26 days through 6 Provinces in China
Sichuan, Chongqing, Hubei, Hunan, Guizhou, Guangxi
and 3 days in Hanoi, North Vietnam
29th Mar <> 26th Apr 2011
|this is Xijiang by night|
Getting to Xijiang, we first took the 9am bus (Y1) to Tongren, got on a 12pm bus (Y82) to Kaili and changed into another 4pm bus (Y24) to Xijiang. Started the bus journey at 9am and reaching our destination at 6pm - it was a long journey getting to Xijiang from Fenghuang ... by local bus ride
We stayed at Full View guesthouse at Y120 a room for 2 and dinner here. This guesthouse is strongly recommended as it is clean, quiet and has full view of the whole Xijiang Miao Village. The food prepared by the guesthouse is also fantastic.
Xijiang is an incredible collection of closely packed wooden houses built on river stone foundations well arranged up the side of two adjacent hills.
|this Kaili township is quite modern|
|another street scene in Kaili town|
|this is Kaili bus station|
|the beautiful country side - farm houses|
|entrance fee of Y60 to get into Xijiang Miao Village|
|panoramic view of the village from the mountain road leading down to village|
|It is often quoted by researchers as a living fossil for the study of the Miao people's history and traditional culture. It is host to a number of festivals, particularly around the Chinese new year, where Miao from surrounding villages.|
|am taking a rest in my room at Full View guesthouse|
|a boy from the guesthouse having his dinner|
|a night view of the lighted Xijiang from my room at Full View guesthouse|
|there are two such beautiful bridges on the river|
In the morning we trekked up the narrow stepped, lanes through the villages along the hill slopes right up to the top where we saw the Dating Ground. This place is where the young Miao couples meet and chat. We also had seen how the people built their own wooden houses with river stone foundation. At 11.30am we had the opportunity to see a half hour free cultural show performed twice daily with songs and dances.
In the afternoon at 2.30pm, we trekked 4km to Gan Rong to visit another Miao Village with farmyard and rice-terrace. In the evening after dinner, we went again for the specially arranged Miao cultural show at the square.
|Xijiang is an incredible collection of closely packed wooden houses built on river stone foundations well arranged up the side of two adjacent hills.|
|Full View guesthouse|
|the market street scene|
|honey and royal jelly for sale along the street|
|I am giving a helping hand in pounding the sticky rice|
|Lee Kam Boon also helped to pay for food eaten|
|sticky rice almost like our local "mua chi" wrap up with filling of our choice|
|more street scenes with Lim Peng Peng|
|Senior Citizen's Association in session|
|these well dressed old ladies in their finery sitting pretty with the silver neck band|
|that is why Xijiang is so unique ... the whole village is a living Miao experience for visitors whilst the Miao people can continue their traditional lifestyle & also enjoy a little bit more prosperity from tourism|
|they converge here to do the Miao welcome dance for visitors - govt. pay Y14 per day|
|silver is a much favoured metal|
|a very good shot of this old man digging his nose|
|this steps took us up the hill slope to the top|
|a young Miao girl in traditional dress coming down for the cultural performance|
|beautiful sight of the haphazard clusters of Miao houses along the hill slope|
|a beautiful look out point on the hill|
|the stone wall house with corn being air dried along the veranda|
|am walking on the edge and has to be very careful not to roll over|
|beautiful sight of the rice terraces on the hill slopes and valleys|
|an elderly man repairing the stone foundation of his house|
|I am walking on the edge again with panoramic view of the valley below|
|a stone grave along the trek beside the houses|
|twice a day, the villagers turn performers and put on a Miao show for visitor - is free|
|this girls have such an intricate head gears|
|look at her silver jewellery|
|Lee and Bernard having beef noodles for lunch|
|Ms Gan enjoying the food - to avoid washing a plastic is wrapped over the bowl|
|workers cleaning and upgrading the river banks|
|a Miao lady auctioning her little piglets|
|this is the new entrance .. looks grander with the huge parking lots|
|the best time is dinner time at the guesthouse|
Day 18 (15.04.2011) Xijiang > Yongjiang > Congjiang
Another 9 hours of long travelling day as we first took two vans (Y600 each) at 8.30am to Yongjiang in a 6 hour drive through the mountain roads to avoid the bumpy normal route to Yongjiang which is under repair. Then from Yongjiang we took a 3 hour bus (Y20) journey to Congjiang arriving at 6pm.
For the first time in my travel that we are not able to reach our destination. Today we are supposed to reach Chenyang to view the 'bridge house', but by the time we arrived at Congjiang it was too late to proceed further, so we had no choice but to stay a night at a local hotel (Y80) and had dinner at a cafe nearby. This town is dusty and dirty due to road works and housing development everywhere.
|stopped in a small village for the van drivers to take their breakfast|
|there are many such gate along the long and winding mountain road|
|part of the 6 hour drive through the mountain roads - very misty|
|taking a break for toilet|
|wooden country houses along the road|
|answering nature's call by the road side|
|at Yongjiang town - an iconic pagoda of Yongjiang|
|in a cloud of dust and dirt road|
|the packed bus ride from Yongjiang to Congjiang - student can hitch a ride for free|
|this is Congjiang town - arriving at 6pm|
Total expenses in China to-date is RM2,261 per person
Please take note of this while traveling in China:
- To wear face mask in China as it is very dusty and smoky.
- Never ever pay any hotel booking deposit through a 3rd party.
- Never ever accept any deal as proposed by tout or individual acting as agent of hotel or travel agency at airport, bus or train stations and along the road. Always go to a reputable travel agency or in hotel.