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Monday, April 24, 2006

The Freebies

A new page was recently published to the site . This page contains some free stuff that you hardly come across in your mandarin lessons. Not that you will use it often, but sometimes it's good to know! It's free! So feel free to download!

Here's the link freebies.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Easter Weekend

A fantasic view from Kowloon.
This is about everywhere in Hong Kong, isn't it?

Lantau's misty mountain. The weather during Easter is actually quite cold and wet.

Lantau's crowded, busy and fun camp site.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Trip to Yunnan

I recently spent a week in Yunnan. The first place I visited was Kunming, which is known as the "Spring City" because of its year-round warm weather. Kunming is a modern city, with a friendly and relaxed feel to it.

My hotel in Kunming was next to a lake (the Green Lake) where the locals like to hang out on the weekends. Around the edge of the lake were cafes and bars, and various hawkers selling food and other things. It is a great place to wander around.

From Kunming, I took the train to Dali. The train trip usually takes about 7 hours. Dali is an old town surrounded by city walls. Inside, many of the traditional buildings have been converted to shops, guest houses and cafes. At night, the town is lit up with lights, giving it a festive atmosphere. The major ethnic group of the Dali region are the Baizu people, who have their own language, traditional dress and dance. They are very friendly people.

From Dali, I headed off to Lijiang (about 3 hours away by bus). Like Dali, Lijiang retains its traditional buildings. The old town is, however, much bigger than Dali and is a maze of winding streets and canals. It is very pretty.

The major ethnic group of the Lijiang area are the Naxi people. Like the Baizu people, the Naxi have their own traditional language, dress and dance, and are very friendly. In the main town square, the old people gather each day and perform dances for the tourists. At night, the town lights up with red lanterns and many of the restaurants and bars have performers singing Naxi songs and dancing Naxi dances.

There are a variety of short trips that can be done from Lijiang. These include visits to Baisha and Shuhe (both old Naxi villages), Yulong Xueshan (a nearby mountain) and Tiger Leaping Gorge. From Lijiang, it is a short 40 minute flight back to Kunming.

If you are ever contemplating a trip to Yunnan province, I would seriously recommend you go!

Learning for living

Aygul Keyoumu has come a long way to earn her doctorate in Moscow.
Aygul is originally from Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang Province in China. Located in the middle of the Eurasian continent, Ürümqi is the most inland city in the world, located 1,400 miles from the nearest coastline.

Read more on The University of Idaho Argonaut.