Silk Factory in Yuan Garden, Shanghai China

One of the oldest crafts in China is the process of making silk thread and silk products. A visit to Yuan Garden and a coerced visit to a factory, led us to the gentleman’s store. I say coerced because the man wouldn’t take no for an answer, he was very persuasive on why we needed to visit his store. He said the word cocoon and that single word piqued my curiosity. So off we went. The visit was quick and very interesting. I did a little research and found the following 2 photo’s as a great start to this post.

Image credit to http://www.designboom.com/history/silk.html

Image credit to http://www.designboom.com/history/silk.html

The amazing craftsmanship and ingenuity with which this culture works is just amazing to me.

 

Photo’s From Zhou Zhuang China

No matter how many times I visit the small water town of Zhou Zhuang, I don’t seem to tire of it. There’s always something new to discover, something new to see, or even something new to taste. The following photo’s are random shots I took while on my last visit to Zhou Zhuang. I apologize as I am not able to give proper descriptions of what I saw; however, I do know that this is supposed to be some sort of scary house. I thought the subject was interesting. Enjoy!

Handmade Straw Mats – Zhou Zhuang China

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Look closely at the picture and take note of the handmade loom the gentleman is using. As I watched him work I wondered how old the loom could be. Looking around his shop and the many products we saw, it’s obvious this man makes a living working with his hands.

As an american it can sometimes be a little harder to purchase items such as a straw mat at 75 RMB each. This translates to approximately $12 USD. When I know that I can go to a five and dime store and pick them up for a few dollars. So do I sacrifice quality for a cheaper price or pay the price for quality items. Hmm..

These mats are truly handmade. The purchase of these goods goes to help support a family (I’m assuming). I for one would rather buy an item that has been handmade and durable vs. a manufactured item that was made in mass. I support crafters and will pay a fair price for handmade goods.

What about you, do you like handmade goods?

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A Chinese Wooden Cart

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A walk through some old streets in Zhouzhuang and we find the back courtyard of what we think is a museum. We peek through the garden doors only to discover this wonderful wooden gem. The wooden cart has that warm weathered look; however, it’s still in tact and appears to be in usable condition. Although, highly unlikely I’m sure.

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I love to find items such as this, to photograph with what ever means I have on hand. I can just imagine the cobble stone streets this cart has gone over or the passengers that have had the pleasure of the ride. If only the cart could talk.

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Enjoy!

 

In Search Of Daqudang Park – Luxu China

The weather was perfect on Sunday morning. We had decided that we would attempt a long ride on this day with such perfect weather and that I would pick the destination. I’ve been wanting to find a park called Daqudang Park located 4km from the G50 ramp exit. Little did I know that this is the same park we’ve been to and I’ve actually posted about here.

Our route started out pretty easy and not much traffic. Since I was in the lead I decided to cross the main highway and over a bridge to start the hunt for the park I so desperately wanted to find.  After riding a few miles it was quite clear we were not going to find the park; however, there was a ton of traffic and everyone was moving in what appeared to be the same direction. Me being who I am, I was curious and decided to follow along to see where everyone was going.

Without even trying we found a large temple. Oh boy! The road was busy and the traffic jam was comical. As you will see from the pictures the traffic jam included vehicles and bikes of all kinds. My husband who does not like a large crowd took the side marshy area to get out of the jam. I thought, “no way man, I’m staying here”! I just wanted to be a part of the crowd and perhaps capture a picture or two. Nice!

Although I didn’t take a picture, the temple is pretty large and the incense very strong. Some people were wearing a white robe, a head covering, or a white sash around the waist. Most of everyone we saw had a bag of food or household products in hand. Not sure why, or the meaning behind it. But, it was all pretty cool to see. I do find it difficult to take pictures where people are actually in worship. So I chose not to take any.  Enjoy!