BEIJING: THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY

Architecture, Travel China
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Beijing is home of delicious egg tarts, Forbidden City, Mao's gigantic portret, smog and scams. Temple of Heaven: an Imperial Sacrificial Altar in Beijing When we first arrived in Beijing from Shanghai we couldn't believe it. Blue sky, great visibility. And then the next day the same, and the next. Propaganda, we thought. Before coming  I have seen videos of smog blanketing Beijing in just half an hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-g1zAJS_C2k And although on all our photos the sky in as blue, as blue can be, we saw  smog arriving on the day of our departure. And it was scary. You could hardly differentiate shapes of buildings, all of them looking hazy and grey. Smog in China has many causes, including pollution from industries and traffic, but it tends to happen more often in the winter, when low temperatures cause electricity demand to soar. This pollution can come from many sources, but burning coal has been linked to the largest number of air pollution deaths in China, causing 366,000 premature deaths in 2013. Seeing smog like this, feeling how hard it is to breathe and knowing that pollution in Poland is at some days similar to that in China I can see what the apocalypse will be like. Aaaand now some more culture: So that's how it used to be And how it is now. Some truths are just international. Dougong : caps and blocks. They support they roof beside beams and columns. And make the temples and palaces look all fancy and Asian ;-) Nathan can't belive how much culture he...

One night on the Great Wall – Jak śpi się na Wielkim Murze

Architecture, Blog, Travel China
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Jakie bardziej legendarne miejsce można wyobrazić sobie na nocleg pod namiotem? Opowiem Wam jak przenocować na Wielkim Murze, co byś też dodał to do swojej listy do zrobienia w Chinach. Camping on Gubeikou and Jinshanling Great Wall. We still have no clue if it is legal, but we definitely know it's doable. And it's awesome. Po trzech miesiącach w Chinach w końcu dotarliśmy do legendarnego Wielkiego Muru. Do małego jego skrawka na północ od Pekinu. Mur ciągnął się po horyzont. Przy ponad 20 000 km, w różnych stadiach upadku  i chwały zdecydować się co chcemy zobaczyć łatwo nie jest. Przy naszych priorytetach czyli : 1/ Możliwość rozstawienia namiotu 2/ Nieliczni turyści 3/ Mur w oryginalnej formie, czyli taki który uniknął renowacji zrezygnowaliśmy z najbardziej popularnych fragmentów jak Badaling czy Mutianyu i wybraliśmy się jeszcze dalej – na część zwaną Gubeikou. After three months in China, we finally reached it! The glorious Great Wall of China was dividing us from the Mongols. But we thought our trip would not be complete without setting our tent somewhere along the way. As we wanted to avoid crowds and see the wall in its original state we headed further North – to Gubeikou part of the Great Wall. Panlongshan &Jinshanling - nasza trasa/our route Gubeikou składa się z czterech części. Wohushan, Panlongshan, Jinshanling i Simatai.  Autobus zatrzymuje się pomiędzy częściami Wohushan i Panlongshan, więc Wohushan jako część najbardziej wysunięta na zachód nie była nam po drodzę. Nocowaliśmy w ostatniej wieży obronnej na końcu części Panlongshan, z której po krótkim spacerze równlolegle do muru możemy wejść na część...
Morning in Kunming from Aleksandra Duczmal on Vimeo.

Start a morning with a bit of sword swinging – Poranek w Kunming

Blog, Travel China
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We thought it will be a boring day the waiting for our train to China-Vietnam border. But then we got invited to a morning exercise routine in a park at 6 am, and that's how I discovered my great kung-fu talents and Nathan discovered you can actually behead yourself swinging the sword. Dzień jak co dzień, o 6 rano, włócząc sie po mieście czekając na nasz pociag do chińsko-wietnamskiej granicy zostalismy zaproszeni na poranną serie cwiczeń. Z mieczami. Pan chińczyk z dużym entuzjazmem uczył mnie sztuki samoobrony znaczy jak przewrócic Natana. Kung-Fu Panda wersja...

Donkeys and mist in Nuodong – Wioska mniejszości Bai

Blog, Travel China
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On the tee horse trail, close to Myanmar border a Bai minority village is hidden. Spread out on a steep hill, with 1000 (my guess) steps, the Confucius temple on the top and donkies strolling narrow pathways up and down. Niedaleko granicy z Birmą znaleźliśmy rozpostartą pomiędzy wzgórzami małą wioskę mniejszości Bai. Nie trudno się zgubić (oczywiście, że się zgubiliśmy ) pomiędzy wąskimi i stromymi uliczkami na których pierwszeństwo ma zawsze osiołek. DSC_0146 How to get to Nuodong: Take a bus from Dali to Yongping (39RMB - every 40 min) and then a taxi to the village. If you get out of the station it will cost 20...

Workaway near Chengdu – Jak budowaliśmy kurnik w Chinach

Blog, Travel China
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For two weeks in August we worked on an aquaponic farm in Chengdu. Nathan learnt how to make a dragon out of straw and I specialised in chicken head locks. In anyone needs one, let me know. More photos soon! Przez dwa tygodnie za wikt i opierunek pracowaliśmy w okolicach Chengdu na ekologicznym gospodarstwie gdzie działo się wiele! Oprócz samego ogrodu i zwierząt, odbywały się kolonie dla dzieci a my zostaliśmy oddelegowani do sekcji budowniczych. Więcej zdjęć naszych osiągnięć już niedługo ;) Our red ferrari.Nasza bryka do i z...

YAODONGS, LIVING UNDERGROUND

Architecture, FRH, Travel China
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Around 40  mln people live in cave dwellings called yaodongs. I was very excited to finally be able to visit them, and after 3hours in train and 2h in buses we found one of the most curious yaodong villages in China. Now, on the fringes of Sanmenxia city we can find the underground village discovered in the 50s and then published in famous Architecture without Architects by Bernard Rudofsky. You can not see the village from afar. You can only hear it. Houses are created by sunked rectangular courtyards measuring ~ 8 x 6 m, from which separate arched rooms were dugged. The earth that surrounds the indoor space serves as an effective insulator keeping the inside of the structure warm in cold seasons and cool in hot seasons. Consequently, very little heating is required in winter, and in summer, it is as cool as an air-conditioned room. We visited the caves on a hot August day and the rooms stayed nice and cool. Entrances to the dwellings were separated from the courtyard itself. Old entrance. Renovated entrance. In the middle of the courtyard a tree was planted providing shade and a well dugged collecting rain water. Not renovated cave-room, with some Chinese furniture and a  kang on the right - a heated brick bed. A renovated cave-room with Mao's time interior. And now  the horror part of the story. The site was unfortunately discovered by Chinese tourism industry. And transformed into Underground Las Vegas. The layout has been changed - dwellings have...