Living

Meeting the Winter at Lake Baikal

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Lake Baikal is located in the southern part of Russia’s eastern Siberia. When the lake is frozen from January to May, an amazing phenomena takes place: large transparent ice forms on the surface of the lake, giving the amazing appearance of turquoise ice. It is one of nature’s arts that stuns our hearts.

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On this landscape, SunPALA customized private travel and Daydream independent travel platform’s founder Sun Bo and the team had a sudden inspiration to do something creative with the turquoise hummocks on Lake Baikal:
Is it to build an igloo for people to stay and experience the real Lake Baikal?
Is it to build a library made of ice, satisfying literary cravings in one of the coldest place on earth?
Is it to create an ice sculpture exhibition, so that artists and designers from all over the world can turn ice into artistic treasure?
Or is it to build an ‘ice cave’ that collects wishes, where people can shout out their dreams?

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Considering conditions of the location, environmental protection and other circumstances, in the end, an ‘ice library’ covering a total area of 700 square meters was built on the frozen shore of Lake Baikal with the use of 494 pieces of turquoise ice bricks. Russian architects and sculptors worked together to remove blocks of ice from the lake, followed by ice grinding, construction, then carving and other procedures; with hundreds of wishes and hopes from people all over the world inscribed on them, each three-kilogram ice block were used to create the walls of the library.

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In this world’s first ‘ice library’, contrasting with today’s materialistic world, is a deep understanding of simple happiness, carrying hundreds of people’s dreams and hopes. Yang Jinlin, who attended the opening ceremony of the ice library, said, “Nowadays, most people feel that the era we live in is full of uncertainty and insecurity, and there is a lot of anxiety. You don’t expect to find a pure piece of land, but when you come here, purity comes not only in the form of Lake Baikal, but also exists deep inside people’s hearts.”

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Guo Pei: Natural Pursuit of Beauty

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Life is like climbing a mountain; some people stand up and want the world to see themselves, and some want to see a different world. Guo Pei is very much the latter. She said that when you do not expect to be in the forefront, you will enjoy the process. If you set a strict target, the process will present more restraints, or turn into a pressure eroding your life when you cannot handle the pace, bringing more physical and spiritual suffering. So, she is someone who does not set strict goals or expectations in life. Instead, she has one path to undertake: indulging in beauty, creating beauty, spreading beauty, focusing on every step of the moments. When Paris haute couture circuit called, when museums competed to exhibit her creations, when Time listed her name on the 100 Most Influential People… she found that while you are standing on top of the mountain to see the world, the world also sees you.

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Guo Pei is unlike any other; how would you describe the characteristics of your own creations? I am someone who loves life very much, and very emotional. I hope life is full of love, warmth and sunshine, and my creations share the sentiment. Beauty is the outlook of being happy and feeling blessed. I truly love beauty; even if I am a carpenter, or a florist, or a salesman, I will still pursue beauty. It is a warm sunshine from your state of mind.

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Compared to ready-to-wear, designers have maximum freedom with haute couture; however, freedom is always relative, and so, what are the restrictions in haute couture? Freedom should also be contained. You can get the most of freedom when reflecting the limitations. In making clothes, when you have less room for creativity, the turnover may be quicker and easier; and when it has the greatest room for freedom, you are also dealing with greater demands and costs from various angles. To be successful in your pursuit of inner freedom and spiritual pleasure is to satisfy your heart’s desire, even when you might lose something else while gaining the freedom you want. It took me almost ten years to establish the foundation for freedom of artistic expression and freedom of the soul.

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Beauty should be an indiscriminate right; how do you feel about haute couture becoming an exclusion for a lot of people? Haute couture is actually very welcoming, and I never discriminate my guests; often, people exclude themselves. I think every girl has at least one dress that accompanies her all her life, carrying all her happiness, all her emotions. Many people might have spent a lot of money buying useless things; you might open the wardrobe and see not one piece of clothing is worth keeping. For example, girls nowadays usually have dozens of jeans when they don’t actually need all of them, and end up wearing only a few pairs over and over. Jeans also have cultural value; it is better to buy a genuine pair. You can wear them until they show signs of natural wear and tear, yet you will hate to part with them, because they have become a part of your life, a very meaningful jeans. This is a life attitude which I sincerely hope people will recognize.

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What do you think about junior designers? What are their strengths and difficulties? Growing with time is a part of happiness, and the phrase “Time makes a hero” resonates with me. I am very grateful to my generation, for giving me the much needed opportunity to grow together with the Chinese fashion industry. If I am part of the young designers in the current generation, it will be difficult for me to say that I will be where I am today, or if there is a future for me. It is a crowded field with strong competition and everyone has very little space. I have strong sympathy for them; I want to remind them to slow down and focus on long-term growth, for the next 10 years, and then 20 years, 30 years, and even 50 to 60 years, instead of rushing the pace for the first five to ten years; we might be able to do it in the past, but for the young designers today, it might be very difficult for them to do so. Their advantage is having a high starting point; as soon as they graduate, they might have reached the equivalent of my ten-year career, perhaps in twenty years they will surpass thirty years of my experience. However, it could be very difficult for them to stay for two decades, and the progress of time also means that the requirements to be in the industry are getting harder.

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Would you share simple tips or rules for those of us struggling with fashion? What to wear depends on the environment. For work, I suggest wearing a relatively formal dress, presenting a strong character no matter your position. The best option is to have a slight structure on the outfit, nothing too loose-fitting. For social occasion, you need to know what message you would like to convey, what kind of person you want to be in the eyes of others. Many people think that what they wear is their own business, totally unrelated to other people, while in fact, it influences how people define you, and who will approach you. If you want to enter a certain circle, you must first have the same image that they have before catching their interest, and then slowly the conversation and relationship develop.

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Hunting in the Midst of a Snowy Forest

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Entering the winter, the arrival of ice and snow also announces the arrival of the golden season for winter hunting. With the diversification of tourism demand, winter hunting activities are gradually garnering people’s interest and attention. Through legal hunting, tourists not only enjoy the fun, but also relax their body and mind, in addition to a thrilling winter experience.

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Taoshan International Gameland in Heilongjiang Province boasts a long history, and used to be home for more than 200 families of Oroqen people who for generations hunted for a living. The Oroqen and Manchu people excelled at hunting, and every hunt was accompanied by a dog to help surround and take hold of the prey. Furthermore, they used traps, dug holes and other hunting methods, some still preserved to this day.

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Since the early eighties, Taoshan’s natural hunting grounds have undergone planned development and construction in accordance with international standards, resulting in the establishment of more than 100 hectares of fully enclosed breeding and hunting area, consisting mainly of scattered oak trees, creating one of the most enjoyable environments for winter hunting activities. The woods here are not too dense, making it easy to spot prey in the distance, especially in winter, when brilliant white snow adds advantage in finding prey such as pheasants and hares. The area’s distinctive hunters camp is located in the Xiaodong Ditch Forest Park, featuring regular guestrooms and dining room, with a fireplace unique to the region to warm its visitors. At night, accompanied by soothing music, the Northeastern “peasant feast” begins the festivities in the midst of the snowy forest.

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Discovering Changbai Mountain

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Winter without snow will lose its charm; the sky filled with tumbling snowflakes is a whimsical moment full of fascination. Snowball fights, snowmen and sleds are all parts of the fun. Nowadays, there is less and less snow in the winter, but in the north of China, there is a well-known ice kingdom, Changbai Mountain, where the most vivid expression of winter beauty is seen through snow-filled sky across vast land.

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The top of the snow-capped mountain looks down to a heavenly lake, as beautiful as the lake of the immortals, bright blue and crystal clear. At the edge of the cliff is one of the largest waterfall in the world, just like a Milky Way of snow, cascading into a cloud of mist. The snowy valley beyond is as dazzling a scenery as Andersen’s fairy tale, and the stars above as mysterious as the universe; an invitation to explore the secrets of your dream.

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The winter here is relatively warm with anion content of over 80,000 per cubic centimeter, very pleasant for outdoor activities. In this snow-capped kingdom, one can truly understand and feel the meaning of “heart and snow flying together”. The most spectacular experience is the crossing of the woodlands across the snowfields, a deeply stimulating activity. Before crossing this part of the land, thorough preparation is necessary, including a ride at an altitude of 2,000 meters above the snow line, and a walk through the dense forest full of fresh snow, always giving pleasant surprises along the way. Hiking or driving, be amazed by the stunning nature that seems to be created by heaven; rows of pine trees in the woods, and clear blue sky against the snow, all encouraging us to keep moving forward.

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Amanemu

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Perched on the rolling hills of Ise-Shima National Park in south-western Japan, Amanemu is a hot-spring sanctuary overlooking the calm waters of Ago Bay.

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The resort’s winding driveway, leading to the welcome pavilion, curves up a small hill lined with maple and cherry trees, setting the scene for the rest of the property, rich in greenery and Japanese foliage.

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The region’s natural beauty takes centre stage as the seasons change, offering opportunities to discover cultural treasures and witness the pearl rafts and oyster divers in the bay.

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Asian Mysticism

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The PuLi Hotel and Spa is an urban retreat in the middle of Shanghai, and places just as much importance in its spa experience as its residential experience. The Anantara Spa at the PuLi is designed with Chinese, Indian and Thai influences, and offers a haven of contemporary luxury and tranquility where individuals and couples alike can enjoy far reaching health and beauty benefits from treatments like the excellent Swedish massage. Inspired by China’s tea culture, the PuLi Hotel utilizes custom spa therapies that have been paired with four tea purities. Discover the detoxifying powers of Green Tea, the balancing force of White Tea, the enhancing properties of Chrysanthemum Tea and the beautifying spirit of Rose Tea.

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Sea Fishing: A Contest with the Sea

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Sea fishing enjoys as much popularity as football in Europe and the United States, but while football gathers people around the world together in excitement, fishing is more of a private moment of fun. The actor Charlie Chaplin often invited guests to the beach to fish, the writer Tolstoy liked to take his beer and cigars fishing in the Black Sea, and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin was fishing together with Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari in the visit to Finland. Fishing, compared to the other three noble sports (golf, equestrian and tennis), gives a little more adventure, competition and unpredictable stimulation.

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Sea fishing is known as the “game of the brave”. Excellent sea anglers are like fish, at home among the waves, and not only master the rich knowledge of fishing techniques, but also handy as craftsmen among their many equipments, as well as skilled at rock climbing, swimming, navigating (with boat owners being great support) and weather forecasting, with a basic capability of carrying a heavy load around. As for when to lure, when to reel, when to release, what not to throw… In addition to God’s will and respecting the sea, there are many rules to pay attention to. British writer Izaac Walton wrote “The Compleat Angler” a few hundred years ago, and it is still the anglers’ bible for not only its technical guide to fishing, but also the life philosophy gained by sea fishing – perhaps this is also the fun in fishing.

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Because of the many rules and requirements, sea fishing industry in China is still in its infancy, and just at the right moment, a sea fishing club has become a pioneer in the development of the industry. The first fishing club, Fishing Club 3630, is the leader in the circle. It works with the best vessels, captains and crews with more than 20 years of experience in the sea, professional guides, and provides pictures and recordings throughout the whole process. From the tropics of Southeast Asia to the scenic New Zealand; from Helen Shoal to South China Sea; the Fishing Club 3630 is the braver one in the game.

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A Breath of Fresh Air – Ireland

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Among the romantic preconceptions visitors bring to Ireland, it is their expectations of the landscape that are most likely to be fulfilled. An unusual geological richness and the warming effect of the Atlantic produce an astonishing diversity of terrain on this small island, splashed throughout with lakes and primeval bogland.

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The Wild Atlantic Way is a world famous coastal route that spans seven of Ireland’s counties, taking in some breathtaking scenery along the way. From Donegal to Galway, Kerry to Cork, the Wild Atlantic Way is a journey of discovery. Two stunning coastal locations on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way have been listed in the first ever Sustainable Destinations Global Top 100—the world’s greenest holiday destinations: the Loop Head Peninsula, a slender finger of land on the most westerly point of County Clare, and Kilkee, a seaside resort and gateway to the peninsula. The Loop Head and Kilkee listing reflects the quality of the nature, wildlife experience and landscape in the area, and other criteria including air and water quality, cultural heritage, local identity and tradition, as well as people and hospitality.

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The Game of Thrones world can be darker than Ramsey Bolton’s mind and more twisted than Cersei Lannister’s soul. Thank the gods then, that the scenery is so utterly beautiful. But remember, landscapes like this can only be found in Northern Ireland. So sharpen your sword, tighten your shield-strap and set forth on a journey into the real Westeros. The renowned Game of Thrones film location and one of the most photographed sights in Northern Ireland has been named in the top 10 places in the world that look like they have been plucked from a fairy tale. The archway of intertwining ancient beech trees, known as the Dark Hedges, is among the world’s most “magical” visitor attractions. The natural arched tunnel, where shadow and light plays through the entwined branches, has been growing over the past 300 years and now has protected status. The mysterious tree tunnel is a popular route for tourists making their way to the world-famous Causeway Coast—home of the Giant’s Causeway.

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Brains, beauty and banter. From famous writers to thrilling Viking history and top pubs, you can’t beat the nation’s capital. It’s typical of Dublin that a meeting between a local and a visitor (where you get in-the-know tips and local knowledge) has been turned into an event, with the City of A Thousand Welcomes initiative. The city has changed enormously in recent years—as has the country—but still manages to combine the old with the new. Even though the city center has a metropolitan feel, visitors here will still get a sense of Dublin’s history. A tourist in Dublin will never be out of things to do. St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Christ Church Cathedral, Kilmainham Gaol and Dublin Castle are all must sees. Culture vultures, as well as history buffs, will also delight in Ireland’s capital as there are plenty of galleries and museums to choose from, including the National Gallery of Ireland. In addition, visitors can visit the Guinness Storehouse at the St. James Gate Brewery, a visitor center dedicated to telling the tale of the Guinness Stout, a drink that is synonymous with Ireland.

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Vintage Combination

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Bell & Ross’ Vintage WW1 Edición Limitada is indeed a collector’s item dedicated to cigar aficionados. The color scheme of the watch displays shades of brown that immediately evoke the iconic browns of Cuban cigars, and the design of the Arabic numerals covered with gold dust arouse a vintage atmosphere reminiscent of the traditional cigar craftsmanship. To enhance the meeting between the world of cigars and watches, Bell & Ross has chosen to present the watch in a case of Makassar ebony, which can be transformed into a humidor with humidifier and hygrometer, holding up to 50 cigars. With this limited edition of 99 watches dedicated to cigar lovers, Bell & Ross, again, demonstrates its excellent watchmaking skills.

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The Brilliance of Fireworks

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Japanese luxury jewellery brand, TASAKI, has launched a new jewellery collection on the theme of “dazzling night sky”. Inspired by beautiful fireworks and stars lighting up the night sky, the collection features a new series of 5 firework-motif items, each with its own unique charm, and a new item in the popular star-motif series. Spirea, an elegant and dramatic necklace that expresses the flowing traces of dazzling fireworks, evokes the sensitivity of spirea with clear and radiant diamonds. TASAKI’s Creative Director, Thakoon Panichgul offers collections with beautifully feminine finish that are modern and intelligent yet romantic and sexy.

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