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Roots of Wing Chun China Tour - 2nd Leg
Zhengzhou - Henan
Yellow River and Shaolin Temple
Just re hashing over some highlights from our 4 days stay in Beijing.
Snack street delicacies, being scorpion, star fish, silk worms, centipedes and tarantulas.
Wow, what a spectacle!
The Rickshaw ride around the Hutong, (narrow streets of ancient Peking) took me back in time.
Before the Hutong we visited the Bell/Drum Tower. The history surrounding this monumental structure was awesome. Atop the tower one had a straight line of sight to the Forbidden City, along the spine of the Earth Dragon.
Walking to Tian an Men Square, Forbidden City and Mao Tse Tung’s Tomb is a must for all who come to Beijing. The size of the Square and Forbidden city is inconceivable. The grandeur and opulence of the Forbidden City is prohibitive. The Emperors certainly existed and ruled in a time of glory and achievement.
The Shaolin Kung Fu live show we attended at the Red Theatre. The story line was magnificent, along with the kung fu performances.
Last but not least was the journey to the Great Wall of China and the beautiful little village at the base of the mountain.
What can I say, except, what a humbling experience.
Now, for the second leg of our journey!
We all boarded the Fast Train from Beijing at 8am and headed towards Zhengzhou, home of the Yellow River and Shaolin Temple. The journey was 750 kms long and took about 6 hours.
Zhengzhou is a bustling City of 13 million. All the timing for our pre organized pick up from the train station, pre ordained booking of Coaches, Tour Guides and Hotel accommodation went to perfection.
We arreived at our Hotel, Holiday Inn around 3.30pm. After a speedy check in at our Hotel we all jumped into our Coach and drove to the Yellow River, before it became too dark.
The Yellow river is both historical and very spiritual. On the side of a Mountain overlooking the River are 2 monumental, large sculptures of the 2 most significant Emperors of China.
The Yellow Emperor Xuanyan-shi wrote the classis book of medicine “the Nei Jing” and the very First Emperor, Fu Hsi, watched a turtle emerge from the Yellow River and created the I Ching and Baqua.
So, being confronted with these majestic figures on the side of a mountain overlooking the Yellow river left me in total awe.
The next day our group travelled by Coach for several hours to Mt Songshan, to the Shaolin Temple.
Mount Shaoshi or Songshan Mountain is where the Temple is situated. We had to travel through Deng Feng to reach the Temple.
Inside the Temple, we were privy to a Shaolin Monk demonstration which was second to none. Their martial prowess has to be seen to be believed. The Temple itself was magnificent. We were lucky to go into their living quarters and see where they eat. The entrance of the temple is ornate with ancient trees full of bullet holes which, now, the monks use for iron finger training.
We spent several hours walking around the Temple grounds and on several occasions our group performed some wing chun forms. Sifu Linda and I also did some wing chun chi sao. As soon as one starts some form of demonstration, there is a crowd ready to take photos.
As one walks past the Temple, there is the Pagoda forest. In the past there were 289 pagodas commemorating past Monks from the Temple. Some have been shamefully burnt down due to Wars.
A cable car ride took us to the top of the Mountain which had some snow cover. At the top of the mountain there were some merchandising stalls and food for sale. As I peered cross the vast valley I could vaguely see a Temple built into the side of a sheer cliff face. It would take about 3 hours to walk there. Next time, though. What an amazing spectacle.
After we came down from the mountain, it was time to walk back to the Bus pick up point. On the way several student bought some local products to take home.
By the time we arrived back in Zhengzhou, it was night fall and time for another group banquet.
Well, after 2 days and nights in Zhengzhou, I think everyone was agog with anticipation for our next leg of our adventure travelling across China.
Photos on Facebook.