Saturday, 10 October 2009

China- Day 2 (27/09/09) Part Two

Continued from Part One

Yuchanglou 裕昌樓

Way before Marx wrote about The Communist Manifesto, the Hakka settlers in the mountainous region of south-western Fujian province were already parctising collectivity, communalism and egalitarianism. As one of the reasons to support their socialist leanings they constructed tulous or rammed earth buildings like the one above.

The main entrances are decidedly and relatively tiny to discourage invaders.

Geezer One

This tulou is still home to the descendants of the original tenants, but these days in order to supplement their income from farming they've also adapted to selling souvenirs to the tourists.

Unfortunately my limited photography know-how failed to capture the sheer scale and beauty of these buildings...

...I'm better at snapping pics like Geezer Two.

Fujian province is famous for its Tie Guan Yin tea.
In fact I'm reliably informed that this is the only region in China where tea is served gratis; from hotels to shops. Apart from pork, tea here is sacrosanct. (I was somewhat bemused when I was offered tea at a cigarette kiosk in Yongchun County, methinks rude to turn the offer down).

There's nothing more refreshing than a hot cup of premium oolong tea in the sweltering heat and humidity.

Video of the tea ceremony here.
(In the background there are both Cantonese and Hokkien spoken in addition to Mandarin, a sign of Malaysian Chinese folks hanging about anywhere in the world!)

Rice and tea are the main crops here.

Our final village before the descent.

Geezer Three.
He babbled to me in Hakka and I replied back in Hokkien. He probably thought I took the mick, oh bless him. Like the rest of the world most peeps are intensely camera shy; kids and old folks don't really give a monkey's.

Young Geezer

His Mum fed him too quickly and too much, the poor urchin puked his entire lunch out soon after the photo was taken!

Aunt 4 choosing and sorting her Tie Guan Yin tea before being vacuum packed.

Or Chinese Chess, I used to play this when I was young but lapsed since I morphed into a banana (white inside, yellow outside).

Handmade brooms for 50p each. I actually bought one of them and the rest of the family thought the purchase as rather idiotic, as did the airport security, tour guides, hotel staff and so on.

I should have bought one of his paintings; they were less than a tenner and miles better than the crap you find on Bayswater Road. Regrettablly gutted : (

Memorial poles that are dedicated to the spirits of the village elders.

Pei Yi and Hakka girl.

It's always gratifying to find natural beauty...

...without the need to tart up...

...or the nip and tuck.

To market, to market, to buy a fat pig.
Believe me these trucks carrying pigs are as common as the Ocado vans in Central London!

Dinner in Yongchun (Eng Choon in Hokkien)

Etiquette is of course less regimented than the Japanese, but please be reminded not to hold the chopsticks with your left hand and dip them in the bowls of soup. If the latter was abused, you'll be history!

Delicious Steamed Freshwater Perch

Herbal Duck Soup

Wonderful tasting Pink Mushroom Soup

Pei Yi at near midnight playing with her new toy. She and her Dad were my room-mates during the trip. Contrary to what others thought of her I found her impeccably well behaved.

Good Night


thora said...

Thank you for the report and the fabulous photos. LOL at the broom, you'll need it in L. to ride across town :-)

Su-Lin said...

Loving this China series! The broom thing made me laugh as it's something I would do as well. And what an adorable little tea set Pei Yi has!

tehbus said...

You're series of posts is keeping a fellow "banana" enthralled!

porkknuckle said...

T- If only they sold the invisibility cloak as well.

S-L- I wanted the padi field hats as well but they were too large and hard to pack, if I wore it instead I would be detained in some looney asylum! The tea set came to less than £2.00 (that included the furniture!).

Tehbus- Nice to hear from you. Actually I'm over-tanned currently, so I think a mutant coconut is more appropriate.

theundergroundrestaurant said...

love those tea party pix...