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Published: October 25th 2018
Liudong is another beautiful and scenic spot nearby Pingtang town. This time, I decided to take a private car getting to Liudong village. It is about 15 kilometers from downtown Pingtang and the drive in is just sensational. Before arriving at the village, we stopped on top of the hill for some beautiful views of the entire valley. We then slowly descended the road until arriving at the village. After agreeing with the private car driver about the pick up time of the evening , I then began to take a look at the area. This place is the home of the Maonan ethnic minorities. In Guizhou there are 17 ethnic minority groups and it is the third largest province in terms of ethnic people in China. But, Guizhou also has some other ethnic groups that are not officially recognized and the Maonan is one of them.
I had a short time here, so I briefly started my visit wandering around the camping ground where plenty of young Chinese had pitched their tents and loudly chatting each other. I heard, since tourism began to exploit this place, that, now, this area has become popular among the young people and families.
I could see entire families barbecuing, kids playing joyfully, the ambiance was totally relaxed and every time I walked near them they welcome me with a "hello" and a nice smile. They could not speak English and this was a good advantage in practising my Chinese that is still pretty low.
I then left the camping area and began to explore the surroundings. It was a pretty cloudy day but the scenic, craggy mountains covered in lush green, the breathtaking views of the mountain formations and the gentle river cutting in half the farmland made this place unforgettable.
The rice harvest was over, in the field, I saw farmers making little stacks of hay, I sometimes spotted horses grazing the land freely, huge fields of eggplant were ubiquitous, there were also other crops as: potatoes, chili, tomatoes, cucumber and zucchini.
I enjoyed walking in the middle of the farmland, watching the farmers in performing their duties, old ladies were outside of their home sitting on a chair looking at me, curiously as, here, not many westerner arrive. As I continued my walk along the farmland, I saw some ladies that suddenly started shouting to a 3 wheel
motorcycle driver to wait for them and giving them a lift to the end of the field, honestly, they were quite right considering the warm temperature of the day. The lady wearing the red cap turned her head, looked at me for a moment and then asked me if I also wanted to join them but I kindly refused her invitation and kept walking by foot. Just farther up the road, I heard an old lady saying something to me, on top of her house roof, but I could not pick up anything of what she was saying, also because the people of the village do not speak mandarin but local dialects. She was quite old but she was funny, she was wearing a white rag on her head, a dark vest and had a great smile. Two other old ladies were walking just behind me, I tried to take a picture of them but they did not seem to be very happy about it and shouted something at me and one of them covered her face. They both looked so funny, the one on the right had got a stark blue linen clothe, black trousers and a wooden stick
helping her while walking, the other one was wearing a brown checkered pattern vest, carrying a large bag on her left shoulder and wearing a round red hat. I then heard a noise of a vehicle coming toward us, lifting up a good amount of dust, transporting big sacks of eggplant. It was filled up with all these sacks of eggplant. Some women on the rooftop of their houses were spreading the rice using a rake like tool. Just a hundred meters or so straight head, I saw a sort of bazar place and that vehicle that was carrying the eggplant sacks was parked just at the entrance of that place. The people were busy unloading the eggplants, but there were also other products spread allover the bazar like place. Inside it, there were many people thrusting themselves and shouting. The colours of the people clothes mixed up together and the dust surrounding them gave to the bazar an exotic and dirty ambiance. I was tempted to get in but the confusion was too much to go in a take a look at the products. Some women were carrying baskets on their head, another man was carrying bleeding guts of,
probably, a pig. Next to the bazar was a bridge and on the river banks some local people were fishing sitting on their plastic chairs, high in the sky the sun together with the rolling hills surrounding the village made me feel of being back in a different period of time were the people still appreciated the little things and even a small favour had got a great value.
I walked past the river and soon I arrived in a place where there were still old wooden houses scattered around the village. I stopped and looked at the filed in front of me. I saw a farmer and his two dogs that were chasing something, the two dogs were running around a hay stack sniffing the ground. Then the two dogs dashed to the left with his owner and stopped in the middle of the field biting something, in a moment the farmer came and with a stick lifted up what the two dogs were biting, it was a snake.
Along the path, some kids were playing outside of their wooden houses, a lady was sitting on the ground leaning her back against a tree, she seemed thoughtful.
This part of the village must be the oldest one, some wooden houses were almost collapsed.
On may way back to the camping ground, I saw crowds of people outside of a house. I curiously approached them, had a look closely, some women were wearing a red top with a stripe of golden flower like motif from the left shoulder across the breast, a green skirt with a lower stripe of colourful flowers, holding on their left hand a red piece of cloth brimming with yellow. Another group of women were wearing traditional dark clothes. On their head were wearing a particular pink hat, the pink hat had got two blue lines to the back and a vertical line of white stripes to the left side, very gorgeous, the top was dark blue with wonderful flowers embroidered around the neck descending from the left shoulder to the right side of the hip, the trousers also had a beautiful wide band of flower decorations to the end.
I quickly understood that was a marriage when I peered inside the house and saw the bride and groom talking each other with some other people around them.
I stopped in
a grocery store nearby that house to buy something to eat in the meantime I waited for the driver to accompany me back to the guesthouse in Pingtang downtown.
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