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Cork Carving – Part 2
All Features
Michael
August 5, 2017
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Cork carvings are artwork carved out of Robur bark, making advantage of the ductile and porous nature of the wood to form miniature sculptures of mainly traditional Chinese architectures and landscapes. Wu Qiqi, a native of Fuzhou, was the artist that invented this method of carving, and was honored the Father of Cork-carving Art. Mr. Wu enrolled in Fujian Handicrafts School to study the wood working in the year of 1910. And 5 years later, landscape paintings were introduced to China from Europe. This new art form was included in the Wu’s school curriculum, and instantly galvanized Wu’s interest. It’s his passion that motivated him to innovate the western techniques he learnt, and combined with Chinese approach on water paintings. He was encouraged by the appreciation from the people around him, and proceeded to start the first cork-carving studio in China and earned a slew of awards for their creations.His apprentices continued to contribute exquisite pieces influenced by Wu’s innovations and dedication to the art. (more…)

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Fuzhou Panda World
All Travel
Michael
June 18, 2017
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By Amanda Sinclair

Behind and to the side of the beautiful West Lake, almost hidden away from the public eye, lies Panda World. If it were not for the sign by the street pointing direction vaguely you could easily be forgiven for not knowing that it was there.

After paying the admission fee to the center, you walk up a moderate slope, and then enter the main entrance of Panda World. There is a building, informing you of the history of Panda World, and a glass enclosure on either side of it, housing a Giant Panda each. These magnificent creatures are iconic of China, and so beautiful to behold.

Panda’s rarely seem to do anything energetic, apart from eating, so if you would like to see a Panda at it’s best, most energetic, go around feeding times – so early in the morning, or at lunch time.

These Pandas offer you a first glimpse at the beautiful creatures, though you instantly feel slightly sorry for them, in what you may perceive to be inadequately sized enclosures. You then proceed to walk around the complex, which takes roughly 60 – 90 minutes at a leisurely pace. (more…)

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Minjiang Park
All Travel
Michael
April 22, 2017
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By Amanda Sinclair

One of the important features of Fuzhou is the Min River (Min Jiang in Pinyin) that runs through the city, and causes the city to break up and create a separate island in the middle of the city. The Min River is a life source to many people, offering a variety of fish for locals to catch, and for restaurants, a source of entertainment for those that swim in the river, or sail on the river (especially over the Dragon Boat Festival where the festivities are water based), and offers a charm and beauty to the otherwise commercial and industrial city. (more…)

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Bai Shui Yang – Day Trips from Fuzhou (8)
All Travel
Michael
January 5, 2017
0
Bai Shui Yang

In Fujian, Bai Shui Yang (白水洋, meaning white water ocean) is absolutely a tourist must for people coming from all over the world.  Situated in Pingnan County of Ningde City in northern Fujian, it used to take 3-4 hours to get there. But as the infrastructure improves, it takes about 2.5 hours drive to arrive at this wonderful tourist resort. The closest high speed train station is Gutian, which is 100 kg away from the resort. Bai Shui Yang  is a scenic highlight in northern Fujian which is often overlooked by foreign tourists.

As part of Yuan Yang Xi (鸳鸯溪) tourist area, Bai Shui Yang is one of the four great wonders constructing the broader resort areas. Bai Shui Yang is a truly fantastic natural landscape.  Modern geologists can not accurately explain how it’s formed geologically.  Hence, Bai Shui Yang is regarded as the work of God.  (more…)

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My first visit to a Chinese Clinic.. in Fuzhou
All Features
Michael
January 4, 2017
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By Amanda Sinclair

I struck down, after 6 months living in China. It came on slowly, and then suddenly hit. I thought it was a simple bug, and armed with antibiotics written in Chinese, I headed to the pharmacy and bought myself some medication, thinking that, an early night, and lots of water would see me right as rain. And yes, you can buy antibiotics over the counter here in China without a need for a prescription.

My plan did not work out as I had expected. Instead I went to bed feeling worse, if that was possible than I originally felt, and was even up throughout the night running to and from the bathroom. So my hope of a restful night, and plenty of sleep did not work. I called into work sick the next day, thinking the tablets hadn’t had enough time to kick in, and promising myself the day of rest that I probably needed. Plus I didn’t want to make any children ill. (more…)

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Leaving China with your Pets
All Features
Michael
November 24, 2016
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Leaving China with your Pets

In a previous article some of the requirements, by no means all of them, or the considerations, of looking after a pet in China were discussed, so lets look at what to do with your pet when you are leaving. If it is only for a short period of time, there are the kennels, or some really good friends. However, if this is the end of your contract, a permanent departure, you need to either look at rehoming or relocating. Now rehoming is simple. You find someone who wants your pet, and will look after them correctly, and for a few days or weeks before leaving introduce them, and let them spend time together, before completely abandoning your pet with someone. Pets can have abandonment issues just like humans too. (more…)

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Thoughts on Animals while Living in Fuzhou
All Features
Michael
October 24, 2016
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By Amanda Sinclair

There are many aspects of life whilst living in China. The difference in communication, culture, food, music, fashion, and even animals, and so many more.

So I am a keen animal lover, I have dogs, I have had rabbits, cats, goats, hamsters, chickens, and so many other animals. I love animals so much, that I am a vegetarian. Due to this, I have to admit I was slightly wary about coming to China, where in certain provinces they eat dogs, snakes, rabbits, and every animal I have ever kept as a pet.

When I arrived, I was so pleased to hear other people, native Chinese, saying that they would never eat dogs, that they think it is horrific. But yet there were plenty of people carrying snakes around in bags, and just in their hands, offering them to you, well for you to buy. There are ladies carrying sticks over their shoulders, either end of the stick about 6 or 7 ducks tied to it, by their feet. Or else in bags, attached to the end of the sticks. There are stray dogs walking around, often in packs at night, no cats, that I am aware of. (more…)

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Cork Carving – Part 1
All Features
Michael
July 5, 2016
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Cork Carving

Fuzhou cork carvings are considered one of Fuzhou’s three treasures along with bodiless lacquer ware and Shoushan stone carvings.The craftsman’s combination of talented  carving skills and traditional painting techniques make it a unique art form applauded by the art world.

The Embryo
Cork carvings were born and took shape in the beginning of Republic of China period. The art of cork carving was started in a process very similar to that in which Issaic Newton stumbled on the Law of Gravity by observing a falling apple. Mr. Wu Qiqi, known as the “father of cork carving art”, created some lovely postcards by carving away the cypress wood from the old fashioned life buoy. These creations came about in the year of 1910 while Mr. Wu was a student in a local art school. (more…)

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Pingtan Island – Day Trips from Fuzhou (1)
All Travel
Michael
June 16, 2016
0

By Amanda Sinclair

Pingtan is another little fishing island on the coast. I say a little island, it is the fifth largest Island in China, and is reached through Fuqing by a bridge. It is a quaint little place, with some beautiful beaches, and due to the location in the Taiwanese Strait, has a lot of Taiwanese businesses and food there to be sampled and enjoyed.

Journey:
To get to Pingtan Island from Fuzhou, you can just take a bus directly there, which makes it a lot easier, as you dont need to make any transfers. The bus takes a couple of hours, but is air conditioned, and only coat 45RMB when I left last year in July. The bus takes you directly to the bus station in Pingtan, which is located within the town, from there you can go anywhere. (more…)

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Surprise Goodbyes!
All Features Perspective
Michael
October 31, 2015
10
Group pic at the going away party

As the raucous chaos of student street slowly gave way to the quiet rustling of brooms and the occasional clanks and clinks of the garbage collectors, the crowd of foreign faces gathered at La Pisce Bar refused to give in and call it a night. There had been too many emotions running just below the surface all night, and too much beer flowing just above it. Too much to process, too much to consider – way too many highs and lows, even for this (mostly) hardened group of expats.
(more…)

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