tibet taken by LD (2004) in travel and documentary style.
Then, I seriously put time and efforts to learn photography on my own and from good photographers around me.
The blue sky, the white clouds that seem touchable, the colorful flags, and the gold-covered Potala Palace make Tibet sounds like a heaven on earth.
You can be so close to the sky (and heaven) in Tibet.

For the new year of 2007, I told one of my best friends KS that as a traveler in my life, I want to visit 1 of 3 main destinations.
We dream and set goals, then we realize our dreams.

Do not entirely believe photographers.
They are a combination of artists, engineers, scientists and magicians.
Those who are madly in love can make mundane places look so dramatically beautiful.
A friend of mine told me that the photos of magic hours that I took look more beautiful than real scene.
The simple secret is long exposure.
To me, this is “seeing beyond seeing”.
How I wish I know the secret of “living beyond living”.
We are all on journey.

In 2011, HM – a charming girl from Sichuan whom I like, visited Tibet.
Her SLR-produced photos of Tibet appear normal to me.

In summer 2012, I firmly decide to substitute my dream to visit Tibet with a better dream – a better destination, according to my perspective.
I review the photographs by LD that inspired me. They were fresh to me because of his style of using wide-angle lens, again allowing me the possibilities of “seeing beyond seeing”.
But now I am uninspired.
So what?
What has happened to me?

I wonder if my global wandering for the past several years to multiple countries, my diligent research and reviewing on how to produce beautiful photographs that the professionals achieve, have driven myself to be so perfectionist.
Being perfectionist is tough to live, I do not mind to raise my standards of work, but I feel that we need the act of balancing.

Tibet is situated on high altitude, beyond 3000 meters (risk of altitude sickness).
Honestly, I am concerned of altitude sickness.
Health and lives are the most important.
Though I am a risk-taker, I am a calculated risk taker.
The longer one lives, the more fearful one can be.
I have always attempted to overcome my fear.
See https://blueroselady.wordpress.com/2012/05/26/how-to-overcome-fear

While we visited Zhongdian, we had our first encounter with a Tibetan. He is our tour guide. He could be funny and cruel at the same time.
He force people to pay $ to join a dinner of RMB 260 per head.
It is an expensive dinner by the standard in China.
The Shanghainese middle-aged lady sitting in front of me was not aware of the “compulsory” dinner as her tour agent did not tell her about this.
Lesson: when we travel, we have to do research, at least check the travel forum for safety precaution or “compulsory” things.
At a foreign land, we are at the mercy of the locals.
I witnessed how our Tibetan tour guide purposely elbowed her head after she refused, he forced her to call her tour agent, and he moved on to collect $ from us.
The Tibetan tour guide declared that anyone who did not pay for the dinner had to get down of the bus immediately.
He said every Tibetan tour guide will do the same thing.
OK, perhaps tour guides worldwide are in tough economic situation (due to increasing competition, economic recessions that make people less keen to travel).
Really?
For that dinner alone, the Tibetans collected
4 buses x 50 people x RMB 260 = RMB 52,000 ~= USD,8,200.
Now, I understand why our tour guide can afford to wear foreign branded sport shoes. Branded things (in particular foreign brands) are luxuries in China.

According to our Tibetan guide:
1. The Tibetans can carry knives around, including at schools.
2. The Tibetans can freely and are given money to attend schools. He once studied in Kunming and no matter he scored 100 or 0, he would graduate.
3. The Tibetans marry at the average age of 13. Our guide said he was late for marrying at the age of 14.
4. The Tibetans do not have to pay taxes.
But based on my limited observations, the Tibetans sell same products more expensive than the shops in Yunnan.

I am curious on the Tibetan medicine and spiritual teachings.
Most likely, I will learn them outside Tibet, through the perspectives of overseas Tibetans, Westerners, and Chinese.
I succeeded to learn on using chopstick in Canada, so I believe that I do not have to be physically present in Tibet in order to learn all these.

Tibetans living at high altitudes have no more oxygen in their blood than other people, they have 10 times more nitric oxide and double the forearm blood flow of low-altitude dwellers.
NO = blood vessel dilator.

Bye Tibet!

Written by blueroselady

May 27, 2012 at 4:13 pm

Thank you China Eastern

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In May 2012, 1 of my loved ones flied solo from Kunming.
Before the plane took off, he wanted to vomit and rushed to the lavatory. But at the front of lavatory door, he went black out.
When he woke up, he was sitting on the toilet bowl.
The air stewardess was asking him, xian sheng, are you ok?
She said he looked pale.
They called medic on board, who measured his blood pressure to be ok. They gave him medicine.
His vomiting urge and fainting were due to severe diarrhea.
China Eastern allowed him to sleep horizontally across 3 seats, so that he could rest well.
Thank you China Eastern for taking care of him.

Written by blueroselady

May 20, 2012 at 8:16 am

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Dream of love in the spring 2012

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What I want for spring 2012
@~@ minority tribe costumes with natural scenery + horse + kungfu.
@~@ Qipao with wooden umbrella + Shanghai collar black suit in ancient town.
@~@ Bridal gown with super long veil in wetland / greenery + water (flying water) + snow mountain.
@~@ colorful gowns (that cover my large lower legs).
@~@ spring flowers (never ending fascination!)

@~@ MOUNTAIN + GREENERY + WATER
Tree immersed in water is SEXY!
REFLECTIONs are always so reflecting.

@~@ COLOR
Why am I in love with TURQUISE CYAN? Jiuzhaigou! see Vision_063
RED is always making you the center of attraction (good with greenery or snow backdrop).
For future project, I can wear something on my wedding gown to create a new fashion! see Chengdu_NanHu_11, for more inspiration.

@~@ FLY
I love everything that can fly.
FLYing WATER: e.g. Chengdu_ChaoYangLake_02.
FLYing GOWN or flying VEIL e.g. Chengdu_Jiuzhaigou_007, Jiuzhaigou_1, Chengdu_Xindu_04.
Do you know that flying gown can make you look like a butterfly?

@~@ TIMELESS
Classic e.g. Chengdu_MuGeCuo_68, Chengdu_Jiuzhaigou_002
Probably the secret of being classic lies in the fact that you cannot really see the face, so they are more like representatives of universal lovers.

@~@ CINEMATOGRAPHY
Presenting parts as a part of story.
Macro on flowers / memorables.
half-body of 1 lover + full body of another lover.
e.g. Chengdu_Jiuzhaigou_051

@~@ CHALLENGING
Bride in gown sitting on top of tree, especially tree immersed in water.
Kungfu.
Climb to the roofs of ancient town.
GG carries MM (like what we did in Bohinj).

@~@ FRAMING
Tell your photographer:
1. shoot up
2. shoot 1/3
3. shoot classic (cannot clearly see face).

@~@ POST-PROCESSING
smoke / fog effects always add to the romantic feeling.
strong SUN effect e.g. Chengdu_Xindu_13.
add noise + unsharp mask: gives a sense of harsh environment and strong characters e.g. Chengdu_Xindu_43.

@~@ HAIRSTYLE
2 chopsticks on your head are SEXY!

Above points are based on analysis on love photos:
GuoSeTianXiang: 61 photos
JiuZhaiGou: 88 photos
MuGeCuo: 68 photos
NanHu: 22 photos
RuoErGai: 25 photos
ShangLi ancient town: 20 photos
Xindu Bridge: 68 photos
XiangSong Lake: 17 photos
ShiXiang Lake: 31 photos
and so many others …

Spring_2012

Ref:
DK Eyewitness Travel China
my reference folder

Written by blueroselady

April 1, 2012 at 2:15 pm

China: Yunnan (south of the clouds)

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I love WordPress that is always improving! This is my first post sent via email.

The sandstone pinnacles of the Earth Forest in Yuanmou County reminds me on Cappadocia, where we make our own "pyramid" and entertain Spanish tourists.

I always love flowers:

lotus, azalea, camelia.

HOT POT.

Do you know that hot pot was originally a Mongolian method of cooking several ingredients at once?

I now also like to cook hot pot in which I can throw in as many things as available in our fridge.

The minority people (of Yunnan) remind me on my trip to Northern Vietnam, where our guides to trek to the top of Fansipan are Hmong people.

The Karst limestone pillars of the Stone Forest looks like a heroic scene, where masters fight all their best out.

Guys, if you grow up with your heroes, you may like the Stone Forest.

FASHION

I love the traditional costumes of Sani girls: pink, magenta, red, purple.

With yellow part of their sleeves / sash.

ARCHITECTURE

The traditional house in Xishuangbanna: reminds me on house pictures that I cut and paste while a primary school student.

DALI is near Erhai Lake.

GEOGRAPHY

The great bend of the Yangzi is so near Lijiang.

"The Disneyfication of Dayan (Lijiang Old Town) feature the daily appearance of 50 Naxi men and 50 Naxi women, in traditional costume, all from villages in the nearby plains assigned by rotation, at Sifang Square to dance for the tourists".

I do have a mix of feelings for the word "Disneyfication".

The calcinated rocks at BAISHUITAI are shaped like rice terraces, reminds me on Pamukkale of Turkey.

The monastic village of SONGZHANLIN.

Ref:

1. Yunnan. China South of the Clouds. By Jim Goodman.

2. Flickr + Pbase