Xijiang西江镇: Thursday August 21, 2003, Taking our packs on an excursion: Kaili – Xijiang – Kaili – Guiyang

Update:

In 2003 it was free to enter Xijiang 西江镇 Miao minority village, Guizhou and there wasn’t a tourist in sight. Now tourism is big business. The entrance ticket appears to be a whopping 90 yuan.

Xijiang Miao village Guizhou 西江镇

Kaili 21/8/2003

When we get into the lift and look down at our feet, we discover that yesterday’s floor mat, which read ‘Wednesday’, has been replaced by a ‘Thursday’ one. We wonder if this is a new fashion and whether there might be a special member of staff, responsible for keeping the lift mats up to date.

xjbustickets.jpg

At the bus station we catch an 8.30 bus to Leishan, which takes just one hour. The scenery is great, we follow a beautiful river that runs through green fields with rolling hills behind.

On the way to Xijiang Miao village Guizhou 西江镇

The countryside is dotted with prosperous-looking wooden farmsteads, all with front balconies and rows of corn-cobs, hanging out to dry.

On the way to Xijiang Miao village Guizhou 西江镇

Near the river, there are several picnic areas with little wooden pavilions, kiosks or small restaurants, where families come and spend the day relaxing, eating, dipping their feet in the river. This might answer my question as to what on earth the Kaili people do in their free time.

On the way to Xijiang Miao village Guizhou 西江镇

We pass through several villages along the road each one having their market day. Continue reading “Xijiang西江镇: Thursday August 21, 2003, Taking our packs on an excursion: Kaili – Xijiang – Kaili – Guiyang”

Finding Fenghuang

fenghuang-river-scene.jpg

It was one of those early evenings in small-town China in 2001; we’d already eaten and the after dinner entertainment options were conspicuous by their absence. The only fall-back was to retire to our room with a few beers and watch CCTV9, the mildly interesting English Language Channel. We tuned in to “Around China”, a cultural and travel programme dedicated to the promotion of traditional and/or exotic aspects of Chinese culture. On the programme, they were discussing a type of opera that was only found in a remote town in Hunan Province whose name I hadn’t caught. We were immediately drawn to the screen, wondering: “where is this stunning place with covered bridges, ancient houses on stilts and pagodas?” At the end of the clip I managed to catch its name, ‘Fenghuang’. Grabbing the guidebook I tried to find it, but there was no such town. We decided to look for more information about this elusive Fenghuang, so that if one day the opportunity arose, we could visit it.

This opportunity eventually came in 2003……

For More go to: HolaChina: Your Gateway to China

fenghuang-stilt-houses.jpg