The Tang Dynasty in China at Palace in Xian

First of all I just wanted to say sorry for those who had posted comments, because of huge spam I could not go over all of them.. so please, I would appreciate if you could make the comments again. This time there is a slider captcha, which should efficiently block any of this stuff. That being said, let’s go on with the three cools!

Read on…

xiantangdynastyshow.com

In another peak, this time beyond the republic. While almost everyone has at least heard of the Tang Dynasty, not everyone knows much about it. Of course, it is a very important era in the history of China.. way before the republic. We are talking about 618-907 AD here. It’s the imperial times of China.. and before Tang there was five of them. But this dynasty was special, as it was a very high and important point in the Chinese civilisation!

It’s heart was at the most populous city back then, Xian. Now a popular touristic attraction, and a beginning of the legendary silk road. Besides Beijing & Shanghai it’s one of the most visited cities in the whole country by not just western visitors, but Chinese who think of it as a “must thing to do” at least once in a lifetime.

One of the best and most entertaining ways, is to head to the Tang Dynasty Palace which is located right at the heart. Not just the city of Xian, but also the heart of the people that live there. The palace is a host for a stunning show that depicts this brilliant era in history. All with ancient musical instruments, dance and singing. The performance in question, is about as traditional as theatre can get nowadays in China. Thus bringing not just a unique experience but also an unforgettable one for those who are interested in Chinese culture.

Check out the music and dance Show (仿唐乐舞表演) at the address: No.75, North Chang’an Road, Xian. They also have metro access so it’s easy to find at Nanshao Gate Station (Should be on Line 2). We promise you that this is the most cool way to get to know about the Tang Dynasty, which is extremely important to know.. in order to understand more about why we all are here in this world the way we are.

Fascinating stuff & highly recommended!

A New Drum Show in Beijing

Beijing Drum Show

We are most happy to announce that we have discovered something new and exiting from the show-front in China. As many of us know, especially us.. you cannot just go to see any show in Beijing or any other of the big cities. Because some are just no good, or some are only for very specific tastes. While we have been extremely happy with some of the shows here, overall the entertainment industry is not the easiest bite to grab!

But we can say happily the this new drum show in Beijing, known as the Millennium Drum or “Millennials Melody of Drum Music” as was badly translated by the Chinese media is definitely worth it. It has it all, based on Chinese tradition.. performing arts doesn’t get more exiting than this. The pace is fast and makes your heart pound. Leaving you with a high from it, for days.

The troupe that performs at Chaoyang Theatre was founded in 1988. So you know you are watching professionals in action. The name Jiangzhou is the ancient name of the city of Shanxi where this type of traditional Chinese drumming originates from. As the history dates back let’s say somewhere after D.A, you can imagine that there are quite a few styles to it as well.

At this prominent Beijing theatre however, they have focused on fast pace and action. In other words it is guaranteed to not bore anyone. The show is still fresh and a new venue so grab some popcorn and try to see if you can eat it during the show! Or might be a bad idea :)

A Welcome From The Land of Contradictions

Yes.. once again it’s the topic of China. Which is probably the most contradictive of the three. I mean, Japan and Korea have their contradiction too of course. A mix of modern with Tradition. Technological achivements, skyscrapers in the midst of traditional wooden buildings. That’s the contradiction we all well know.

But in China it’s something totally different.. since there are hardly any old structures or historical things in comparison. New destroyes the old, they don’t walk hand in hand. The contradiction in China is more emotional.. the infrastructure is still in babies hands (once again in comparison), no matter how many sky scrapers they build they are not able to clean the shitty street next to it.. that’s where I set the mark when they have reached a certain height in evolution..

Going back to the contradiction, emotionaly it’s something that lives in side you. You hate it, and you love it. At the same time. Most probably you hate it so much because you love it so much. It’s not easy, yet you feel free and comfortable when it works out for you.

Some of unfortunate, some or fortunate.. you can find everything from the country when you look at people. And especially when you look at yourself.

Ultimately I would say that China is a journey inside your own self. Everytime you are pissed off at the Chinese or the structure of their society.. take a moment to breathe and look at yourself. This pause can teach you a lot about yourself. Welcome to China!

Regards,
Guan Dei

Beijing is Just Cool

I found another great resource for Beijing nightlife goodness, it seems like a sister with the Shanghai version. Known as Show Beijing, this night show guide looks like a neat addition to the family.

For nightlife Beijing is a pretty interesting place because all the best stuff is underground. Also the government likes to keep parties a bit smaller, which is good for us. We love more intimate and friendly parties anyway. Ok, I’ll admit some of the shows are pretty crap but.. wait for the but!

Usually the most popular ones are rubbish.. the ones that are in small smelly theaters.. I think they are the ones to look out for. You get the original atmosphere, without any “special effects”. Just extreme skill shown my people who hardly get paid. Well the money issue is not something I think is good or something. But without a doubt it’s the way it goes in the country.

Once someone gets paid a lot then the quality goes down. Then you just run after the money instead of doing something with a passion. A lot of the shows in Beijing have seen this curve when they got famous. Stay away from the guidebooks and experience the real atmosphere of the city.

That’s why I’m happy to see another site that goes into detail to review these things, with authenticity. Creativity is blooming, just you need to accept that China is not a western country that’s all! :)

Greets,
Mark Wall

Sweaty Korean Sauna: Jjimjilbang

I’m a big fan of Sauna’s which is why I was more then exited to try out the traditional Korean version.. known as Jjimjilbang (찜질방). Before I went there I knew little of it.. except that recently it has become also popular in Japan.

Jjimjilbang

Turns out this is more like sitting on warm stoned instead of a full power Sauna experience. However the biggest surprise was that these Saunas are uni-sex with both women and men together.. while wearing clothes.

Hearing the “clothing” aspect of the Sauna didn’t sound quite exiting.. and indeed I was struggling with the “not so pleasant” sensation of wearing sweat soaked clothes throughout the whole experience. Unfortunately but better late than never it was explain to me, that the clothes enable you to see “bad parts” of your body. These parts will produce more sweat than others and help you to identify specific problems.

My body might have a lot of problems because I felt like the sweat was simply everywhere. I was very happy to remove the clothes are this 30 minutes of lying down on stones. Despite this issue.. the Sauna was very pleasant and I liked that fact that you lie down instead of a normal Sauna where you mostly have to sit up. This made it very pleasant and I almost fell asleep. Just remember to take a cold shower afterwords!

What’s The Show At The Buzzing City of Shanghai

Undoubtedly, if you want to see a buzzing city with huge skyscrapers and exiting nightlife. In the world one city in China stands out from the rest in a truly spectacular fashion. We teamed up with Show Shanghai to discover some of the highlights the city has to offer.

shanghai1

While during the day tourists are on the move, there is another kind of movement that can only seen the light of dawn. If you have the time and energy, one of the most fun things to do is to simply go around with cheap taxies to restaurants and clubs.. eat well, drink well and party even better!

We started off the night by catching the show at Shanghai Centre Theatre which shows off the acrobatic might of China. This worked up well enough to bring our mood into the heights of the surrounding skyscraper landscape.

shanghai3

There is lot to eat and drink.. Shanghai is famous for soups and dipping dumplings in them. This is a light-enough a bit Hong Kongese flavored style to eat a lot without getting stuffed and leaving room for the drinks. My favorite, Chinese alcohol no matter what the brand.. and wash it off with good old Tsingtao beer.

Catch up on some of the local nonsense with fellow diners and grab a few chilies before you centre off to some clubbing.

While the restaurant life might be irresponsible and an intuitive beast. The clubbing is not that of an easy ask.. sure the city is filled with clubs, but you better check out a good venue in advance and plan a bit. Perhaps even buy the tickets in advance. I know it’s a bit of a bore, but random clubs in this city just don’t give you the kicks if you know what I mean.

shanghai2

Well the rest his history. You can catch a early morning sleep at the capsule hotel recently opened in Shanghai. It’s well suited for the whole, masculine portion of our nightlife crew!

Japanese Vending Machines

One of the striking things about Japan, is it’s vending machines.. you can find them from all around the country. From train stations, street corners, shop fronts, countryside, cities, you name it! They are absolutely abundant.

Japanese Vending Machine

From the western perspective it almost looks irresponsible. Of course they contain money and valuable goods inside, so hasn’t anyone realized they could break the machines and steal the money at night? Seems no one is worried about such a thing! So any shop or street corner can have it, just for extra income.

Japanese Vending Machine

You can buy anything from coffee, soft drinks to even alcohol at times. Not to mention cigarettes and other goods. Japan just wouldn’t be anything without it’s vending machines!

Beautiful Women of Chinese Opera

Getting to Grips With Chinese Culture

Absolute one of the best ways of becoming friends with The Republic Of China is to get to know it’s culture and people. There are a lot of negative views towards the country but this is often due to a lack of real knowledge.

Every country has it’s good and bad sides and if you put enough effort into getting to know the things you like about the country, negative views will naturally subside.. even though this may sometimes seem difficult, we believe it’s simply a matter of personal choice.

Beauty in Chinese Opera

One such interesting example is opera. The women are so stunningly beautiful and the make up so striking that it made me fall in love with China in an instant. In fact this was one of the main doorways to my fascination with the country. Without it I would still be with my negative thoughts about the country, while now I am so overwhelmed by the art that it’s hard for me to accept the negativity of which some is absolutely correct. The situation has gotten as far as being accused by my friends of over protecting the countries image.

Nevertheless, Chinese Opera or any other Chinese performing art can spark your interest. Therefore for your enjoyment I have collected some of the most beautiful images of Women in opera. All of the images are from Peking Opera, of which the majority are shot at the renowned Liyuan Theatre stage in Beijing. You can find more information here.

Opera Beauties

Please enjoy.

Beijing Opera Women Beijing Opera Women Beijing Opera Women Beijing Opera Women Beijing Opera Women

To go and witness the beauty with your own eyes, we recommend heading your way to Beijing and checking out some of the popular theaters there. Till next time..!

Trust in Japan

Ever since I stepped into this unique and wonderful island, I was completely swept away by it’s people. Despite the country having such rich landmarks, beautiful temples, vast nature and mountain ranges.. nothing beats the fact that the people living on this island are very unique compared to the rest of the world.

At a plain sight people seem extremely kind or if you are condicioned by western ideology, often this is seen as a weakness or a way of unconfidence. Obviously just like any country, Japan has it’s weaknesses.. but the beauty that is there is something that many other countries could learn a lot from if they would give Japan the attention they deserve.

The basic premise is that the Japanese people trust each other. The level of trust is not simply close family or friends, but extends to total strangers, people passing you on the street for example. There is often no need to lock the bicycle however.. especially after the fukushima incident the trust towards the government has increasingly declined. It has become evident that this trust has also had very negative effects, that the people have had to suffer from.

The government has not cared about the people, as much as the people have cared about themselves. This createst a big dilemma within the minds of the Japanese people. While things are changing rappidly, it is amazing how strongly the Japanese mind is stilling trying not to loose faith for anything else than the government.

Things That Make China Special

All the three cools are very special countries, at least on my list of importance. Therefore it would be very difficult to put those countries into an order of importance, so I will just go through them one by one featuring some of the great and even some not that great things I know about these places.

Of all the three, China must be the place that is best for foreigners on the general scale. Mainly because people are extremely open and easy to understand once you understand the rules, especially in the capital of Beijing. Questioning these rules however might be a challenge but accepting them can be a slow process and accepted as such. So there is no need to worry about making mistakes as the local people will be more than happy to help you to understand the “chinese way”. In the end it is not difficult at all since people most of the time talk in a straight forward manner.

Talk however is done predominantly in Chinese and therefore can bring challenges but straightforward ones. Usually the biggest complained amongst foreigners is not learning the language but difficulties speaking it. This is because of the tones that are extremely important for understanding the spoken language. Even the smallest mistake can not only make a word misunderstood but break the fluency of a sentence in such a way that the recipent will simply close up and refuse to understand anything at all.

Once this stage is overcome the feeling is absolutely magnificent and you are ready to not just order food from the restaurant but to engage in communication with people. While one has not yet mastered such skills it is advice to hire a tour guide, for example this beijing private tour guide offers tailored services that fits any and all everyday needs. For instance going to the hospital, opening up a bank account, renting out an appartment etc. All these are better done without a mistake! Included in the service is not only intrepertation but advise as well. Hence ‘understanding the rules’.

As a side note, the company in question ‘May Tours’ has great offers on discounted theatre tickets in and around Beijing venues. The special thing about China that the culture is all about barganing, so when you though something was cheap enough it can be even more cheap!

A city rich in culture such as the capital is full of extremely attractive venues suitable for everyone. Dispite new venues rarely sourfacing there the old ones are so many and amazing that they should be enough for quite a few years. One such venues if the Chaoyang Theatre where May Tours is offering their ticket booking service as well. It is known as the most ancient and well preserved acrobatic performance in Beijing, with a history deep into the times before communism.

These and many more venues have indeed survived the growing trend of the embracing the new without preserving the old. Peking Opera is another spectacle that is highly recommended!