View China trip video-diary

 Videos from Gabriela Taylor’s recent travels in China “take you through an exotic territory where foreign tourists rarely penetrate,” Gabriela writes.

Including a Qi Gong workshop beginning in Beijing and led by Kaua‘i residents Daisy Lee and Francesco Garripoli and a spectacular two-day hike to the Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Yangtze River, the videos share Taylor’s diverse experiences in China.

 “I am struck by the amazing dichotomy in China, the juxtaposition of 5,000-year-old tradition with a high rise building boom and an exciting contemporary art scene. China is both poignant and dynamic, a place where, truly, everything is possible,” says Taylor, a resident of Kaua‘i and author of “Geckos & Other Guests: Tales of a Kaua‘i Bed & Breakfast.”

 Along with other Kaua‘i residents in the Qi Gong group, Taylor traveled by train to the north visiting ancient Taoist temples and gigantic Buddhas carved into vertical rock cliffs. The dense smog from black coal spewing from power plants in Shanxi Province are an ironic reminder that the country is going through a massive industrial revolution.

The traveling group received massage treatments from the Qi Gong Institute students, an endearing group of youth that on another occasion showed off their Kung Fu skills — “They rebounded like balls while performing back flips, teens without an attitude,” said Taylor.

While Carol Ann Davis of Po‘ipu could barely be torn from Beijing’s explosive Art Zone, a massive complex of galleries and studios, the group witnessed a traffic jam that made Kapa‘a traffic look like a rapidly flowing stream.

In the south, Taylor traveled solo, filming “fascinating minority cultures who have their own unique religions, language, dress, music and architecture,” she wrote. In contrast to the north, “I found the air in Yunnan Province clean and the mountains majestic.”

The video footage is “mostly about people, from an adorable babe in a backpack to a century-old Tai Chi Master dipping to the ground. They dance, sing, play instruments, hike, make crafts, laugh and sell mangos,” she writes. “It is the people you meet who make a trip meaningful. Although most Chinese don’t speak any English, they are friendly and upbeat. I always felt welcome.”

Visit China through Taylor’s videos 

What: Discussion with travel tips, especially for those who want to travel independently, will follow the video show. Those who have traveled in China are encouraged to share their advice.

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m., Small Town Coffee, Kapa’a (free) and Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Storybook Theatre, Hanapepe (voluntary donation for children’s media project)

Contact: Call 823-9013 or e-mail gabriela@keapana.net for information.

• Keya Keita, lifestyle writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 257) or kkeita@kauaipubco.com

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