Tuesday 22 August 2006
Highlights: Visiting a Ghost Town, Leisurely cruise
Today we got a chance to visit a “Ghost Town”. Basically this is a town with different temples. It is called a ghost town as it is home to the after world on earth and all souls much journey here.
Then most interesting thing I learned about this trip was the different worlds. There is the underworld, the world, and heaven. Heaven is actually represented by red and the Underworld is represented by blue. The characters that guard the Underworld should scare most people to give up their wicked ways. Adultery in particular seems to have a very bad form of punishment (different for men and women). The punishment for men is particularly horrible. Not respecting your parents or ancestors is also very high on the list of things not to do.
Later in the day Brett provided an insight into Chairman Mao and more current events. China is definitely changing quickly. It is hard to call it a communist state; there is no retirement or unemployment benefits, or even guaranteed jobs. There is a very big capitalist approach to making money however. While this is a dictatorship, I’m not sure communist regime is an accurate description anymore.
We had a special farewell dinner tonight with the Captain coming to each table and giving us a toast. I for one used up my last beer vouchers (x 10) on Snow beer, which is a local rice based beer.