A Travellerspoint blog

A Peaceful Time With The Long Skirt Miao Girls

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Wind and Rain Bridges. Why don’t we build such picturesque things back home?

After checking out of my hotel I allowed all buses to pass me by and allowed my morning ElcheapO coffee to kick in whilst walking all the way to the bus station where after grabbing a ticket to Langde Village I sat for a huge bowl of delicious beef noodles. Whilst I sat glued to the bus window as small Miao Villages passed by I kicked back listening to some music until my bus turned its last corner and I was met by the Langde Village Bridge.

Wind and Rain Bridges. Why don’t we build such beautiful bridges back home?

I seriously want to know why we opt for such eye sores such as the horrid pedestrian bridge that takes us from Melbourne’s South Gate across to Flinders Street Station.

Could you imagine gasps of awe if they had of (under the cover of darkness) built a Wind and Rain Bridge instead? It would have become a major tourist attraction in Melbourne and we could easily have Australianised it where instead of buying snacks such as noodles and tofu tourists could purchase meat pies and chips and whilst drenching them in tomato sauce they could kick back under the shades of such a wonderful structure.

It’s probably just me thinking this. Since its completion though I’ve always detested that horrid pedestrian bridge.

Instead of finding a bed for the night I chose to slowly make my way across the bridge sitting in as many of the seats as possible and thankfully I was alone as anyone observing my actions would have mistaken me for a homeless person choosing a bed with the best view for the evening. I won’t write much more about my visit in Langde as whilst searching for some information on the village I came across another guys blog and just after I cut and pasted it I lost my internet connection and do you think I could find it again to add the link to his page…..not a chance!

Even though he was visiting for Spring Festival it describes very much everything that I was so lucky to see and take part in but as his was a new year’s celebration his was much grander. I spent my waking hours climbing hills and walking through small rice fields and then along the wonderfully scenic riverside pathway but I always returned to the Wind and Rain Bridge to lay back and relax in.

Wind and Rain Bridges. Why don’t we build such beautiful bridges back home?

<u>Other Guy’s Wonderfully Descriptive Blog</u>

On our arrival at Langde, south-west of Kaili, visitors were already being conducted into the village to participate in its New Year festival. At each turn in the zig-zaging path that climbed to the hillside village's stone portal, children and beautifully bedecked local women were on hand to offer celadon-colored cups of the local wine. Their heads held rigid beneath ornate silver head-dresses, their bodies delicately poised in intricately embroidered, traditional costumes, they appeared like guardian angels at the gates of heaven.

As I tipped one of the proffered ceramic cups back, glancing beyond its dark outer rim at the silver-framed, smiling child before me, I wondered how long this idyllic custom might continue.

My thoughts were interrupted by the warbling notes of lusheng pipes emanating from the stilted wooden homes. These hand-held, reed pipes, used by the Miao minority, have become the generic term for their courtship festivals. We hurried towards the music's source; its wavering melody, enlivening the still, damp air, teased us through the village's labyrinthine, stone-paved pathways. Skirting a moss-covered pond with a breath-taking view over the river, we eventually arrived at the main square.

Stepping onto the "Flower Ground", also translated as the "choosing a lover ground", we were overwhelmed by the bustling activity before us. This cobble-stone patterned courtyard, tucked in on three sides by beautiful, tiled houses and overlooking a low valley on the fourth, was a kaleidoscope of color and sound.

Dozens of elaborately clad girls and uniformed boys were crowding around each other.

At a resolute, booming signal from a large bronze drum, the elderly folk, wearing dark robes with embroidered sleeves, guided their grand-children (ethnic minorities are exempt from the one child policy) to a nearby stone wall, clearing the square. They chattered amongst themselves as the boys, once more playing the Lusheng pipes, led the girls through a delicate, shuffling dance of graceful bows and dainty hops.

Although the mood is gay and the occasion light-hearted; There is little aimlessness about these courtship activities.

Their goal is to bring together boys and girls of marriageable age for matchmaking. If a particular boy's looks and dancing make some maiden's heart palpitate and her knees go wobbly, tradition dictates that she should place a ribbon around his neck. If the boy is similarly smitten, he may show his interest by returning the talisman to her later in the day.

It appeared that the greatest risk to any ensuing relationship stemmed from the macho stunts the boys perform at the end of the festival to prove their mettle.

Having walked across hot coals and lain on a bed of nails, one brave Miao youngster approached the tall pole in the center of the square. During the subsequent drum-roll, we noticed that the rungs punctured into this pole were actually comprised of up-turned, dagger blades - which the boy now circumspectly ascended. A villager informed us that the trick to doing this consists in not nudging your hands or feet sideways as you lay them on the blades.

And if you do? In response, our interlocutor resignedly shrugged his shoulders.

As we were ambling out of this picture-book village, serenaded by the lilting tune of the pipes, we were loathe to acknowledge the undeniable influences of the modern world on this age-old festival. On a superficial level, many of the elaborate head dresses, used to differentiate women from various villages, were being replaced by a tacky assembly of bath towels held in check by plastic combs. More significantly perhaps, we observed a marked absence of young men in the crowd. A villager confirmed that many had left for the towns in search of work.

The farms were barely surviving, he claimed. Now only kept going by the irregular remittances of these migrant

<u>The Miao Village Performance</u>

For those like me who have visited several Miao Villages and want only to hear a real performance (even though staged for tourism) this is the village for you. Unlike Dehang Village in Hunan Province and Xijiang Village in Guizhou Province here not only are the Reed Pipes real but the Miao Girls do actually sang whilst they dance and what they can do with their voices brought shivers to my spine.

Even more so when several of them were given a microphone!

<u>Available Accommodation</u>

I spent two nights in Langde Village and after checking out several homes upon arrival I stayed in different homes each evening. Both families were wonderful, overly helpful and full of smiles before retiring and upon awakening. For those like me who are night owls, be a night owl in your room as your 'family’ will stay up way past their bed time to make sure you are comfortable.

I asked the young son of my first family what time they usually sleep. I sat watching TV with them for an extra twenty minutes to see if they would sleep. Once I faked a yawn and announced that it was my bed time, all light were soon out.

The rooms available here are nothing like those offered in Xijiang Village (which is much bigger and offers small hotels). Here you have a simple room that has a bed beneath a bare window and thankfully some come with a small fan as I hate trying to sleep without any air movement. For a lower price you get just the bed but for a higher price (around 40 to 50 Yuan) you also get a massively impossible to finish dinner of either fish or chicken along with rice, vegetables, pumpkin chips and a broth soup to wash it down.

If you can’t finish it, have the rest for breakfast! As for the toilets…..all of the rooms/homes I checked out had no inner toilet. Instead you have to use a local &#8216;shack’ beside the cobble stone pathway. If you have one, bring a torch as none of them have lights. But they are actually very clean.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Cardigans The album was &#8216;First Band On The Moon’ ____________________________________________________________

The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure


The Langde Village Adventure

The Langde Village Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login