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wuzhongj@hebeiwushu.com · tel. (469) 774-1618
Hebei Chinese Martial Arts Institute
Sifu Wuzhong Jia

· Wu Shu - Kung Fu (Gong Fu) · Shaolin (long fist) · Tai Chi (Taiji: Chen, Yang, Wu, Wu/Hao, Sun, taolu) ·
· Chi Kung (Qigong: medical, longevity, Taoist, Shaolin Yijinjing, Ba Duan Jin, Wild Goose) ·
· Ba Gua (Pa Kua: Cheng, Liang, Yin) · Xing Yi (Hsing-I: 5 elements, 12 animals) · Push-Hands ·
· Sanshou (Sanda) · Weapons (straight sword, broad sword, staff, spear, sabre, whip, fan, Guan Dao) ·




Huaqing Hot Springs

Spending some time at the Huaqing Hot Springs, located about 35 kilometers east of Xian city at the foot of the Lishan Mountain is a must for every visitor to Xian. For centuries emperors came here to bathe and enjoy the scenic beauty, and it has been a favorite spa since the Tang Dynasty. Huaqing Hot Springs can be conveniently visited on returning from the Terracotta Army site.

History     During the Western Zhou, Li Palace was originally established a resort here. Later the First Emperor Qin built a stone pool and gave the name "Lishan Hot Springs," and it was extended by the Han Wudi, Martial Emperor. However, the strongest associations are with the Tang Dynasty, and most of the present buildings have a Tang style.

The Hot Springs Palace was built by Emperor Taizong and a walled palace was added by Emperor Xuanzong in 747 A.D. Unfortunately, it was damaged during the An Lushan Rebellion in the middle Tang period. The present site was rebuilt on the site of the Qing Dynasty structure.

A visit to the Huaqing Hot Springs     Through the west gate visitors can visit Nine-Dragon Pool, the Lotus Flower Pool and the Frost Drifting Hall rebuilt in 1959 in Tang architectural style.

Emperor Xuanzong used to spend winter in the company of Yang Guifei (Lady Yang) - his favorite concubine in the Hall of Fluttering Frost. The hall gains its name due to the slightly milky mist and vapor over the pool year around. In winter, the snowflakes soon thaw immediately in front of the Hall because of the lukewarm vapor rising out of the hot spring.

Close by the hall is the Nine-Dragon Pool. There is a legend that a severe drought once happened in central Shaanxi. The Jade Emperor (the Supreme Deity of Heaven- a legendary figure) ordered a dragon with his eight sons to produce rain. The dragons got slack just as the disaster was abating, and the drought became much more severe. That is why replicas of young dragons were submerged under the Jade Causeway, with the pavilions of Brilliant Dawn and Glowing Sunset built on each side. The dragons spout clear water all day long. And the old dragon was confined to the bottom of the Murmruing Dragon Pavilion at the upper end of the Jade Causeway.

The Nine-Bend Corridor to the west of the Nine-Dragon Pool leads directly to the Marble Boat which resembles a dragon boat floating on water. In the Marble Boat lies the Nine-Dragon Hot Spring Palace where Emperor Xuanzong with his court ladies and officials used to spend each winter. The Nine-Dragon Hot Spring Pool was originally built with crystal jade, beautifully decorated with carvings of fish, birds and flowers. A lotus-flower-shaped carving bathes in the spring water spouting from a wellspring hence the name, Lotus Flower Pool.

East of the Huaqing Pool, the source of the hot springs, and the Five Chamber Building, are worthy of inspection.

The imperial bathing pools from the Tang period were discovered in 1982 by workmen renovating the Guifei Pavilion. Archaeologists found the ruins of four bathing pools which are the Star, Long, Lotus and Guifei pools. The Guifei or Hibiscus pool, dating from 712 A.D.- 756 A.D., has been restored and is open to the public - but only for viewing. It is a terraced structure with a central, empty, pool in the shape of a Chinese crab-apple blossom. The fountainhead, designed to represent the stamens of a flower, is a reproduction of the original. A museum was built on the remains and was opened to public in October 1990. On display in the museum are building materials of the Tang Dynasty, excavated from this area.

The Baths     The best way to appreciate the Huaqing Hot Springs is to take a bath. The water rises at a temperature of 43C(109F). It contains lime, sodium carbonate, sodium sulphate and other minerals, which makes it suitable for bathing and the treatment of quite a few diseases such as dermatitis, rheumatism, arthritis and muscular pain.

Climb the steps east of the hot springs source, and you will gradually see the Five-Room Hall where Chiang Kaishek stayed temporarily during the Xian Incident. Up the winding path, east of the Five-Room Hall, you will see a bridge-like structure. On summer and autumn evenings the sun reflects off this bridge in a way that makes it look very much like a rainbow. So it was named the Hovering Rainbow Bridge.

Located on the Xixiu Ridge (the West Embroidery Ridge) of Mt. Lishan, the remains of the beacon tower of the Western Zhou dynasty are easily identified.

In ancient times, this beacon tower, built at the top of the mountain, was used to give alarms of border attacks. Special guards constantly manned it. Once the enemy pressed towards the border, a signal would be sent from the beacon tower.

A famous story is told about Baosi, queen of the Western Zhou dynasty. She was highly honored, yet she never cracked a smile. King You tried many ways to put a smile on her face, but he failed over and over again. He "called his court band to toll bells and beat gongs", and she put on a long face. Then the band was asked to "play the bamboo flute and strings", and she remained displeased. Afterwards, "maids of honor served wine, festively singing and dancing", and she still did not let out a smile.

"You don't like music! What on earth are you fond of?" the king asked.

"I don't have much of a liking for anything. But I can still well remember when I was a child, I liked to listen to the sound of colored silk being torn. It was clear and melodious." she replied. King You said in excitement, "That is very simple. How come you didn't let me know that earlier?"

Thus he ordered the officially appointed property manager to produce colored silk and he assembled fresh and energetic maids of honor and had them tear it into pieces, but Baosi remained unmoved. "Why didn't you let out a single smile then?" he asked.

"I have not smiled so far," the queen replied.

The king tried over and over again, but failed repeatedly, and in the end he gave order: "Anyone, either in or out of court, who can amuse Baosi will be awarded one thousand pieces of gold."

Afterwards, Guo Shifu, a treacherous court official, came, and offered advice: "Set the beacon tower on fire and fool your sovereign rulers." That night the king and queen reached Mt. Lishan by carriage, and gave the order. In a split second, the flames of the fire lit up the sky and the sovereign rulers moved their troops immediately to Mt. Lishan. There they found the king and queen enjoyed drinking festively. The king then dispatched his bodyguard to inform them that "Everything is all right. I have just been joking with you." When they found out this, they looked at each other in blank dismay, and left disappointed. Sure enough, Baosi burst into laughter, stroking her hands when she noticed all the troops who had come in vain and now returned noisily. Accordingly, Guo Shifu got a prize of one thousand pieces of gold. Later, King You repeated his joke more often than not. In 771 BC, Quan Rong (a ethnic group tribe at that time) staged an armed rebellion against the Western Zhou dynasty. King You urgently ordered the beacon tower set on fire, but all the sovereign rulers did not come. Consequently King You was killed, and Baosi was taken away. The Western Zhou dynasty vanished. Herein come the Chinese idioms "A single smile costs one thousand pieces of gold" and "the sovereign rulers are fooled by the beacon fire".

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