Alpert-Shroyer 2010 Bonus World Cruise travel blog

Morning entry to Xiamen harbor with a large suspension bridge bridging commercial/industrial...

Maritime Terminal (still under construction) in a city that almost all is...

Navigational light & statue of some Chinese Warlord with a Chinese junk...

Buddhist temple area where vendors set up stalls for the tourists &...

Parade of elephants welcoming visitors to the temple front entrance. (almost dwarfs...

Cleaning is done the old fashioned way by hand with crude (cheap)...

Roof line of 1st temple and dragon lightening rods to keep the...

Incense urn at the front entrance (Incense urns were place in front...

Large incense urn at the Front entrance, each worshiper buys a few...

A temple building of this very large Buddhist temple area that is...

2 protective dieties that are supposed to protect Buddha

Dragon lightening rod on the apex of an upturned roof line like...

Center piece of the temple roofline of this temple building

Husband (joking around) beating his wife to "hurry up & do better."...

Buddha statues in gold behind fenced areas of one temple-these are about...

Shark (or mythical fish w/ large teeth) "swimming around" the temple to...

Relative size of the Buddha statues, people pray to, walled off for...

Center apex of temple building, colorful inside as is outside

The temple area wound up & between the large boulders & into...

Cavern where numerous Buddha statuets were place for worship to Buddha

View of the size of the temple buildings-this was no small community...

Monk, studying behind a temple worship area

Only female Buddha statue in the temple area

View of the "Cotton" trees beginning their spring bloom of vibrant, full...

No, these are not Nazi symbols of the Buddhist temple-they are religious...

Various teas we tried at the Chinese tea house-a nice demonstration &...

Our demonstrators & hosts of teas, giving an explanation of this Pancake...

Teas available for purchase at the chinese tea house (at a very...

Everybody wants to "line up" with Taiwan in the background, striking some...

Taiwan in the distance-the envy of the Chinese in many ways-this is...

Statuary of spectators watching the annual race along the beach front area-interesting...

Vendors at the beach area were still prevalent, selling most everything including...

Colorful array of workers' umbrellas, drying in the courtyard of the Museum

Miniature replicas of seafaring junks that took Chinese labors to a new...

Very large, bronzed & engraved door of the Museum

Right side entrance to the Museum where a worker left his/her soup-food...

Sample of ancient, very large, painted ceramic bowls & urns

Pottery was colorful and showed how good the Chinese are at fabrication...

Another large urn in the Museum, decorated using red, green & traditional...

"Shiva-like" statua ( only about 9 in tall)

Front lawn is a very good place to play "catch leaves" with...

Conjestion in the streets of Xiamen during the middle of the day

Cars, people all converge to the streets of Xiamen with such a...

Waiting at a street corner to cross the ever so busy streets...

Captain Dag & the Chinese harbor pilot still feel the cool of...

Waterfront near the marine terminal & skyline along its river--industrial side is...

Freight is moved up river by "junk-like" barges to construction sites all...

Harbor light keeps traffic moving day & night-see the skyline in the...

Solo sailor with a covered small "junk" style boat passing us as...

The land nestles the setting sun as we leave the mouth of...


Xiamen, where in China is that? That is the question that so many of us asked (had to be on the coast of China!). As it turns out, Xiamen is a "new" city that is centered around Commercial/Industrial progress AND focused on easy port exportation of many of China's products.

We arrive in the early morning to a bustling, growing city that looked like a combination of Shanghai and growing cities in Indonesia. Our dock space was even located up river to a new (still under construction) Port Terminal building from the "old" dock location in an industrial terminal that we passed on our way in.

Ellie did not feel too good (wanted to rest up for Hong Kong) & Debbie wanted to go to town to "pick up a few things she needs." I went on our tour of Xiamen, China's largest Buddhist temple, a Chinese tea house, a museum and a stop on the beach area where China is closest to Taiwan (apparently where a lot of Chinese like to stop for a photo shoot of the 2nd China nation-though they-most of them-all believe in a ONE China theory).

My tour was a so-so tour but a good exposure & explanation by our guide about Xiamen as the "new China" & Xiamen as its most modern city (and the indoctrination that is taught & expected to follow); the growth of the City & how it fits into the development of China to the dominate world power. The museum tour showed how Chinese were abused & taken advantage of (exploitation of manpower in developing nations) and how their massive asset of manpower helps put China in the forefront of developing nations, today. The best part of the museum, after all the history & propaganda (although not all of it was blatant as I've made it appear to be-but it is subtly there) was the artifacts on the 3rd level of pottery, statuary and other parts & pieces of Chinese history. The Buddhist temple was awesome in that it went on and on over approximately 100 acres of land & mountain terrain with temples & shrines built on several levels, memorials built up & in the boulders of the mountain, ponds fed by water from the mountain springs and courtyards filled with trees, incense urns and worshipers by the hundreds & hundreds besides the tourists & visitors. It was interesting and curious to see so many Buddhist followers. All this made me think of Hinduism, Borobudur (the Buddhist temple in Semarang, Java an Islamic nation & its people) that we visited and how this religion dominated (as it does now) so many minds & lives and how religion plays such an important role in the development of a nation.

The Tea house visit was interesting in how to prepare teas but was really a stop to purchase Teas from this tea house that had been arranged for us to stop & visit. We all enjoyed the "mini-seminar" on the various teas & what they did for the body & how they are produced & tasted. Many people bought teas to take home or give as gifts, but I decided not to spend $$ on teas that were over priced by half or twice as much as I think they should have been priced (maybe I'm too frugal but it didn't seem to be a value in purchasing teas at this location).

Our last stop was at the beach area nearest Taiwan, where we all got out to take some photos of Taiwan, just 3 miles across (it seemed like a very little stretch of water to cross) with many Chinese lining up to "strike a pose" with Taiwan in the background. Maybe they were wanting the "richness" of the "free enterprise" system or maybe they were just mocking the "neighbors" across the Chanel as still part of their country & would be soon unified with the "motherland," as was told to us in many ways and openly by our guide. All the touring finally finished in time for us to make our way back on ship (after walking the thermal imaging & document "scrutinization" check point) & proceed to our next destination: Hong Kong, China, our final stop in China.

"Our World, Our Way, No Regrets!"



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