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Published: August 21st 2018
I continue my adventure in the southeast province of Guizhou to visit another village. Early in the morning, I left the Dali Dong village to go to visit Shudong Dong village, situated southwest of Liping county. I have been recommended this village by the guesthouse owner where I stayed in my previous village. I had to take a taxi from Rongjiang to Shudong Dong village, because the combination of transports, I had to take, it was a bit inconvenient so I went for the fastest and most expensive option. The travel from Rongjiang to Shudong dong village was very pretty, beautiful mountains covered in forest extended as far as the eye I can see, winding streams made their way through the forest, old granaries and grain drying-shelves dotted the marvelous scenery. Even here, I had a nice and warm welcome by the people and the owner of the guesthouse. He was about to have lunch with his family; two kids (a boy and a girl) his wife and his parents, helping them in cooking the lunch. The food, as always it is in the village, was delicious; a spicy fish with some vegetables, tofu, rice, scrambled eggs with tomato, stir-fried beef
with local herbs and some local sweet liqueur.
After eating I went to have a nap in my room. The room was pretty small but clean and at a good price, about 80 yuan a night. In the afternoon, the owner of the guesthouse brought me to show his rice fields in the nearby hills. We walked first along a river and then up a hill, he had a couple of fine rice fields, the landscape was just gorgeous, this area of the province of Guizhou is my favourite. He then asked me if I wanted to fish with him in his field. He has got carps inside, he uses a thin bamboo cane, a hook and a thread and, as a bait, he got some worm. It was my first time to fish with this sort of fishing rod but it was fun, there were many fish inside the rice field, catching them was all but easy, at the end, after spending a few hours fishing, we only got one that would have become our meal for the night.
This village receives far fewer tourists
than the previous one where I have been, it is very quiet at night, and, only when there are some local festival, it gets lively. In the Shudong Dong village, there is still a Drum tower of over 300 years of age but, unfortunately, it has gone into restoration, it was basically all covered up and only the roof was visible.
The Drum tower is like a pagoda made out of wood and built without nails. Many activities are held in the Drum tower, local people, especially old people, use it to socialize and meet up with other villagers in the afternoon. On the ground of the tower, there is a fire pit and around the fire pit there are four pillars, called " golden pillars" which represent the four seasons of the year. There are also twelve columns around the pit which represent the twelve months of the year.
The Drum tower, here, in Shudong Dong village is the oldest one in the Liping county. Being in this place, it reminds me a village that I visited when I was on the island of Borneo,
in the town of Kapit. The stilted houses of the Dong people are made of fir wood and are three stories high. The first floor is used to keep animals and also as a granary, the upper ones are used by the family to live in. In the oldest part of the village, some stilted houses has coffins underneath the house, a bit like in Tana Toraja, Sulawesi, Indonesia, where the coffins are fit in the wall of the mountain. The Dong people believe that the ancestors protect them and they also keep, at the entrance of each house, a couple of wooden figurines together with some incense.
In the Shudong Dong village are also interesting the traditional public houses that are always full of old men, you can see them sleeping on the bench , smoking pipes or eating some food. I just like to experience the daily life in rural areas, people helping each other, living in harmony and peace, it gives you a great sense of community.
As I always say, I hope that places like this can last for a very long
time, that all these beautiful traditions can remain without being forgotten in the name of the "Money God".
The time flies and I have to move on, so I will soon leave this beautiful village taking away lovely memories, as always it happens when I am with such lovely people and I hope to come back next time knowing a bit more of Chinese so that I can also have the possibility to have some social life and know better the people.
See you next…
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