Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Video: Tai Chi

It is a common sight to see people doing exercises outdoors, either individually or in groups. One evening in Guilin, I came aross two groups practicing tai chi in the park. Bear in mind that these are not performers. They are just men and women doing their usual evening exercises. This is my first attempt to shoot a videos and post them to the blog, so this is a technical experiment as much as anything else. Clicking on the image will start a 30-second video clip.

Monday, January 12, 2009

On the Money

Apparently, we have unwittingly planned our travels according to the pictures on the backs of Chinese banknotes. Here are pictures of the 100, 50, and 20 RMB bills and the corresponding pictures from our blog. If we continue to follow this currency-driven itinerary, it appears that we will visit Xihu Lake in the southern city of Hangzhou (1 RMB), the peak of Taishan Mountain (5 RMB), and the Three Gorges canyon on the Yangtze Valley (10 RMB).

Guilin: Wedding Culture

This gallery begins with a few final pictures from Yangshuo and Guilin, but most of it concerns the topic of Chinese weddings. The wedding business has become an enormous industry in China. Shops for wedding consultants can be found all over Dalian. In good weather, at least a dozen of them are crowded together in the outdoor market area at Victory Square. The wedding consists of three main phases: legal registration with the government, several days of professional portrait-making in different locations and different costumes, and a banquest that combines various Western and Chinese customs. Because of its ideal climate and scenery, Guilin seems to be a favorite wedding destination.

Our friend Steve Keith has told us that in Dalian's Laodong Park anxious parents gather on weekends with posters of their single adult children, trying to accomplish a little old-fashioned parental match-making. Maybe we will witness that when the weather thaws out a bit.