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Welcome to our blogs. We document our family adventure during this year of travel.  Wishing you well on your journey!

Feat. Emma, the best part of this blog!

Huizhou, Anhui  II

Huizhou, Anhui II

Lucun Village 芦村

We booked this place before leaving Canada,  thinking this very small town would be a nice break from the crazy crowdednes of China for we would've been travelling now for over a month, and so, we may need some quiet down time and be surrounded by simple folks like farmers :).   Well, instead of staying for the full week, we all agreed to leave after only 4 nights.  It has nothing to do with the nice farmers that mostly ignores us.  It is such a picturesque and quaint town.  But it is also very touristy and not at all easy to make our stay homey.  It would still be a nice place to visit for the day.

 Path to our home...

Path to our home...

 We pass by this beautiful persimmon tree everyday.

We pass by this beautiful persimmon tree everyday.

 Door to the right is our entrance.

Door to the right is our entrance.

 Catching Emma in a very 'asian youth' moment!

Catching Emma in a very 'asian youth' moment!

We realized the first day - no markets or grocery store.  There were a few convenient stores and restaurants but the prices are catered to tourists.  Our town is next to HongCun, a UNESCO World Heritage ancient village but there are no buses between us.  So we walk the road - luggages and all to reach the town.  

 We were so thrilled to find our little town!

We were so thrilled to find our little town!

The other days, we walked to Hongcun for food but overall we found it expensive and choices thin.  On our first night of arrival, we did not want to resort to eating at an expensive restaurant so we went into the convenient store and bought 12 packs of instant noodles (we were very hungry), eggs and snacks.  There were a group of curious onlookers gathering about so i asked if anyone was willing to sell their vegetables.  At first, they shook their heads which is odd because we are surrounded by farms and vegetable gardens!  But then an elderly gentleman stepped in and offered a bowl of white radish which we were happy to pay for.  Then the lady who lived next door to the store signaled me to follow her.  She offered me a few squashes and asked me to wait while she goes gets more.  She returned with 2 bags full of beautiful greens, garlic, ginger and a rabbit!  I felt i didn't want to refuse so we paid ¥200/$40cad for everything.  it was higher than our usual grocery bill but we were grateful for the kind gesture.

 Meet L, the lady who sold us some fresh food and became a friendly face in the town.  She also has the cutest little puppy  - you could see it's nose on the right of the photo.

Meet L, the lady who sold us some fresh food and became a friendly face in the town.  She also has the cutest little puppy  - you could see it's nose on the right of the photo.

 Lucy returning a bowl to L, who gave us a bowl of homemade chili sauce :)

Lucy returning a bowl to L, who gave us a bowl of homemade chili sauce :)

 At another time, she gifted us a fresh bunch of cilantro.  

At another time, she gifted us a fresh bunch of cilantro.  

 Our attempt at cooking the rabbit.

Our attempt at cooking the rabbit.

Each Ancient Town has an entrance fee and they are very strict at checkpoints to ensure no one gets through without payment.  Once, we were low on funds on the outskirts of HongCun and the one bank available was not compatible with our bank card.  At the same time, Lucy was desperate for a washroom so the only solution was for Alvin and Lucy to pay the entrance fee (¥156) to the 'ancient section' of Hongcun in order to find a bank to get more money and for Lucy to find a public washroom.  It really was a town set up just for tourists.

 Looking nonchalant after attempting to 'borrow' the scooter.

Looking nonchalant after attempting to 'borrow' the scooter.

 We were impressed with this melon.

We were impressed with this melon.

 One of the simpler restaurants we tried.

One of the simpler restaurants we tried.

Instead of walking on the road between the two towns, we thought to find some shortcuts via the fields.  Alvin was most hesitant but we believed in the network of paths in rural farms!

 horses, water buffalos,...

horses, water buffalos,...

 Look how these ducks are trying to get away!  I would too as they eat a lot of ducks here.

Look how these ducks are trying to get away!  I would too as they eat a lot of ducks here.

 Cool discovery - we came upon an even smaller town with an abandoned 'tourist stop'.  It was obviously neglected and no longer a destination.  There was garbage and overgrown weeds everywhere but we were able to understand because there were English signs and explanations on all the farming equipment!  For example, this was one of the earliest invented manual waterwheels in the Huizhou region used for irrigation and for grinding seeds into oil.

Cool discovery - we came upon an even smaller town with an abandoned 'tourist stop'.  It was obviously neglected and no longer a destination.  There was garbage and overgrown weeds everywhere but we were able to understand because there were English signs and explanations on all the farming equipment!  For example, this was one of the earliest invented manual waterwheels in the Huizhou region used for irrigation and for grinding seeds into oil.

 Picked up some familiar weeds...

Picked up some familiar weeds...

 We're home!  The shortcut was a success!

We're home!  The shortcut was a success!

In the few ancient villages we visited, it seems popular for art students to set up canvas and paint/sketch for the day.  Our small town was no exception.  Nearly everyday we were there, large group of students filled the town (even before we venture out for the day, well, that's no surprise.)

 The teachers are grouped in a wagon under the red plastic chilis.  Their sketches are very good.

The teachers are grouped in a wagon under the red plastic chilis.  Their sketches are very good.

Eli is always game at joining me for extra walks :)

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HuangShan - We kept our eye on the weather because you won't see much on the mountain if it's rainy or too foggy.   The day before we left Lucun, we thought to give it a try as the weather reports seems hopeful and our proximity to the mountain is only an hour away.  We met a driver that had a van and made a reasonable offer for a 7am pick up. 

The day turned out to be extremely foggy even on the ground which is very romantic but not so good for climbing a mountain known for its scenery.  Our driver made a convincing case to not climb the mountain and waste our money (which for our family, would have been over ¥2000/$400).  Instead, he took us to 2 other hikes lower to the ground and much more visible.  

 I was in awe of the crystal green water.  "Aw!"

I was in awe of the crystal green water.  "Aw!"

 Chrysanthemums are in bloom!

Chrysanthemums are in bloom!

 A view of the neighbourhood the day we left Lucun village for Tunxi city.

A view of the neighbourhood the day we left Lucun village for Tunxi city.

Huizhou, Anhui III

Huizhou, Anhui III

Huizhou, Anhui  I

Huizhou, Anhui I