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The Miao Qingyan Village Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Ancient Towns! Maaaaan, how I love ancient towns! One thing I can tell you though is if that dog doesn’t stop barking its name is Breakfast!

Here I sit clicking my keyboard in an ancient Ming Dynasty town packed with Taoist Temples, Buddhist Monasteries that practicly hold hands with Christian churches and all of whom are protected by ancient city walls and overlooked by several watchtowers.

Yes, I feel as safe as the stone house I’m sleeping in tonight!

Yesterday morning I woke with the feeling that I had seen my share of Guiyang City and that it was time to head back to the simplicity of yet another small village/town. So I packed my things and headed down to Hebin Bus Station (which really isn’t a bus station but more of a local bus depot) and found that to catch the bus to Qingyan I had to walk around the corner to Guihui Lu where I found several Bus No’s 210 waiting.

The journey took around an hour and cost a tiny two Yuan.

After getting off the bus I went to walk towards the towns awesome North Gate and nearly bumped heads with Jana a happy go lucky Austrian Lass whom I shared yesterdays adventure with. She was such a delight to spend time with and whilst walking we got to know each other over shared travel stories after which we stopped to relax in a small secluded Tea House to sip upon several glasses of deliciously smooth and refreshing green tea.

Today she headed across to Kaili City and will take in my previous Miao Adventures.

Today I spent my time strolling amongst the rice fields that surround this esquisite ancient town and when my stomach told me it was time for a refill stopped to fill myself on several of the local favourites such as pig’s feet, roasted sugar and tofu in every conceivable form, from baseball sized spheres to oblong packages wrapped in leaves.

Tonight I am once again found clicking my keys with a bottle of local Mee-jo.

It seems that not only I am fond of this local delight as my small bowl (no cups here) is quickly littered with kamakazi bugs whom all dive in for a small swig and drown themselves whilst doing so. For those that are wondering what Mee-jo is, it is kind of like a cross between white wine and vodka. It is a favourite in the more rural and poorer parts of China. In winter time it is boiled and local farmers drink it with their daily meals as a way to keep themselves warm and make themselves sleepy for their afternoon naps.

Me? I like it as it gives me kind of a body stoned effect. It’s great to kick back and write with as it makes me relax and think. But I also have to think and write quickly as it also makes me very sleepy.

<u>Now For A Bit On Qingyan Town & My Adventure Here</u>

Qingyan Town lies to the south of Guiyang and dates back to the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644). Due to its geographical location the town was originally built as a military outpost by Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of Ming Dynasty who established it as a station for transferring military messages and to house his standing army.

Due to the local geology, Qingyan was built completely of stone. It reminded me very much of Chongwu Ancient Town on the coast of Fujian Province.

The towns beautiful walls were built upon the surrounding cliffs, made from local rocks and divided Qingyan into its now inner and outer towns. As with most walled cities here in China there are four gates into the town facing north, south, east and west. Outside of the four gates there were originally eight stone tablets which were once considered the symbols of the town.

Of the eight only three remain and each have delicate sculptures upon their surface.

Within the inner town can be found much ancient architecture that includes monasteries, temples, caves, courtyards and palaces and all were delicately designed by the skillful architects of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Whilst meandering around the small stone streets and alleyways I can’t help but stop and admire the ancient business streets with their elegant classical wooden houses all of whom have been built beside beautiful stone streets.

The towns religious culture is amazingly very rich for a town its size and includes Buddhism, Taoism, Catholicism and Christianity. I was more than surprised to find that many of its residents are either Catholic or and Christian. Catholicism was introduced in 1851 by a French churchman and Christianity was introduced around seventy years ago.

After spending some time talking to a local English Teacher I was also surprised to find that Chang Pinggang who was the General Secretary to Sun Yat-Sen was once a local resident. Those who have spent time travelling in Guangdong Province will most likely have heard this name on more than once occasion.

<u>ACCOMMODATION</u>

Being a tourist town of a very and I mean very small nature I thought that upon arriving with my pack on my back that I would be set upon by local Guesthouse/Hotel touts. In fact Jana and I walked for hours without being harassed in any way which is awesome unless you actually want to be harassed and not have waste time trying to find somewhere to sleep.

This of course can more than eat into your valuable daylight hours!

It is possible to stay overnight here in Qingyan Town but I was surprised at how hard it was to actually find somewhere to stay. Yesterday as Jana and I wound our way around the town I asked many people if it was possible to spend the night here and I was told that it was possible but was pointed outside of the walls. So for awhile I left Jana, who wanted to find somewhere quiet to relax and write and I headed outside of the walls and I was surprised at what occurred.

It was very much like being in an Australian Telstra Commercial. Australians will know the one I’m referring to; Its under the bonnet son!

Things here haven’t changed here in a long time and I seriously asked around ten locals if there was a small hotel/guesthouse in town where I could stay and I was met with the exact same reaction each time. All put hand to chin, looked around the town and slowly said HHHmmm Binguan (Hotel) which was followed another slow HHHmmmm Binghuan. They then called over several friends and repeated my question and all of them, SERIOUSLY all of them put hand to chin and said HHHmmm Binguan (Hotel) which was followed a slow HHHmmmm Binghuan and after looking around the town and churping between themselves I was told that there was no small hotel in which to stay.

It was so surreal that I nearly fell over laughing remembering 'It’s under the bonnet son!’ Tourism may have set in but things here still remain very very slow.

For those who do want to spent a night or two here in Qingyan, head out of the Inner Towns south gate, take the stone walkway across to the small village and to your left you will find a large house type residence, here you will find a small room with a fan to slurp your noodles and drink your beer.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by the Foo Fighters The album was the awesome &#8216;The Color And The Shape’ ____________________________________________________________

The Qingyan Village Adventure

The Qingyan Village Adventure


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The Qingyan Village Adventure

The Qingyan Village Adventure


The Qingyan Village Adventure

The Qingyan Village Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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