读万卷书,不如行万里路

Inside This Yunnan Log

Jianshui (建水)
 

As we entered the final week of the trip, we arrived at Jianshui - an old ancient town of the Yunnan province.

 

Contrasting weather as compared to the previous week, it was hot and humid in Jianshui (as if we back in Singapore).

 

东城楼East gate tower (朝阳楼)
 

Built in 1389, Hongwu reign of Ming dynasty (明洪武22).

 

If I remembered correctly, this gate tower was built by the master of the apprentice who later constructed the world renowned Tiananmen in Beijing.

 

In order not to surpass his master's work in Jianshui, the Tiananmen in Beijing is actually one storey less as compared to the East gate tower.

 



Zhu's Garden
朱家花园

Some interesting facts about this beautifully restored of the former residence of the Zhu's
 

  • 42 big & small courtyards
  • 214 rooms
  • 2000Sq meters
  • Built last years of the Qing dynasty
  • Comprised the living houses, ancestral hall & gardens

 

Once the wealthiest folks in this part of China, built their fortune from tin

 

After the liberation in 1949, the estate became state-owned property.

 

Jianshui Zhang's garden (团山民居-张家花园)
 

As compared to Zhu's garden, Zhang's garden's appearance is best described as ruins.

 

Built by the wealthy Zhang family during the last years of Qing dynasty, this huge estate now housed numbers of families after the land reformation by the communists' government.

 

Due to the lack of maintenance and being a residential area, I could hardly image the place's past glory.

 

Jianshui Wen temple (建水文庙)
 

Built in 1285, the second largest Confucian temple in

China after Shandong, where the great sage was hailed from.

 

Used as place to worship Confucian & spread his teachings.

 

Confucian's forehead at 杏坛 concaved after years of touching by worshippers (below).

The entrance to the Wen Temple
The main courtyard of the temple The musicians entertained visitors with Confucian's music
Offering respect to the great sage in the main praying hall Signbaords bestowed to the temple by various Qing Emperors
 

Bean curd making in Jianshui

It is said that if you never sampled the bean curd made in Jianshui, you never been to this part of China.

It's not those typical bean curd you found here in Singapore.

Rather, it shaped like a small cube and the tenderness of it is much to the fact that the locals using only well water available for making them.

Yuanyang 元阳
 

I guess travelling on hilly tracks was part of ritual as we left Jianshui for Yuanyang. 


Yuanyang is a Hani (哈尼族) majority town, which is why you bound to see women and kids in their traditional costumes.

 
Qingkou Hani village菁口哈尼民俗村

Poverty is clearly evidence in this hilly area when we arrived at Qingkou Hani village on our second day at Jianshui.

 

Kids gathered around you like bees as food from tourists were given out as a friendly gesture.

 

The only problem was these little fellows weren't easily satisfied as they seem to ask for more! (Learnt from the "P" soft drink?)

 

What a sorry sight when I was asked to pay to take a shot of small toddler by his caregiver (which I did not), I guess money are really not enough for these rural folks.

 

I would say it reflected badly on these minorities with view perceived them as "beggars" (sorry for that label but see for yourself when you meet them - pity or disgust them you decide). 

 
Terraced fields

Nonetheless, the main attraction of Yuanyang is the unique cultivating of crops using terraced fields.

Due to its unfavourable landscape, natives here have to crave out lands for farming from the mountains.

Given this unfavourable condition and climate, it's not surprise that there's only one harvest per year to feed the farming family.
 
 

Just being simple

Simplicity is the best word to describe the life in Yuanyang or any other part in Yunnan.

Yes, there may be karaoke, cybercafé but folks would rather hang out at the open space in the town centre at night to enjoy the night breeze.

 
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