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Magical Island Of Gulang Yu

Gu Lang Yu is a superb magical island off the coast of Xiamen in the Fujian Province of China. To reach it you take a ferry from Xiamen. It’s a very different type of island and definitely worth a visit!

Gu Lang Yu has fascinating history, splendid views, colonial architecture and quirky restaurants, cafes and shops. It is very touristy and very busy but it is definitely worth checking out. It might be a cliche, but try your best not to miss it when you’re in Xiamen (although remember your journey is your own so you don’t have to listen to me!!). The oddest part of this bit of travelling is actually that Xiamen the city is on an island itself. Having arrived in Xiamen by bus (from Shuyang Town) we then walked around, had our lunch and headed on a ferry to another Chinese Island, this one is Gu Lang Yu!

How do you get to Gu Lang Yu? – The only option at present (and probably for the future) is by ferry from Xiamen. Get yourself to the waterside harbour at Xiamen and the ferry terminal is hard to miss. Make sure you just find the cheapest ferry to Gu Lang Yu – the cheapest one often doesn’t go direct, it takes you on a tour round the island first before you land.

I would recommend getting the slower, cheaper boat simply for the view – you can relax and enjoy the views of the harbour and if the weather is good, the city looks stunning. The ferry was 15 RMB return at the time we went almost a year ago, but there are cheaper and even free off peak times so look out for that!

What is there for me to see and do on Gu Lang Yu? – Despite being a small island, this is a great island and here are my top sightseeing tips:

1. Climb to Sunlight Rock – Climbing to the highest point of the island of Gulang Yu is recommended. Sunlight Rock is the English translation and the views are exquisite and the exercise of the climb up is also good for you. To get there basically follow signs for Sunlight Rock climb when you are on the island and you will find it, through the flurry of cobbled streets. Entrance to walk up there is a fee of 60 RMB which also includes a small memorial hall. It’s a rip off and it’s over-priced, especially for China, BUT I’d say do it as the view is spectacular as you can see.

2. All the Colonial Buildings – these buildings all over the streets of Gu Lang Yu have influences from all over the world. The architecture can be seen bearing similarities to Britain, Japan, Holland, Italy and Spain! It’s a real special thing to see and rare to get this in China.

3. Pretty Cobbled Streets – The pretty, lively cobbled streets are busy but enjoyable to walk down.

Just by walking round Gu Lang Yu you will appreciate the finer things in life – such as how pretty and wonderful the street architecture and layout is. Although this type of thing may be common in Europe, it’s almost unheard of in parts of China. Walk slowly and take it all in!

4. Music – there is a heavy music influence on Gu Lang Yu and it’s famous for it. Famous pianists have hailed from this small island and there are regular music events and festivals worth watching.

* Aside from this there are museums, a cable car option, even a Protestant Church and some colonial dwelling places to see.

Where to stay on Gu Lang Yu? – There’s a hostel on Gu Lang Yu which is difficult to miss, it’s on one of the main streets when you arrive by ferry and is prominent. It’s a Hostelling International – it’s probably the cheapest option on the island.

So there you have it – a very brief but essential guide to the island of Gu Lang Yu in Fujian Province in China. Whether you choose it as just a day trip, or an overnight stop, you will enjoy it. It’s just that little bit different to the China we are used to!

To read more stuff like Gu Lang Yu Island head to Jonny Blair’s recommended website Travelling Northern Irishman for regular travel stories and ideas.. Unique version for reprint here: Magical Island Of Gulang Yu.

Introduction to the Martial Arts in Southeast Asia and Oceania

Introduction to the Martial Arts in Southeast Asia and Oceania

Article by Troy Macraft

The sheer diversity of cultures in Southeast Asia and Oceania has played a large part in the evolution of martial arts in the region. At the same time, a wealth of religious practices?including shamanism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Hinduism, and, in particular, Buddhism?have all contributed to the philosophical underpinnings of indigenous, imported, and hybrid art forms. These have been influenced by Chinese traditions and martial arts, and have flowered into a wide-ranging catalogue of fighting: systems, each with its own distinct flavor and cultural identity.

Some martial-arts traditions in the region, such as amis and kali, have provided the inspiration for other, more modern arts. For example, today there are more than 800 schools across Indonesia’s 13,000 islands teaching the indigenous martial art pencak silat and the majority of them teach different styles. In the Philippines, eskrima contains a multitude of stick-fighting, knife-fighting, and empty-hand techniques that were developed in the past, but which have been adapted to cope with the risks and dangers of modern life on the country’s mean city streets.

Southeast Asian arts range from full-contact aggression to a more gentle focus on self-development. For example, muay Thai, the direct and effective kickboxing sport that uses elbows and knees, is a simple yet brutal art. In contrast, the Myanmarian art of pongyi thaing is nonviolent and stresses Hindu and Buddhist principles in an attempt to develop a practitioner’s mind, body, and spirit. Those who practice the ancient Myanmarian art of bando yoga seek to cultivate their health?and in former times their readiness for battle?by defending themselves against both armed attack from without and internal disease from within, leading to a more peaceful existence free from confrontation and conflict. This philosophical concept was captured succinctly by the legendary Bruce Lee when he said: “If you don’t fight, you cannot lose.”

The past meets the present

Many of the older indigenous martial-art forms in Southeast Asia were practiced alongside music, dance, and drama. These traditions live on today, although in a slightly different form. For example, muay thai practitioners engage in a dancelike ritual before they fight to protect themselves and hex their opponent during a bout. The fight itself is always accompanied by hypnotic and distinctive music. In Indonesia and Malaysia, silat is often practiced to a musical accompaniment and often features in folk dramas.

Renewed life

As nations and their people in the region emerge from years of conflict and suppression, traditional martial arts have begun to flower once again. Cambodia’s ancient martial-art traditions can be seen in the figures that adorn the temples of Angkor Wat, which dates back to the 12th century CE. The arts in Myanmar are mostly animal-based techniques and have survived with relatively little influence from the other modern sporting arts in the region. Many styles of thaing?the generic term for defense or all-out fighting systems in Myanmar?are largely based on grappling and striking. Lethwei, a traditional Myanmarian sport similar to muay Thai, has been practiced in Myanmar for centuries and continues to grow in popularity.

Jingoistic trends

Throughout Vietnam’s turbulent history, both culturally and philosophically, the country’s Chinese-influenced martial arts were never standardized. Instead they were primarily passed along family lines and, during the French occupation from 1859 to 1954, were driven underground. They are now enjoying a reemergence and many have strong nationalistic elements, such as vovinam, which was founded in 1938 as a Vietnamese martial art for Vietnamese people.

Martial arts “down under”

In Oceania, most of the ancient fighting techniques and systems not only use simple weapons, such as stones, slingshots, and sticks, but also metal spears, swords, and other bladed weapons. Mau rakau, the traditional Maori martial art, is of particular interest. The art is seen as being a useful way of cultivating self-discipline and social responsibility and practitioners often have to endure painful tattooing as a rite of passage to warriorhood. A number of hybrid martial arts have evolved in Australia and New Zealand, especially during the early 1970s when the martial-arts craze reached its zenith and films and television series featured central characters who were skilled in combat or self-defense techniques. Many of these arts remain popular today.

About the Author

Troy Macraft Chief Editor, The MMA Zone: “the ninja swords experts” http://www.themmazone.net The MMA Zone: The MMA Supplies Experts 1.866.447.8222

What does the Asia learn golf for?

What does the Asia learn golf for?

Article by Leiting

What does the Asia learn golf for?Golf has long history in the western world and maybe the mass there will say that game is a game. But the situation doesn?t apply to Asia. Let?s take a closer look at it.Singaporeans give their reason to why they want to learn golf as that they choose golf because of its networking opportunities. On the golf range they may meet some important figures. If you have the day dream, you may also sure you will find a soul mate here. Money really matters in days like this, so you may invite your collaborator to play the golf so that you may make a deal on the golf range.Taiwanese want to play it because it is an expensive sport and gives them financial credence. That?s to say, people there will manifest their status by swing the cue on the golf courses. They play it because it costs a lot of money and the poor cannot afford it. If to play golf is as cheap as buying a handful of rice, you will surly abandon the game. But I am not so sure of it. Maybe they will find golf is quite wonderful when they are immersed in the game.Japanese is quite a unique people. They play golf for the prestige. What?s prestige mean here? You may get it already. That?s a good way to improve your fame if you often go to the golf range and at the same time you are somebody because of other things. But it is certainly not always working very well. Several days ago, a politician was severely bombarded by playing golf during the period when its country is in a mass of the great disaster. If you are careful enough, you may find that the official just take several rounds during a national holiday. But, the case applies to daily life of the Japanese. Maybe Vietnamese are the strangest people considering the attitude toward golf. They go on golf courses because they are required to learn by their company. If you think about it for several minutes, you may find that in essence, it shares much similarity with Singapore. Why does the company want its employee to learn golf? Golf there is not a cheap game. Is the company paying the workers to play for fun? The answer is quite obvious; the reason why the workers are required to learn the game is that it will smooth their commercial activities with the dealers.No wonder that a foreign golf couch made such comments. “The student is learning golf for its by-products and not for the game itself,” said Foy, a member and examiner of the United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) who is currently working in Vietnam.But maybe the reason why people want to play golf is not so important. If you achieve the goal you set, you are the winner. In case the reader is interested in golf products, I will provide some websites here. http://www.golfonlinewholesale.com/Ping-G15-Iron-Set-850.htmlhttp://www.buycheapgolf.com/

The company is engaging in selling golf products on line. The companies have begun their business several years ago, so they are quite reliable. I find the price is quite reasonable there and the quality is ok if you read the good description. You won?t miss it.

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