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Gualala Arts

Promoting public interest and participation in the arts since 1961.

Archive of past events: 2004 through 2014

Gualala Arts Lecture Series presents:
Travel to China, Tibet, and Cambodia

with Lynne and Jim Edwards
Monday, May 5, 2008, 7:00 p.m.
$5 donation requested

Beijing Please join Jim and Lynne Edwards on May 5, 2008, at the Gualala Arts Center, as they share their experiences and photographs of their month long trip throughout China, Tibet, and Cambodia. The Edwards, previously from Sea Ranch, traveled with Len and Sharon Hiles of Sea Ranch.

They enjoyed many historical sights in Mainland China where they first visited the city of Shanghai. This city mixes old tradition and history with new landscape and modern architecture. They toured the famous Bund and Yu Gardens that date back to the early 1500's. Another day found them in the 2500 year old city of Suzhou where they walked the streets and admired the ancient Chinese handicrafts of woodblock prints and silk embroidery.

On day 7, they were in Beijing, the political center of Mainland China. The day was spent walking through the Forbidden City with its 9000 room maze of courtyards, palaces, and ceremonial halls; and the massive Tiananmen Square, the largest public square in the world with over 100 acres. No one can stand on this massive square without thinking back to what they might know about the tragic 1989 student demonstrations.

Great Wall of China Another magnificent sight was the engineering feat of the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall was begun in 403-221 BC, during China's first Qin emperor and once spanned 6200 miles through 16 provinces. Beijing is probably one of the fastest changing cities in the world today with the 2008 Summer Olympic Games being at the center of the change. During their stay in Beijing, the local guide stated that over 6000 buildings were under construction in the city, with 1000+ just for the Olympics.

Leaving Beijing, they traveled overnight by train to the city of Xian which was once the largest city in the world during the Tang Dynasty. In Xian, there are many beautiful sights and historical artifacts to marvel over, but none as grand as the life-sized soldiers, generals, charioteers, and horses of Xian's Terra Cotta Army. These excavation sites are considered one of the foremost archaeological discoveries of the 20th century. The 2000 year old Terra Cotta Warriors were accidentally discovered in 1974 by local farmers digging a well. The more than 6000 life-size figures are arranged in vaults at the entrance to the tomb of the first emperor of China.

The next four nights were spent cruising the Yangtze River, one of the world's longest rivers. The sights ranged from beautiful misty mountains, industrial ports, to thousand-year old cities being rebuilt on higher ground. They walked the ridges of the Three Gorges Dam which should be completed in 2009. Upon completion, the Dam Project will have 632 square miles of inundated terrain that includes 13 cities, 140 towns, 1352 villages, 657 factories, and 66,000 acres of cultivated land. About 1.3 million people will be relocated to new towns above the water mark.

The capital of Tibet, Lhasa, was their next stop for three nights. At over 12,000 feet, the air is thin and the terrain is exhilarating. Once in Lhasa, one feels as though they have stepped back in time several hundred years with most of the Tibetan culture and customs still tightly held. The country has existed since the 7th century as a remote mountain theocracy based on the tenets of Lamaism. In spite of the hardships that the Tibetan culture has endured, especially since the Chinese Cultural Revolution, they have thrived under the stewardship of the exiled Dalai Lama. There are few words to describe the sensory overload of experiencing Potala Palace where the Dalai Lynne and Sharon holding a 9 month old baby panda bear Lama once lived, or the 1300 year old Jokhang Temple to witness hundreds of Buddhist pilgrims making clockwise circuits on their hands and knees in reverence to one of Tibet's most sacred sights.

Another wonderful highlight for the traveling animal lovers was a visit to the Chengdu Giant Panda Sanctuary. They spent several hours watching and photographing the antics of the docile and cuddly panda bears. Lynne and Sharon were able to actually hold a 9 month old baby panda bear that weighed about 60 pounds. What a thrill!

The final leg of their month long journey took them to Siem Reap in Cambodia. They explored ancient Angkor which was built by the Khmer aristocrats between AD 800-1200. The sights were quite unlike anything else thus far. They explored the grounds of Angkor Thom, the capital city of Khmer rulers; watched the sun set behind Angkor Wat; enjoyed a boat ride along the villages of Tonle Sap Lake; and spent some somber moments at the Killing Fields Memorial Temple.

The Gualala Arts Center, located at 46501 Old State Highway in Gualala, CA,
is open weekdays 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and weekends from noon to 4:00 p.m.
Please call (707) 884-1138 for more information, or email

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