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Smaller Hakka Peoples Villages Behind City Facades

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Well I tried, I didn’t fail…but kind of did…I guess!

I purchased a random ticket to Meizhou city hoping to see more Hakka Peoples 'earth buildings’, which I did but not to the grand scale that I found in Fujian Province near Yongding town several years ago. The ones I found today were tiny in comparison, most were totally decrepit, others were half burned down and thankfully several entire small villages were completely locked to the outside world awaiting (from my understanding) total renovation for the purpose of tourism. I gained this understanding from an elderly woman who made the motions of painting and hammering the walls of one of the buildings and I showed her my ticket to the temple I visited this morning to which she nodded.

I’m thinking it was a pretty good guess.

Before we get to the Local Peoples Villages we might as well begin with my mornings adventures that took me out of town to the Thousand Buddha Pagoda and the Dadongyan Temple. I found a sign for the temple last night while I was randomly walking so this morning I decided to head back to the sign and follow the arrow and see how far it was which on foot was around half an hour from my hotel and one and a half Yuan on the bus on my return journey. As far as temples go I won’t say that it blew me away and the only reason I continued my journey there was the hope that I would get to climb the pagoda for a three hundred and sixty degree view of the lush green area around me.

<u>The Thousand Buddha Temple & Pagoda</u>

The Thousand Buddha Tower Temple is one of the main reasons tourists come to Meizhou city and within its grounds are several draw cards. The iron tower on the ground floor which is around four meters high has a history of over one thousand years. The temple itself is seven storeys and it is named for its one thousand Buddha casting on the body of the temple. The newly built nine storey stone pagoda is named &#8216;The Thousand Buddha Pagoda’ (of course it is, why wouldn’t it be!) which is thirty six meters high. The pagoda is completely made of granite and supposedly keeps the style of ancient towers in the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907).

Of course after paying my five Yuan entrance fee and slowly taking in the temple and the grounds I found that the pagoda was closed to the public so sadly I headed towards the exit and made my way to the Dadongyuan Temple which was a bit of a disappointment as it was totally covered in pink and white Chinese tiles and looks more like a public toilet than a temple.

Once inside though it took on the form of a temple which was built between AD1008 and 1094). I also found out that half of it was actually constructed in an ancient cave dwelling.

After I left the complex I headed down a road that took me out into the small villages where I spent an hour before I caught the bus back to the city and after lunch I waved down a Tuk Tuk. After showing my driver what the Chicken Girl had written he looked kind of confused but nodded and off we went. I thought we’d end up in an out of town village but instead we arrived at a newish shopping mall type thing and then I was the one left totally confused. So what better to do than simply begin to walk around as the Chicken Girl tried so hard to find what I wanted and had called several people so she had a reason to send me all this way.

She also did tell me that what I’d find would not be like Yongding. Which I was happy with as I was after normal every day villages.

Soon I noticed that behind this part of Meizhou Cities flashy modern facades (what part it was I have no idea as I have no map) were what looked to be small rural villages almost totally hidden from view and all of which followed the same building style, that of being built beside a half moon shaped lake that was totally green. After visiting several that were all ruins I finally came across one that was totally renovated but of course it was closed so I continued my way along the main road and began taking any small alleyway that took me behind the road side stores and it was here that found many tiny settlements but none of which were the monstrous Earth Buildings that I found in Fujian Province.

Here they are more like a large village house, but there is just much more of it!

During the afternoon I was invited in to several people’s homes but I felt it best to decline as firstly I didn’t want to impose on their daily lives and secondly in some I had the feeling that I was actually doing so. Each time I had that feeling I grabbed some candy from the small store and gave some to the children who always seemed too arrived just as I did. I then noticed the change of expression on the parent’s faces as their kids chirped away at the funny foreigner who chirped back at them and soon the parents gathered courage to join in and ask questions. One very old lady was so excited yet so totally confused as to why I was there and wanted to take photos of such a &#8216;run down’ place. So after I explained to her where I was from and that we didn’t have anything like this she actually seemed very happy that I was going to show my family and friends a part of her life that would soon disappear from the world.

Sadly just as her and her ancient memories soon would

When my feet became too sore to continue and as the sun took its first sip of its Sleepy Time Tea I grabbed a Tuk Tuk and headed back to my part of the city as I wanted to see the Meijiang Bridge at night time. The Meijiang Bridge is the most famous bridge in Meizhou and was the first bridge built to traverse the Meijiang River. It survived the War of Resistance Against Japan (1937-1941) and the turmoil of China’s War of Liberation (1946-1949) and the model of the bridge is typical of architecture of early the Meicheng. .

<u>Now For a Little on Meizhou City</u>

Meizhou City is situated in the northeast of Guangdong Province at the juncture of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. It was the residence of Hakka people after they moved from Central China to this region during the Qin (221BC-206BC) and Han dynasties (206BC-220AD). It was during the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) that the prefecture named Meizhou was established due to the huge amount of plum trees planted here. The terrain of the city slopes downward from the north to the south and hills and terraces occupy the majority of the land. It enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate with its hottest and coldest days usually in July and January.

As for tomorrow?

I’m not sure yet as I am torn between grabbing a ticket out of here back to Guangzhou city and maybe, just maybe giving it one last try at finding what I came here for which of course is to find a couple of 'fortified Hakka villages chock-a-block with traditional houses and ancient temples.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane

PS: remember that 99% of all the houses you see in this entry are actually located IN the city itself and behind all the clitz and glamour of its more modern face. So just picture yourself walking around Melbourne or Sydney and ducking down a small alleyway to then find a total village built around a small lake that is nearly a thousand years old. It really is the most amazing reality.

It takes along time to find such things but that is what my blog is all about! It also totally rips my feet to shreds but in the end it is more than worth each nights agony! ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Deep Purple The album was &#8216;Be There Now’ ____________________________________________________________

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H


Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Thousand Buddha Pagoda, Dadongyan Temple &#38;amp; Local H

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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