Having been in the US for fifteen years, I took my first trip to China with my parents in March of 2000. We boarded the Asiana Airline on March 8. The on air flight was 19 hours. We had to stop in Anchorage , Atlaska for refueling and on to Seoul, South Korea. We then took the China Southern Airline to Canton.
On the way back, we boarded the plane in Hong Kong to Seoul, and then to JFK, New York. Eventhough, we didn't have to stop in Alaska for refueling, the trip was still too long. This was very recently on the news which Russia was going to open up it's siberian air space, flying over north pole would have saved couple of hours.

Taishan

this was taken in shek fa shan , taishan, Guangdong(Kwantung,Canton) China . Behind me is one of the city's the reservoirs. It's a lot smaller than the HongTian reservoir, east of the Taishan.
The small town Wushi in Taishan. Mother grew up here and the surrounding areas. The village behind me is Faping(The flower vase).
Yes, there is a Mcdonalds in Taishan. I don't know why so many people would go there. The food is not as good as local chinese food and costs a whopping 20 RMB(around 3 dollars) for a meal. This picture was taken across the street from McDonalds. You can see the Golden Arc behind the tress. Though I'm a pseudo vegetarian, I do eat fish and poultry. Since mother did the cooking she often make steamed shrimp , fresh water clams and a lot of vegetables. And what's not for dinner!

With the current economic growth, a lot of of people are starting to own motorcyles and cars. There are actually more motorcyles on the street of taishan the bicyles. My sister took this picture while i was riding with my cousine.

Canton province is more prosperous than the days before reform. Yes capitalism proved to be much better than communism; everyone has figured that out! As a result my parents are thinking about semi permanent stay in china. Here is a picture of me picking out frige and washer in taishan. The electronics are all Chinese product since foreign products are banned. The government may have to change that if they want to join the WTO.

Here is a picture of my bedroom . The thing hanging from the ceiling is the mosquito net. Since Taishan is in the subtropical area, mosquitos are pretty much everywhere. You need the net for a good night sleep.

Before coming to the states, my parents had me enrolled in elementary school two. This is the school of vivid childhood memory. school yard fights, shooting birds with slingshots were all part of it. I was pretty much a rascal over there in those days. This willow tree in the front school yard is over a hundred years old. I remember it had brick surroundings. I suppose the school took it out to make it look more natural. Here is a picture of the school garden; the cement paving doesn't look natural. This is the school's play ground. I remember friday afternoon competitions were held here; most competitions were tug of war between classes.

A lot of kids go clubing on weekends. Though Taishan doesn't have as much clubs as NYC, they do have plenty of this , and more practice for the girl in the picture.

holland cafe , taken with my sister


City hall
Most of the older buildings in taishan are mix of western and eastern looks. weird!
building1
building2
siamese building
here is a picture of one of the few catholic churches in taishan. There is no tie between the chinese governement and the vatican. so pretty much all clergy are appointed by the government.

anyone intested in karaoke. This is one of the local karaoke clubs in Taishan. Though I remember it was a public library long time ago.

of all the places the least i expected, is this aldult shop . They sell everything from vibrators to viagra! No pronos though( You can get that from street vendors). Eighteen is considered adult over there.

Here is a picture of an indoor farmer's market . this is where people get their daily "grocery".
This picture was taken from heaven's bridge department store . The older part of the city looks pretty much like that.
Taishan city governement built a casino close to Shekpeakhom (Rock Brush Fall) eventhough it's illegal to gamble in China. The provincial government found out about the project and told the city to shut it down. The city wasted 20 million RMB(around 3million US dollars) on the project and ruined the site!

Here is a picture of retirees playing mahjong in a park.

This picture was taken from the Tongxi Tower viewing terrace. It depicts north west section of the city. In the the distance you'll see a Ming(14century-17century) buddhist Pagoda.

Here is a picture of me standing next to a fruit stand . The fruit stand is two blocks from my parents apartment.

the street view in early morning. To the left is China Travel Agency. We went from dimsum there couple of times.

Here is a picture from shekfashan's bamboo forest .



Shaoshing

Since father knows Canton( Guandong ) province pretty well, it was his idea to go to Shaoshing for prayer and sight seeing. Shaoshing is in northwest of canton province, about 4 hour drive from Taishan. We had hired a minivan driver for the 3 day trip. The cost for the driver service was around $250 US dollars. And we stayed at the Blue Palace hotel in Shaoshing. A two bed room would cost around 200 RMB(around $30 dollars). Since it was not vacationing season, my cousine was able to negotiate it down to 130 RMB. We booked four two bed rooms.

Father told me grandmom was a loungmu(dragon mother) worshipper, and Grandmom had taken him to the loungmu temple when he was three. Back then the boat was the only mean of transportation and it was a two day two night trip. it is customary that every vistor should make a incense contribution. Here is a picture of me on the incense street . It was around the corner where i was mobbed by bunch of old ladies trying to sell me those giant burn torches. they could have play for the NFL.
dragon mother temple side view 1
dragon mother temple side view 2
picture of me hitting prayer gathering bell

This dragon wall is part of the Shaoshing's Tienyeun temple . This temple is in the midst of a rain forest . The Buddhist temple was built over a thousand years ago; one of the oldests in Canton.
This memorial is dedicated to a Japanese Monk(I should have written done his name on my palm pilot.)
We were on our way down from Tienyuen temple and feeling very tired. just what we needed, a foot massage . according to this sign you may want to take your shoes off first.

The seven star craig is one of the magnificent scenes in Shaoshing(north west of Canton). It is a site of lime stone hills risen out of river banks of Xijiang (West River) and the surrounding lakes. This is a picture of me in its original entrance.
willow by the lake
willow on the cliff.
here is a picture of bridges on the lake. That's my sister in the background.
tress by the lake

Xinhui

The bird's paradise in Xinhui definitely worth sightseeing. Father recommends the best time for the view is dawn and dusk. Birds flock away in the morning and return after sun set. This paradise is a single giant willow tree on an island. And this island is in the middle of a river which runs thru the city of Xinhui!
Here is a picture from a starfruit garden next to birds paradise.

Around thirdteenth century, the mongols had pretty much conqured china. One of the last battles was in Xinhui; the last emperor of Song died here. This temple (more like a memorial) is dedicated to the empress and soldiers who fought against the mongol invasion. According to historical records, over one hundred thousand lives lost in this river in a single naval battle.
here is another picture from the song memorial.

Canton

The memorial in this picture is dedicated a worker strike in the twenties. According to father, a lot of people perished here, because the nationalist government of that time opened fire on unarmed civilians.
traffic jam in canton


Hong Kong

This cotton flower sculpture symbolises hong kong's return to China. Behind the sculpture is Hong Kong's exihibition center, sorta like Javit center in NYC. The 1997 Cemeremony was held here; hong kong was handed back to Beijing by the British.

picture of me in a Hong Kong subway station.
Hong Kong Harbor . I think this is where Prince Charles sailed away after the 1997 Ceremony.
Another picture hong kong harbor.
Here is a pciture of Hong Kong at night. It was taken on a double deck bus. No it's not a tour bus like you find in NYC. Yes, that is citibank on the lower left corner. and yes you can withdraw cash using your ATM card. :)
Hong Kong's women street is where all bargain hunters go to buy cheap goods. I don't think you can find any pirated cds here though. The cops have been claming down on software/music piracy.

Wongtaisin is one of the most worshiped taoist dieties in Hong Kong. Here is a picture of me on the entrance of Wongtaisin temple.

Super Villain

Hey what's up with that super villain outfit !!! Umm. Actually this is the chinese version of the Japanese school uniform. It was very popular in the twenties and early thirties across east asia. The design was to give the person both civilian and military look. Either you look good in it or you don't. It is still somewhat popular among the Chinese and Indian leadership. Anyway, I had eleven of such outfit tailored in China. The total cost was around $600 US dollars including fabrics. here is a picture of Mr. Lee who labored numerous days to make those suits. This is the street where tailors make their living.