Where the hell is Yong Chun anyway?

On this page I provide a bit of background information on Yong Chun. If you fancy going there on your own you should have pretty much all you need to know here. If there is anything missing just drop me an email and I will let you know. Hopefully if you read this page your visit to Yong Chun will be more fruitful.

Where is Yong Chun?
What is it like?
How do I get there?
Who are the Teachers and Wu Shu Guans?
What else should I do in Yong Chun?
How much do things cost?
Virtual Tour?
Anything else to prepare me?

Where is Yong Chun?

The bit in the lower right hand corner is Taiwan Where Chiang Kai Shek and his not so merry army were forced to go after the communist revolution in 1950. More excellent info this here
The proximity of Fu Jian as the exit point of many of the people in China in the closing stages of the revolution means that Fu Jian people and their are heavily represented all over the far east, and also why there is quite a bit of Crane in countries like Malaysia and Singapore.

Some people believe that the complete system of Crane was subsequently suppressed by the communists, so that not complete systems can only be found out of China.

In addition it must be the case that students who had not completed the system ( if indeed there is an end ) were forced to continue to explore the forms on their own, and develop new ones, drills and excercises as well as fuse the concepts of crane with other systems.

My understanding is that within the first 4 forms of crane lies to key to unlocking the fundementals. These forms cover about 50 distinct positions and give pointers to developing other energies. Therefore as it is said "Keep cooking and get more flavours!".

In fact of course there may be an element of truth to both. However in Yong Chun itself the system was only suppressed in terms of practicing in large groups in public places.

What is it like?

Yong Chun town is now changing at a very rapid rate. The rate of modernisation is about inversely proportional to the distance from the town centre so whilst there are good modern business hotels in the town centre and you will see the odd Mercedes SL 500, 3 miles away on the outskirts it is still about paddy fields, green mountains and external toilets. Here are some just a few pictures taken from around the town to give you some idea of the variation:

How do I get there?

From Europe you fly either to Hong Kong or to Beijing, and from there to Xia Men airport. If you have more time than money you can train, bus or boat it to Xia Men from Hong Kong. The boat is particularly interesting.

On this trip the tickets cost about 600 pounds. The best times to go training wise are Spring and Autumn as it gets quite hot in the summer. On this last trip I could by the ticket for Xia Men directly at the Hong Kong air port.

From Xia Men air port get a taxi to the main bus station. Tell the driver you want to go to Yong Chun as there are more than 1 bus stations. This cost 25 RNB. The exchange rate is currently about 10 RNB is 1 Euro. This will take about 10 minutes

The bus to Yong Chun is about 4 hours. It costs about 26 RNB. By the time you get to Yong Chun you will already be so well known on the bus that they will tell you where to get off

If I have to stay in town I stay at the Yong Chun Liu Guan ( Yong Chun hotel ). This is bang in the centre of town. At the moment the rooms are 100 RNB / night, but this is Spring prices and it gets more in the Summer. After that I stay with Pan's family. However, in the Wu Shu Guan itself is living a man. There are more rooms in the Wu Shu Guan where you could stay. This is an excellent idea if you are young and want to go for it in terms of practice. Also it means you will be able to entertain yourself when not training. Living with another family has benefits and drawbacks.

It really is that easy!! - If you cannot speak chinese, you will find help. For example there are people living in yong chun who grew up in Malaysia. There are also chinese english teachers. Any of these people would be happy to practice their English and help you get through.

Who are the teachers and Wu Shu Guans?

There are 4 distinct lineages in Yong Chun. Some are more closely related than others:

Ong Gong Shr Wu Shu Guan
The Ong Gong Shr Wu Shu Guan is the oldest Wu Shu Guan in Yong Chun going back to 1628. The Guan Zhang ( head ) of this Wu Shu Guan is Pan Cheng Miow. This is the system I study. Our Wu Shu Guan is a very historical place.

Tao Yuan Wu Shu Guan
Tao Yuan Wu Shu Guan is a quite modern lineage. They currently train in town behind a school. The current Guan Zhang is Mr.Zheng ShaoHai. Their style is a little longer than ours. It probably has a mixed southern shaolin influence.

Su Yin Han
Su Yin Han is probably world wide the best known Shr Fu from Yong Chun. He has been widely published. He was originally of the Ong Gong Shr Wu Shu Guan and is in fact still listed as the secretary there. His crane is very similar to the crane I practice.

Da Yu Wushuguan
The Da Yu Wushuguan is a little out of town. I have not visited this although I trained in Singapore with a member from this Wushuguan. The Guan Zhang of the Wushuguan was known as the old man of Yong Chun. He has just recently passed away. He was 99 years old. The next Guan Zhang will probably be his grandson. This style is not so old as our and yet not a young system. Although not as close to ours as Su Yin Han, it has a strong degree of cross over.

In addition to these there are people practicing on their own. Most will have come through one of these four lineages, but the nature of the beast is that when you are on your own you change things around a little and that is very interesting too.

What else should I do in Yong Chun?

What ever lineage you study in Yong Chun it is worth visiting our Wu Shu Guan. It is a very historical building. You will be welcome if you contact Pan Cheng Miouw first.

Things to buy - everything is cheaper - but this is what I personally take home:

  • Prescription sun glasses. These cost about 180RNB
  • DVDs here cost between 10 and 15 RMB. Get a big CD holder and fill it up. Be sure to read the hysterical cover translations. I sometimes by DVDs just on the basis of these covers which are a linguistic art form in themselves.
  • Get a shave old style with a big knife!! - this plus a hair cut costs about 4 RNB.
  • Get a tailor made chinese style suit. Good cloth will cost about 80 RNB. The labour will cost about 40 RNB. It took me a while to find someone who still makes these suits. Ask Pan Cheng Miouw if you get stuck.
  • Toothbrushes - They are such a rip off at home just get a load!
  • Tea. This costs anything from 50 RMB per kilo to 500. Unless you can tell the difference, go for about 150 RMB / kilo.
  • Buy a tea set. This will cost about 120 RMB

Visit the temple on the hill. This is now a park and you have to pay 5RMB to enter. Have a look at the statues in the temple and see if you can work out what they mean.

Visit the temple at Sz San. This is about half way on the buss to to Nan An and takes about 40 minutes. There is a fantastic temple there. Also beside the temple is the temple hotel. The temple is called Feng San ( wind mountain ).

Go to a KTV bar. There is one in the Yong Chun hotel. This I guarantee will be hysterical.

Sow and you will reap. - give over your plans to the chaos of the culture and things will turn out OK. The first time I was there I taught English for free in the evenings. Last time I was there I learnt the double knife form as a result of it - but that is a long story.

There is a national natural park called Niu Mu Lin about 1.5 hours away. I did not like it - no not one little bit.

Take loose change. It is incredibly interesting to people what our money looks like. The same goes for photographs of your home / freinds / family.

Go out with a bunch of Chinese and then insist on paying for all the drinks. A merry game will ensue. I have not in this last 2 weeks managed to buy a round.

Get on a push bike, pick a road and ride out of town. This is a must to see the contrast over 5 km from Telecom buildings to paddy fields.

The best advice given to me doing this sort of thing is at the end of every day write everything down you have learnt. You will be suprised when you get home and read these notes how much you have forgotten.

How much does stuff cost?

Money is a strange thing here. You will be very wealthy in some areas - e.g. locally manufactured stuff - and in other areas not so - mostly modern goods. As a rough guide everything is about 1 1/10 of London prices. However, you often see people with wads of 100RNB in their hand. But you would not see this with Euros or Pounds.

Anything else to prepare me?

Can't think of it - but if you have any questions get in contact and I will try to help. But I would say a little chinese goes a long long way.....

Virtual Tour

Here is a virtual tour of Yong Chun. Click on the blue dots to change the photo location. It need JAVA to run.