BigWorldAndSmallWorld Blog

Unique Fujian Tulou and Picturesque Yunshuiyao Ancient Town

Posted in Chinese Ancient Town,Fujian Tulou,Travel and Adventure by Administrator on the December 20th, 2023

Fujian Tulou is a unique architecture in Fujian province. It is a huge enclosed style four story residential building. The wall is made of natural mud, thus came the name Tulou (earthen building). There are hundreds and thousands Tulou in Fujian. I visited Nanjing Tulou with one of my young friends. She was born and raised in the area. However this was also her first time seeing Nanjing Tulou. We saw two shapes of Tulou: circle and rectangle. The enclosed inside open area usually has a well and/or a stage for public use, while the stories were used to be private rooms. But today, very few people still live in Tulou. Many of them became museums and visitors can go to rooms to see what’s inside. Tulou’s 1st floor usually is used for kitchen and cafeteria, 2nd floor usually is for grain storage, and 3rd 4th floor usually is for bedrooms.

This particular rectangular shape Tulou was built on marsh lands. How amazing it is! When we walked inside, we could feel the spongy like ground. Like many, I can’t help but wonder will the building sink? The answer is no. It has stood for hundreds years. According to some documents, the earliest Tulou appeared in the 16th century.

On the day to see Tulou, we also came to a picturesque ancient town called Yunshuiyao. Its natural beauty attracts a lot of tourists each year. This place was also a movie shooting place and the movie is also called Yunshuiyao. Its serenity makes people feel like living in the past time. I like the huge banyan trees, their branches stretched so elegantly outward. I like the watermill, the stream running gently, and many students do their paintings under banyan trees. Spending a day with a friend and sightseeing together was most marvelous.

Romantic Gulangyu and Xiamen Famous Delectable Food

Posted in Food,Gulangyu Island,Travel and Adventure,Xiamen by Administrator on the December 20th, 2023

Gulangyu is a pedestrian-only island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province in southeastern China. The name literally means waves beating and making drum like sound. The island is about 2 km² in area, and is reached by an 8-minute ferry ride from downtown Xiamen. It is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. I suggest making the ferry reservation early. Morning ferry tickets are usually hard to buy. Weekends are full of people, if possible, I suggest go to Gulangyu during weekdays. I was lucky enough to have one of my college classmates who currently lives in Xiaman to be my guide and companion. People come to the island for leisure stroll around many pretty little alleys and relaxation. There are many well-known buildings and picture spots usually packed with people taking pictures. We went to the island on Monday, luckily that day there wasn’t too many tourists. We took our time to stroll around the streets, visit a couple of museums and sit in a café to enjoy delicious mango ice slush.

Gulangyu is most famous for its many colorful and beautiful international architecture buildings. This includes an old US Embassy, old Japan Embassy, bank buildings, manors, and villas that were built in late 1800 and early 1900. Today some of the buildings converted to museums and gardens for people to visit.

When visit Xiamen, one has to try many delectable food. I was so lucky to eat almost all the famous ones including bubble or jelly tea, Sha Cha noodles, Tu Shun Dong (sandworm jelly), mochi, fish balls and sweet peanut soup.

With many thanks to my classmate who took the time to show me around and even let me to stay at her home for several nights. It was absolutely wonderful to see her after 33 years.

Enchanting Wuyi Mountains

Posted in Travel and Adventure,Vacation,Wuyi Mountains by Administrator on the December 20th, 2023

Wuyi Mountains are located in Fujian province in southeast China. It is 3.5 hours from Xiamen or Shanghai to the city Wuyishan by high-speed train. In September when I was there, it was hot and humid with daily temperature over 33 Celsius (91 Fahrenheit). I spent 2 full days to visit Wuyi Mountains National Park. Time was well spent on bamboo rafting on the 9-Bend River and viewing the range’s 36 peaks, climbing the rocky hills, walking through the narrow path in between the rocks called Yixiantian “the Razor”, and visiting famous Wuyi rock tea cultivation sites.

the Razor

Tea tasting is included in almost every tour. When I signed up for a tour, I didn’t know that particular tour at that particular time ended up only had one person that was me. I was hoping to meet other tourists but unfortunately it was not the case. However I did get the tour guide and driver just for myself, my family laughed about this and said I got the VIP service. After 2-hour tea tasting of four different kinds of tea, I finally had to buy a box of tea in order for them to let me leave the showroom. It was not cheap. Of course when I was visiting the rock tea cultivation sites, the legendary Dahongpao mother trees was a must see.

After I shared my travel pictures, one of my friends told me the funniest story I have ever heard, which was his backpack got stuck during his walk through “the Razor”. It took nearly two hours for people behind him to back out so that he could exit. Good thing was my guide kept my backpack, what a service!