A Travellerspoint blog

The Yantian Floating Village Motorbike Adventure

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Rainy mornings hey. What is one to do but sleep the rain drops away.

I woke around eleven and headed to Xiapu’s local bus station which is found at the other end of town and after a short yet picturesque half an hour’s bus journey that wound its way up and then un-wound its way down to the small bustling town of Yantian where after a short walk through some back alleyways I negotiated an afternoon on the back of a motorbike taxi. Once we had agreed on a price we were both happy with my guide and I sped off into the surrounding countryside towards the areas floating village.

Unlike their familiars found in Sandu’ao area these guys don’t have their own postal system. Nor do they have a police station, restaurants, convenient stores or emergency numbers. What they do have is extreme poverty, bitter coldness and a lot of endless hard work.

There are around fifteen thousand Fishing Families from both the Yantian and Dong’an areas that have been living on their fishing boats for generations. During the Tang Dynasty, when Fishing Families in east Fujian (Fuzhou and Ningde) chose to settle on their fishing boats rather than live with the chaos caused by the constant wars that were happening throughout China during that period.

Later they became known as the 'Gypsies of the Sea’. The families survived by collecting marine products from the sea.

Prior to China’s liberation, it was illegal for them to ever set foot on land and marry mainlanders so wedding and funeral ceremonies were held on one of the boats in the floating village. Now days and with the help of the local governments, the families can build some sort of housing on the shore nearby their place of watery employment.

However though, many families have chosen to stay and continue living their Sea Faring Lifestyle. When we arrived at the floating village my guide and I were welcomed with open arms.

Many dropped their tools to show us around the village and then offered us hot tea to help warm our bones. They all happily chatted away in the local Mindong Dialect and my guide who couldn’t speak a work of Mandarin (Chinese as we know it) tried to pass on what was being said but nothing worked until I gave them my phrase book and as all Chinese know the same characters (Minorities all speak them differently) we began to get somewhere.

They told me that my visit warmed their hearts and thanked me for my visit.

I on the other hand felt a bitter chill and total sadness that such warm hearted people could be forgotten and left to make do with their lifestyle and surroundings. I saw mud and poverty and felt the freezing temperatures they had to live with each and every day of their lives and felt so horrible at the fact that I knew that they would probably never be given the opportunity of change that I try so hard not to take for granted.

But sitting there freezing cold on a stood placed in mud I felt totally horrible.

After doing my best to explain how I felt they all laughed and told me that they were happy and that their hearts were full of warmth to be given the opportunity to be with their families each day. They told me that the ‘richer’ part of society spent most of their lives at their work place and only had the chance to be with their family for a short period each day.

I left feeling warmer, yet inside I still felt the bitter chill of my privileged existence!

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Jasey Taylor The album was ‘Balance 002’ ____________________________________________________________

Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating Village Adventure


Yantian Floating Village Adventure

Yantian Floating 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