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China Tour 2008

In May and June of 2008, Sifu Lin and his family traveled to China with more than 50 students and friends. In this journey of a lifetime, we visited 12 cities and villages over 16 days.

China Tour 2008

First we visited Beijing site of the 2008 Summer Olympics. We were allowed to visit the brand new national stadium, called the "Bird's Nest", as well as the Olympic swimming venue, called the "Ice Cube", up close just 2 months before the Opening Ceremony. In and around Beijing, we also visited the Badaling portion of the Great Wall, Tian An Men Square, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace and the Temple of Heaven.

The Great Wall Tian An Men Square Boat Fist at the Summer Palace
The Temple of Heaven

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From Beijing, we flew to the south west part of China and the city of Kunming. From Kunming, we drove through the beautiful countryside to Dali and the doorway to Tibet. In Dali, we visited the famous three White Pagodas, the oldest of which was constructed more than 1000 years ago. The people who live in Dali come from many of the different Chinese national minorities. We visited the Bai minority town of Xizhou. The Bai minority is the largest minority population in and around Dali. From Dali, we drove through the village of Zhoucheng on the way to Lijiang.

Dali City Gate at Night Drumming with Bai People in Dali Dragon Dancing with Bai People in Dali

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In Lijiang, we went on the famous river walk where traditional village life meets modern Rock-n-Roll with the many disco dance bars. Also in Lijiang, we visited the Yufeng Tibetan Lama Monastery high up in the beautiful mountains. Another of the larger minority nationalities in this region is the Naxi people. We visited the Naxi village of Yuhu and attended a traditional Naxi orchestra performance.

Three White Pagodas and Mountains

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From Lijiang, we flew by way of Kunming to the beautiful city of Guilin. In Kunming, we had just enough time to visit the Western Hills and the 1000 step climb up the mountain.

Atop the Western Hills

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Sitting inside a limestone karst, Guilin is one of the most beautiful cities in China. We were very fortunate to experience the famous Li River tour through the wondrous rock formations which ended in an exhilarating bicycle ride around Yangshuo (see the awesome window rock formation). Also in Guilin, we visited Fubo Hill Park where General Fubo shot an arrow to the south determining the border with Vietnam. At Elephant Trunk Hill Park, the rock formation resembles a giant elephant stopping to take a drink from the river.

Boat Fist on a Boat on the Li River Window Rock Formation 24 Moves Tai Chi Chuan at Elephant Trunk Hill Park

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From Guilin, we flew to Hangzhou, another of the most beautiful cities in China. In Hangzhou, we visited the legendary West Lake, depicted on the single Yuan currency note. We also visited beautiful gardens and the Longjing Tea plantation.

7 Stars Ch'i Kung on a Boat at the West Lake

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From Hangzhou, we drove to Suzhou, the garden city of China. Suzhou is also the home of one of Sifu Lin's martial arts teachers, Grand Master Chen. Grand Master Chen at 90 years old is a living martial arts legend and one of the very few people who knows and practices the Boat Fist Kung Fu. We were very fortunate to celebrate Grand Master Chen's 90th birthday on our first night in Suzhou. For the morning of our first day in Suzhou we participated in a martial arts cultural exchange with Grand Master Chen and some of his best students and their students as well. For many of Sifu Lin's students, this was the highlight of our China tour. In Suzhou, we also visited several beautiful traditional Chinese gardens.

Birthday Celebration for Grand Master Chen 24 Moves Tai Chi Chuan at Cultural Celebration Sifu Lin and Grand Master Chen

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From Suzhou, we drove through Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water towns in China. Here, we traveled the waterways via canoe. We ended our journey in Shanghai where we saw the famous Chinese acrobat show, and we visited the Bund district as well as loads of shopping on Nanjing Road.

Thus ended an incredible trip of a lifetime for everyone involved!

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