About ourselves, and how we made our visit to ancient China
We went to China from 28th May to 11th June 2014. We spent 18 days on a tour of Ancient China, organised by an Australian company, Wendy Wu. It was a busy trip starting in Beijing, then going west to Datong to see the Yungang grottoes, then south to Wutaishan and Taiyuan, and then to the fascinating historic town of Pingyao.
We then spent a night in the train before arriving at Xian, the capital of Han and Tang China, and the home of the terracotta warriors.
Then east by bullet train to Luoyang to see the Longshan Buddhas, then to Zhengzhou, from whence we flew to Shanghai for our final three days. All in all, a very busy trip!
My name is Andrew Selkirk, and I am an archaeologist, having spent my life editing the magazines Current Archaeology and Current World Archaeology. In my retirement – or semi-retirement – I am busy writing a history of the world, called Barbarism and Civilisation. Last year we went to India – click here to see my report – so this year we thought we should go to China. This is my report
In this final section, I am collecting together some of the informal photos I took on the trip – of myself and my wife Wendy, our companions on the trip, and are excellent tour guide Ruby.
It was a wonderful experience which has had great influence on my thinking about world history I shall be rewriting the story of China on my civilisation pages.
My wife and I seeking the protection of the Iron Man at the Jinci Temple in Taiyuan. The Iron Man is one of the finest surviving sculptures of the Song dynasty (AD 960 – 1279)
In Xian we visited the Tang Dynasty Music and Dance Show a magnificent display that sets out to reconstruct some of the musical ‘operas’ that were performed in the Tang era
During the course of our visit I was able to photograph a number of ordinary Chinese and inevitably there were a number of pretty girls who strayed into my focus.
I was fascinated by this subversive message: Art is money and no money is Art. Somehow she seems to typify the modern Chinese who are both fascinated by modern Western commercialism but at the same time take a decidedly subversive slant on the whole phenomenon.
When we went round the hutong, the artisans quarter of the imperial place at Beijing, we went to dine in one of the traditional hutong eating places. Here is the chef who provided us with a splendid lunch at his home in the hutong at Beijing, proudly displaying the certificate as to his cooking abilities.
He told us that he still lived in the same house that his father and grandfather had lived in, close to the back gate to the Imperial Palace, where his father had been an imperial chef.
I enjoyed my visit to China!
If you wish to learn more, or if you have any comments or corrections, or indeed if you are intending to go on a Wendy Wu tour of ancient China, do e-mail me at Andrew@archaeology.co.uk, or ring me on (0044) (020) 744 356 9732, or 020 89404678