Shadow play.

On July 27, 2012, in Activities, Entertainment, by Jack Li

If you travel to China you’ll probably see lots of things that will amaze you, but one of the most curious things you can see in your Chinese Tour is the Shadow play, or Shadow Puppetry. The Shadow play is a form of storytelling that use cut out figures that are articulated and are held […]

If you travel to China you’ll probably see lots of things that will amaze you, but one of the most curious things you can see in your Chinese Tour is the Shadow play, or Shadow Puppetry.

The Shadow play is a form of storytelling that use cut out figures that are articulated and are held between a light and a screen. They can be very detailed and they move accorded to the Puppeteer who can make them move in a realistic way.

Although now is present through all the Asian continent it is said that this kind of storytelling was originated in China and, like most of the things that are from China, it has a very beautiful legend that explains how the Shadow play was created.

During the Han dynasty one of the concubines of emperor Wu died from an illness, the Emperor Wu, devastated, asked everybody in the realm to bring his beloved back to life.

One officer made a concubine figure made of donkey leather and articulated it with 11 joints, he painted it and he put it against an oil lamp, made this figure look as if the concubine was alive again.

The final of the legend is not very clear, but what it’s known is that some years later, on the Song dynasty the beginning of holidays was marked by a large quantity of Shadow Plays on the street.

It is said that in the Ming Dynasty there were 50 shadow plays groups in the City of Beijing alone.

From there the popularity of the Shadow play augmented, it was extended throughout Asia because the Mongols learned this kind of entertainment and they brought it everywhere they went.

When the Shadow Play began the screens were made of mulberry paper and the theme was always similar, events from the past wars or just Buddhist stories because that were the themes that interested the people.

The puppets were made of leather and they used sticks to move them through the scene.

Later Myths and Legends from Chinese culture were also added at the repertoire and they were accompanied by music specially prepared for the plays.

Although is quite difficult to find a Shadow because is not a big show and it can only be seen by a specific amount of people it is good to try to find one place to see it just for the experience.

Shadow play is an ancient Chinese art that has been entertaining people nearly a thousand years and since then it has not changed, so if during your China Travel you want to have a taste of how was the life in the ancient China why don’t you try to find a place where you can see Shadow plays? (Normally there isn’t any theater that does these shows regularly so it’s better to gather information at the hotel or online on where you can find Shadow play shows).

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Let’s hear it for KTV!

On May 11, 2012, in Entertainment, Nightlife, Nightlife, by Jack Li

You’ve been busy all day and now it’s time to kick-back and let your hair down. Hitting the KTV clubs (Karaoke) in China is one of the funniest and most sociable ways in which to do this. KTV is quite estranged from the arch-typical trip to China, but sure enough, there may well be one […]

You’ve been busy all day and now it’s time to kick-back and let your hair down. Hitting the KTV clubs (Karaoke) in China is one of the funniest and most sociable ways in which to do this. KTV is quite estranged from the arch-typical trip to China, but sure enough, there may well be one of these nearby to your China hotels for you and your friends to spend an exhilarating evening. Without doubt, the sparkly-clean veneer of some of the KTV clubs with their attentive service makes it an excellent venue to unwind, especially after your China flights.

Twice I have been to KTV and both times were a barrel-of-laughs. I found that to really enjoy the experiences, you need to stay for a good few hours (after which you have loosened up from a few drinks). Even if singing is not your talent (and I’m certainly no Pavarotti); then grab a maraca and shake away! Or, for the more rhythmical individual, especially if you’re placed in a large room, there is the option of taking to the dance floor and showing off some moves.

Compared to the western world, karaoke in China is big business comprising of large venues. The KTV club I went to with friends is typical of what to expect with Chinese karaoke. It is a large building with numerous private function rooms to allow you and your friends to enjoy a good-old sing-song to your heart’s content. Indeed, the layout of the clubs is a stark contrast to the usual western karaoke open bar setting. Due to KTV clubs having lots of private function rooms and often staying open for twenty-four hours, criticism has come in the form of liking the clubs to sleaze. Nevertheless, by booking a private room at KTV you will be guaranteed to be safe in the knowledge that you will be singing in front of familiar faces.

Listening to a Chinese friend’s advice before booking a KTV room is recommended to ensure that the venue is fit for your purpose. Amongst other things, pre-booking is advisable as KTV clubs are very popular and may be fully booked upon arrival. In addition, it’s worth confirming your playlist beforehand, unless you would like to sing Chinese songs. With all said (or sung) and done, KTV is a cultural part of modern China which should not go amiss on any China travel schedule.

 

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Beijing Opera

On November 16, 2010, in Beijing, Cultural Experience, Entertainment, by Jack Li

If you want to really be introduced into Chinese ancient history and culture a trip to the opera is a must. There are hundreds of them spread all around China so it shouldn’t be to hard for you to find one close by. Beijing opera dates back to the Qing Dynasty however they weren’t that […]

If you want to really be introduced into Chinese ancient history and culture a trip to the opera is a must. There are hundreds of them spread all around China so it shouldn’t be to hard for you to find one close by. Beijing opera dates back to the Qing Dynasty however they weren’t that popular until the emperor at the time Qianlong became a big fan and started visit often . Although this art form was banned for some time due to the Chinese revolution it has proved to stand the test of time with hundreds of different traditional opera’s being performed everyday.

Stunning Costumes

The actual performances are a bright and vibrant affair visually there is so much color coming from the costumes and the masks and also the set on stage its all very luxurious. The tradditional plays are based usually on Chinese culture and history, which will be perfomed using many different methods; mosly singing but also acrobatics, mime, speech and special effects.

Breath taking acrobatics

The Opera still uses the same traditional instruments which typically are only 6 pieces a gong, Suona,Pipa,sanxian,drums and an Erhu the music is usually used as an accompaniment to the singing or a lot of the time the percussion instruments are used to punctuate movement. My favourite part was the fight scene which used spectacular acrobatics and sounds to make it exciting the movements were so graceful the actors must have had great discipline.

Beautifully hand-crafted Masks

If this account has inspired you to want to travel Beijing but don’t know where to start for some great low cost travel idea’s go to China Tours. Or if you need advice on hotels go to China Hotels.

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China Vocation Package: Hong Kong & Macau

On November 10, 2010, in Adventure Trip, Hong Kong, Restaurants & Food, Tips & Ideas, by Jack Li

Please enjoy everything in your China Tours, enjoy the beautiful sight in your beautiful resorts in Hong Kong, and shopping in Macau. Book a China Flight to make sure everything exciting during your China Tours. Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where “East meets West”, reflecting the culture’s mix of the territory’s Chinese […]

Please enjoy everything in your China Tours, enjoy the beautiful sight in your beautiful resorts in Hong Kong, and shopping in Macau. Book a China Flight to make sure everything exciting during your China Tours.

Hong Kong is frequently described as a place where “East meets West”, reflecting the culture’s mix of the territory’s Chinese roots with influences from its time as a British colony. Hong Kong balances a modernised way of life with traditional Chinese practices. Concepts like feng shui are taken very seriously, with expensive construction projects often hiring expert consultants, and are often believed to make or break a business. Other objects like Ba guamirrors are still regularly used to deflect evil spirits, and buildings often lack any floor number that has a 4 in it,] due to its similarity to the word for “die” in Cantonese. The fusion of east and west also characterises Hong Kong’s cuisine, where dim sum, hot pot, and fast food restaurants coexist with haute cuisine. Hong Kong is a recognised global centre of trade, and calls itself an “entertainment hub”.

In Macau traffic moves on the left. Macau has a well-established public transport network connecting the Macau Peninsula, Cotai, Taipa Island and Coloane Island. Buses and taxis are the major modes of public transport in Macau. Currently two companies, namely Transmac and Transportas Companhia de Macau, operate franchised public bus services in Macau. The trishaw, a hybrid of the tricycle and the rickshaw, is also available, though it is mainly for sightseeing purposes.

The Outer Harbour Ferry Terminal provides cross-border transportation services for passengers travelling between Macau and Hong Kong, while the Yuet Tung Terminal in the Inner Harbour serves those travelling between Macau and cities in mainland China, including Shekou and Shenzhen. Macau has one active international airport, known as Macau International Airport located at the eastern end of Taipa and neighbouring waters. The airport used to serve as one of the main transit hubs for passengers travelling between China and Taiwan, but now with the introduction of direct flights between those two regions, passenger traffic in this regard has lessened. It is the primary hub for Air Macau. In 2006, the airport handled about 5 million passengers.

Local cooking in Macau consists of a blend of Cantonese and Portuguese cuisines. Many unique dishes resulted from the spice blends that the wives of Portuguese sailors used in an attempt to replicate European dishes. Its ingredients and seasonings include those from Europe, South America, Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, as well as local Chinese ingredients. Typically, Macanese food is seasoned with various spices and flavours including turmeric, coconut milk,cinnamon and bacalhau, giving special aromas and tastes. Famous dishes include Galinha à Portuguesa, Galinha à Africana (African chicken), Bacalhau, Macanese Chili Shrimps and stir-fry curry crab. Pork chop bun, ginger milk and Portuguese-style egg tart are also very popular in Macau.

Macau preserves many historical properties in the urban area. The Historic Centre of Macau, which includes some twenty-five historic monuments and public squares, was officially listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on July 15, 2005 during the 29th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Durban, South Africa.

Book a China Flight to make sure everything exciting during your China Tours. Click more on chinatraveldepot.com for more information.

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Nightlife in Sanlitun, Beijing…

On October 22, 2010, in China Travel Gossip, Cool Places, Cultural Experience, by Jack Li

If you are travelling to Beijing, check out china travel and Beijing Tours for ideas of what to do and where to go in the city. And for the evening entertainment – look no further than this blog!! If you are a party animal and want to go out and have a good time in […]

If you are travelling to Beijing, check out china travel and Beijing Tours for ideas of what to do and where to go in the city. And for the evening entertainment – look no further than this blog!!

If you are a party animal and want to go out and have a good time in Beijing, then look no further! Sanlitun Bar Street and its surrounding area is one of the best known and most popular nightlife spots in Beijing. It has everything you need  – a huge choice of bars and clubs and lots of other Western tourists and travellers all looking to have a great evening out! It offers the perfect combination for a successful night out – ridiculously cheap drink prices (£1 for a beer, gin and tonic, vodka and mixer – you name it!), pumping music that makes you want to get up and dance and a great atmosphere.

My friends out on Bar Street

Here are some of my favourite bars and clubs to visit in the area:

1. Smugglers – a bit of a dive but very cheap drinks and quick service, definitely a place to start off the night and you are bound to make some friends. You may even catch the mobile casino locals playing a gambling game with dice – ask to join in if you are still thinking Northfield Middle high school uniforms • 2200 Division Street South • Northfield, MN 55057 • p 507. straight!

2. Pure Blonde – a lively bar with tables on the street, always playing loud music – waiter service is a plus!

3. 9-9 – next to Pure Blonde playing just as loud music casino online but with a wider choice of drinks and cosy tables at the back so you can chill with your friends.

4. Shooters – a mix between a bar and a club with pumping music and a big space to dance (their specialty is of course shooters!)

5. China Doll – a more upmarket club casino pa natet with amazing decor and a big dance floor – drink prices are a lot more expensive though, go casino online here to meet the cool crowd and watch out for model castings!

Sanlitun Bar Street

A little further away from Bar Street is the Workers Stadium complex, home to a number of clubs all with the same formula – pick one for your night out and Im sure it wont disappoint! My recommendations are Vics, Mix, Latte and Coc0 Banana. I have to admit they all play the same mix of house, electro and chart music, offer the same drinks prices (beware these are a lot more expensive than in the bars) and attract the same crowds. All I can say is that there is no entry price for Latte and it has a large stage in the middle of the dance floor where you can dance the night away with your friends – my particular favourite!

My friends out at Vics club

Have a great time and stay tuned for my next blog on great places to eat in the Sanlitun area – including Western and local cuisine…

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