"I am in the beautiful province of Guizhou, southwest China, to share the life of the hill people, eating their homemade food, breathing the pure air of the mountains, staying in a wooden house next to a shallow river and waking to a view that took away my breath."
In Guizhou province, there are 17 ethnic minorities; the Miao, Dong and Bouyei are the biggest ethnic minorities. I went to visit a Dong village nearby Rongjiang county in southeast Guizhou province. I stayed in the Dali Dong village. I reached this beautiful village through a long, narrow and winding road, I found a pretty guesthouse surrounded by marvelous lush forest and welcome by the local people with a lovely smile.
On my arrival, I saw the local people building a little street next to my guesthouse, I had a great view over the surrounding stilted houses, from the balcony of my guesthouse. I felt immediately at ease with this place, it was what I was looking for; tranquil, laid-back, silent.
At night, I loved to sit down outside on the balcony enjoying the nice, fresh breeze coming down from
One of the first villagers to befriend me was a man that had a little shop selling beverages and some food, he tried to strike up a conversation, with me, but my Chinese is not yet that good and the conversation was purely basic. Although my understanding was very poor, it was nice to see that he was not bothered, at all, to repeat me the questions and always with a broad smile.
During the daytime, to escape the great hot, I stayed in my room, laying on the bed to write a few lines about my experience, here, in the village. Inside the room, I had a window with a sublime view over the beautiful stilted houses, I sometimes saw a lady that walked inside a barn where she used to feed her animals; pigs and chickens, I was cradled
In the afternoon, I went out for a walk to explore better the village life, I saw the villagers busy in performing their labour duties; some building new streets, some building new houses, some fixing pipes, the ladies prepared the food for the evening and took care of the kids, other ladies worked outside in the field carrying baskets on their shoulders using a long, flat, wooden bar and loading the two baskets at the end of each side to balance the weight of the load, naked kids joyfully played in the shallow river, everywhere I turned my head I was surrounded by gorgeous rice terraces, it was absolutely another world.
I could not stop to walk back and forth, I was just attracted by these people toiling, living like centuries ago, it was like to be back in time and I really appreciate that, in some corner of the world, people still observe these ancient traditions.
"I am glad to be here, now, to admire such a beautiful place, I have always been attracted by the village life and also
We always know about these places when issues arise but rarely we hear about how the people actually live their life, how a place grow up and develop, I personally have many experiences travelling around the world, wherever I have been I have always found a completely different place, from what other people and the media said about, too many times I heard not to go there or reconsider your travel plans because you might be at risk travelling in certain areas of the world, but, instead, I found out that, what it was said about people or places, it was just wrong and, in this sense, the information creates quite a few problems. "
In the village, every night I liked the idea of looking for a place where to have my dinner, one night I had dinner in a beautiful Dong house by the river. As always, I had to ask for a less spicy food, I still did
One morning, I decided to set off earlier to explore the outlying areas of the village. In order to explore the surrounding areas I had to walk over a couple of trunks, to pass the river, but this, at first sight, made me think to turn back, fearing to fall down into the creek but then looking at some local people crossing the bridge my resilience came back and I crossed the bridge too.
As soon as I crossed the bridge, I was overwhelmed
My days, here, were never boring, more I stayed and more I liked it. I loved climbing the hills,
Another evening, I went to have dinner in a house on top of the hills with outstanding views over the entire village. In the house there were three lovely kids playing on the ground and also eating some litchi fruit. I particularly liked this house because it was older than the others where I had been previously, very basic, slightly dirty and I liked that atmosphere of old place.
The food was very similar to the one I ate in the previous houses and always very good. The kids were very naughty and their mom told them off different times, it was so funny to see them playing around and eating their food that wasted allover the house, while chasing each other. After a while they calmed down a bit and
My last day in the village, I spent it in complete relax, staying in my room, relaxing and entertained by the twittering of the birds outside on the trees. In the evening I went back to see that family of the last night, I really wanted to stay with them again, I just felt so well at their place. This night, I assisted at the bath of the three little kids and they all looked so cute. Their mother washed them outside on the balcony, the youngest one inside a red bucket and the other two inside another one. It was hilarious to see them happily playing in the water but, at the same time, also sad to see the poor conditions in which the family live in, the kids just have a couple of toys to play with but the things that struck me most was that they were happy staying together and all this, the kids,
My experience, in this village, ends here and I bring away a lot of positive things out of this place, above all the politeness of the local people towards me, their beautiful traditions and their great food, it was just an unforgettable experience.
My adventure continue, so see you in the next village…