The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as bike taxi, velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, beca, becak, trisikad, or trishaw.
If you visited Java, especially to city like Jakarta, Bandung, Surabaya, Solo, or Jogjakarta, you might find a unique transportation : a carriage with three wheels which been paddled by a men who sit on the back seat. It is called Becak / Beca, a very well-known traditional transportation in Indonesia. The becak is the Indonesian incarnation of the ubiquitous pedicab, or cycle-rickshaw, found everywhere from. But it is Indonesia, and especially Java, that is the true heartland of the pedicab. The becak is as much a motif and symbol of Indonesia as the silhouette of a wayang kulit puppet, or the smell of a clove cigarette. The becak, a three-wheeled pedal-powered bike with a passenger seat, is the descendant of the original hand-pulled rickshaws that originated in Japan in the 19th Century. The design and style varies from city to city, but in Indonesia the passenger sits up front, with an uninterrupted view of the busy streets. Despite the best efforts of municipal government’s becak still provide transport and employment for millions of people across Indonesia. There are hundreds of thousands of becaks in Indonesia, but this was not always the case, and despite their timeless image, they are actually a relatively recent addition to the urban landscape. Before the Second World War becak were virtually unknown. There had been tricycles used for transporting goods for many years, but it was only in 1936 that the first passenger-carrying becak hit the streets of Jakarta. The Dutch authorities took an immediate dislike to the new invention, worrying about safety and congestion, and setting the tone for government attitude to becaks until now. They might have acted to stamp them out altogether, but History intervened.
Hand shadow show is an ancient folk art. It derived shadow show, puppet show, and even the hand performing of Chinese operas. In the Sichuan Opera in Chengdu we had the privilege to see such a show.
China has an abundance of 1,300 local operas, Sichuan opera is one of the Chinese oldest local operas and is popular in Sichuan province and some regions of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces. It is the most significant and most interesting opera form in Southwestern China. As a stage entertainment, it conveys the idea of time and space to the audience through performances. The opera is characterized by its unique solo singing, refined acting, rich percussion and irresistibly funny comedians, Sichuan opera also displays its unique skills: the changing faces, spitting fire, and rolling light. Numerous Sichuan opera troupes are active throughout the province, both in the countryside and in the cities. The troupes in Chengdu are rate artistically top level. The face changing, or “bianlian” in Chinese, is an important intangible cultural heritage in China. Only a few masters have grasped this skill. They know how to change Sichuan opera masks in eye-blink period successively. As they flourish their arms and twist their heads, their painted masks change again and again.
Chéngdū (成都) is no great draw when it comes to major tourist sites – pandas excepted, of course – but many visitors find its laid-back pace and diversity of cultural scenes unexpectedly engaging. It could be its relaxing teahouse culture, with favourite local institutions serving the same brews across generations. Maybe it’s the lively nightlife, with a strong showing of local partiers bolstered by large student and expat populations that gather at craft beer bars and super-hip clubs. It might be the food: famous for heat, history and variety even in the cuisine-rich cultures of China; and very much a point of pride. It is, after all, Unesco’s first-ever City of Gastronomy. But who can say for sure? (from: Lonely Planet)
MAR 03, 1999 Mazalien the Philosopher and sky watcher is born about 50 years ago and is very much a travel buff. The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself. So lets explore the world drifting from one world of dreams into another.....