Time Traveling

Since most of my time in China was reserved for the cities of Beijing and Shanghai, I knew I wanted to get a slice of rural life. So I picked the small village of Hongcun to visit that is well preserved and, well, lost in time. Of course its idyllic setting made it a favorite of art students who were here in droves painting the scenery.

I stayed in a home, a traditional courtyard home, that also serves as a tea house for the visiting art students. This guy’s house was listed in my Lonely Planet guide, but he only discovered that when I showed him the book. He doesn’t seem to get too many westerners. This was my view from the courtyard balcony.

One thing I noticed is what looked like whole legs of pork hanging from people’s homes, or maybe they were butchers. Just sitting there hanging outside…I think I will stick to tofu.

The art students gave the village a youthful vibrant vibe.

But it didn’t really detract from the authenticity of the village life.

I found what seemed to be the tallest structure in the village, a very old viewing tower within one of the old stately homes, from which I could see the rooftops of the village.

The village is surrounded by a small lake with a picturesque bridge.

And on the other side, a small river where kids would play with the bamboo rafts.

Which were just there for public use it seemed.

But, not being content to just see the village that everyone was drawn to, I decided to take a walk outside into the surrounding countryside, where I could walk among the rice paddies.

And see first hand fields being tilled using water buffalo, and a way of life that has not yet completely disappeared from China.

And then the next day I got on a bus and arrived here, Shanghai, the future is waiting…

5 Responses to “Time Traveling”

  1. 1 jeff G. May 19, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Wow Pete, I cannot believe there are really still places like that. I see them in only movies but did not know it was still like that. Beautiful photos. yeah, i would stick with the Tofu too. I actually like tofu now! Shanghai looks exciting.

  2. 3 Caroline Musselwhite May 19, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I continue to be entranced by everything – the photos, your narrative, CHINA! I’m going to be seriously crabby if we can’t get your blog in Australia!

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