Anhui Province: Up at 6am after sleeping 8 hours to worry about whether my stuff are all dry. Doesn’t help that my hostel room already starts to smell damp, not from my airing, but just a general matter of things when you don’t pay too much for a room. Considering the night before was a bed made of board with 1cm of cushion, the one last night was a lot better.
0714hrs Huangshan Youth Hostel, Anhui Province: Up for breakfast. Looks like it will be another cloudy day. Since I have been out for some days now, thought I’d indulge in a little coffee and english breakfast, which here probably means bacon and many eggs with toast. Waiting for my lazyman tour to the villages so I can take things easy today before catching the 9pm train back to Shanghai.
I have also realised I might need a larger camera bag as I cannot store my extra 105mm lens in the Thinktank Speeddemon bag. It sits right in my left pocket in my cargo shorts. Not exactly very comfortable. Maybe a lens drop in case will do next time.
0823hrs In tour bus at Tunxi, Anhui Province N29.71073 E118.30611: Someone please remind me why in China it is a lot better to go on your own than to join a tour. This is a small bus with a dozen people in it, all locals except for me I guess, there are a couple with Beijing accent, and complete with the stereotypical always-smoking chinese male in his 30-40s. No chinese with rolled up long pants yet… I can’t do that as I’m on bermudas. So we are going around Tunxi city picking up passengers. My GPS are not getting the full signal it should be getting because of the dense buildings in the city. And I do have a tour guide as well, too bad she speaks only Chinese. This will be fun… Looks likely we have picked up all the passengers, and should be on our way out thru the south west of Tunxi…
Continue reading “Anhui & Jiangxi Province, China: Day 3 (6 Sept 2008)”
Jiangxi Province: Had a nice long 8 hour sleep last night here in Xiao Likeng in Jiangxi Province, afraid of the mosquitoes because of the countryside, but the sleep last night was peaceful enough with the windows wide opened and sound of cascading water outside all night long as the room was just next to the fast flowing canals. There doesn’t seem to be too much to do here so most inhabitants are asleep before 9pm, which you can tell by the lights all going off. Villagers walk around at night by bring along torch lights as there are no street lighting. What do you expect from a little village like this, right?
So here I am waking up at 6:30am, ready and packed up to go. The good thing about packing light is that I can check out of the inn I was staying in and could just go around the village to take pictures of the morning activities. Other than kids walking to school, the majority of villagers crowd around the pavillion square in the morning. There is a motorcycle with a big basket on its back full of chicken, and 2 guys with large chunks of pork, presumably you ask for a certain size and he will cut it to scale. It was not busy like a typical market, so I guess its just catering to the few hundred that live here.
0815hrs Jiangwan, Jiangxi Province N29.37054 E118.04676: Met up with my motorcycle driver at 0730hrs sharp, and this guy has been a good tour guide (Mr Yu, mobile number: 1387 0330 588). On a cold and misty Friday morning, he first stopped me at a concealed lookout on the road, to take a nice lanscape view of Wengkou Village. He was probably surprised to see a guy with 3 cameras. Took a couple of photos of the village situates at a bend of the river, the wind still calm so you see perfect reflection. Too bad for the thin fog, but i took many photos from the same spot.
Continue reading “Anhui & Jiangxi Province, China: Day 2 (5 Sept 2008)”
This is another one of those quick decisions. Before I know it, I’m already on the 2235hrs N418 train to Huangshan. This is an overnight train that will take 12 hours to get to Huangshan City, also known as Tunxi. I’m no stranger to Chinese hard sleeper trains.
As usual, picked up the middle bunk. Hard sleepers have compartments with 6 beds, 2 columns of 3 bunks. The cushion is at least 5cm thick, enough for me. The trick is to get the middle bunk, for me at least. Top bunk smells of smoke (someone is always smoking in the non smoking train) and there is always someone sitting on your bunk at the bottom. Ticket cost 169RMB one way and it is now possible to buy return tickets in Shanghai.
Packing was quite difficult. On one hand I wanted to pack light as I could be village hopping a bit, but I’d want to also pack quite a number of photo gears. At the end, decided not to pack long pants, purely shorts, 3 t-shirts, socks and underwear, of course, and premium disposable toileteries from my many trips to Tokyo. The D2H comes along with spare EN-EL4a battery, 40mm ULTRON, and 105mm AIS lens. Thought about my new 12-24mm lens but had to cut down on weight. theres also the Leica M6 with 8 rolls of film and a 50mm Summicron lens. And the trustworthy Ricoh GRD.
Anyway, train is zipping along now and it should be time to sleep. And then I had another eureka moment with this system. When you board the train, a conductor comes along and switched your train ticket for a credit card thingy. I then realised that is how they keep track of who is going where. Between every stops they will come to wake you up and exchange your card thingy widget back to your ticket. That way they know who has a ticket, where they are going and will be able to catch fare dodgers! Genius!
Continue reading “Anhui & Jiangxi Province, China: Day 1 (4 Sept 2008)”