For those of you who are not familiar with Sun Yat-Sen, he was the leader of China’s republican revolution. He did much to inspire and organize the movement that overthrew the Manchu dynasty in 1911—a family of rulers that reigned over China for nearly three hundred years. Through the Kuomintang Party, he paved the way for the eventual reunification of the country.
Another aspect of smaller Chinese towns that I love are the handmade objects, especially the baskets. Baskets are everywhere in Chaozhou: carried on shoulders of farmers & attached to both sides of a motorcycle. The density of the weave changes with the function. For example, baskets meant to use as a cage for chickens or to hold large items are a very large-scale open weave, while baskets meant for holding small items have a very tight weave. The patterns created are beautiful.
After a six-hour bus ride from Guangzhou, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Chaozhou, but was very happy to be there to visit my good friends and their newborn baby. Chaozhou is a fairly small and quiet city (by Chinese standards), and I was grateful for the chance to visit the farmland and old village within the city that may soon be demolished in China’s push to modernize.
Soup dumplings, pork buns, shrimp dumplings, fried rice, spring rolls. Have a look at the size of this lazy susan…a prerequisite for most restaurants in China, as the tradition is to dine “family style”. I love this way of eating because diners get to sample a little of many different dishes. Bon apétit!
In late Qing Dynasty, Chinese-Americans who returned to Guangzhou proposed the idea to raise money from all the Chen clans to build a temple for the worship of their ancestors and a place for their clansmen to study for examinations. The Chen Clan Academy was finished in 1894 with the money donated by Chen families in 72 counties of Guangdong Province as well as some overseas family members.
This is a beautiful complex in the middle of the hustle & bustle of modern Guangzhou…a great place to spend an afternoon!
The A-Ma Temple is the oldest temple in Macau. It was constructed in 1488 during the Ming Dynasty to commemorate Mazu, the sacred sea goddess who blesses the fishermen of Macau. Those spirals are huge incense coils. As they burn, the smoke adds to the otherworldliness of this magical place.
Macau was a Portuguese colony and both the first & last European colony in China. Portuguese traders first settled in Macau in the 16th century and subsequently administered the region until the handover at the end of 1999.
This was my first trip to Macau, and I found it to be a charming place. Many times I did not feel like I was in China…I could have been anywhere in Europe. There are great little Portuguese cafes, tiled sidewalks, and so much preserved colonial architecture. Both Macau and Shanghai’s historic colonial architecture set within the backdrop of typical Chinese architecture is an amazing contrast.