DECEMBER 28, 2005

woohoo!!! i’m finally home! but i do have to say…this was one trip that i didn’t feel like leaving from…we went to a city called “麗江” (Li Jiang) which is part of Yunnan 云南province in Southwestern china…we stayed in the “old town”麗江古城  part of this city and it was UNBELIEVABLE! the area and the little house we stayed in has been around for hundreds of years and it was just amazing to be back in history…the weather was freezing – it was 5 degrees or less…the city is surrounded by some of the most beautiful mountains (including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain – totally snow covered!!)  i have ever seen…outside the city are hundreds and hundreds of the most beautiful farms that stretched as far as the eye could see… http://www.travelchinaguide.com/picture/yunnan/lijiang/index.htm here are some amazing photos of the place…we saw ALL of the things that you see in the photos…the incredible old people of the Naxi minority!!! we went to watch a musical performance of traditional Naxi music and that was UNBELIEVABLE to watch…the main leader of this musical group was 70 something years old and he has been playing this music since he was a child. he even talked about the 20 years he was thrown into prison during the Cultural Revolution because he was a musician…imagine that…

on one of the days we went to a snow mountain that was right next to where we were living…it was AN incredible mountain! when we got near the top – it started snowing which was beautiful…totally beautiful…the temperature was -15 degrees up there! SOOOOO cold – but one of the best parts of the trip…i got to kick my girlfriends ass in the snow! hahahaha…throwing so many snowballs on her…right before both our feet got cold and my toes almost fell off! hahahaha…

if any of you have time in the next few years…you should try to go to this part of Yunnan before it becomes fully commercialized like the rest of china is becoming unfortunately. even this part of china is showing plenty of signs of commercialization – even though it is surrounded by nothing but nature and SO FAR away from huge bustling cities…its weird that even this remote part of china isn’t free from the evils of commercialization.

one good news that i found out on the whole trip was that the government of China was getting rid of the decades old “agriculture tax” that the Chinese governments makes the poor poor farmers pay every year! that is GREAT news for these poor farmers…the place we were visiting, like i mentioned above, is totally surrounded by farms and you can see how incredibly hard their work is. i don’t care about anyone in HK who complains about how hard their job is – try to be a farmer and see what its like. this is back-breaking work, working under the HOT HOT sun OR the COLD COLD winter, pushing cattle around, plowing fields, picking miles and miles of crops, all for how much? a few cents! can you believe that…its so sad…if you’re born into a farming family, that seems like its your destiny. but finally the chinese government is trying to look out for their farmers. they’re going to get rid of this agriculture tax, and they’re looking at finding other ways to help the farmers prosper like the rest of china has been prospering these past few years…

oh man…what a great vacation there’s so much more that happened that i can’t remember because so much stuff happened and there was so much to see…i got sick on the first day and puked on the plane! that was horrible…my girlfriend got sick the next day! sucked…while we were there we met this awesome painter who painted the most beautiful paintings right on to t-shirts! i got like 3 made for myself and i got one done for each of my bro’s in the band…can’t believe i’m back in cement-hell hong kong …check out the photos…just look at how amazing that town is…

okay – bad news…looks like while i was gone our CD production has been met with non-stop problems…first of all, our brother Wah Dee has been having a HARD time trying to master the CD. so i don’t know what stage we’re at now…but there’s no way we can get the CD out on the 30th…sorry about that…but i’m back now so we’ll get everything sorted out over the next few days…

can’t wait to go back to 云南one day…i think the next time i travel with my girlfriend we’re going to be going to 新疆  i want to visit all the most remote places of china before every one of these places becomes like Shanghai or Beijing…totally over-crowded by tourists and insanely commercial…

as soon as my girlfriend downloads the millions of photo’s i took with her camera – i’ll upload them here so you can see them…it was one of the most peaceful trips i’ve been on – it was the first time in a long time i was able to actually enjoy quiet and peace…now i’m back in stress crazy hong kong…yippee…

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