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Published: December 11th 2016
I arrived to this Island after a long trip by train at night
I stayed for few days in the capital city of Haikou situated north of Hainan Island.
Hainan means literally "South of the Sea"
I have been travelling for a few months in China and when I am in a big city, especially in the developing countries, I try to discover the most unattractive place for the tourists, that is not marked on the map, so that I can immerse myself in the daily routine of the life of the local people which is, in a way, the essence of my travels.
I was walking down a street in the city and saw a few people with some loads of goods and I started to follow them until I got into a local busy market.
I was utterly amazed by the crowds of people and what they had to sell.
There was any kind of animal and some of them I had never seen before, numerous cages stacked one on top of the other with so many different creatures: Birds, Snakes, spiders, Lizards, Fish and so on..
There was everything someone may
need to buy here, any kind of food.
I was the only westerner person there and this made me feel great to be able to enjoy all the bustle and hustle of this tipical market of the island.
Travel is always full of nice and unexpected surprises..
I love more the interior and the southern part of China rather than the more developed and capitalist coastline, even though it is changing, unfortunately, everywhere, now.
The only way to see the authentic part of the country, nowadays, is to search in these little streets that, only by chance you can discover, give you the different experience to bring home with you and where you can see still the true people that inhabit it.
I was just happy to have spent a few hours in that market and was also useful, for me, to practice my Chinese since that, here, you will not find people speaking other languages other than the local dialect and Mandarin.
I then moved to the southern part of the island and, on suggestion I headed to a remote tiny village called "riyuewan" meaning Sun and Moon bay.
It is a
sort of paradise for the Chinese surfers and also draws some international surfers too.
I found a spot to pitch my tent near the sea cause I love the sound of the waves at night..
I used to go to eat at the local market where there was a lady cooking fish on the grill and I then I nicknamed her the "squid Lady".
That was my favourite spot: a nice family that every time they saw me they warmly welcome me.
It was like my second house and, at times, I also helped them in selling out their produce and cutting fruits and coconut for the tourists.
But that place drew a lot of local tourists and, this was a bit of a shame, during the weekend the only road to the village was lined with a lot of cars and crowds of people that toke away all the natural beauty of the place.
In those moments, I got the chance to escape a bit from the crowds and going to the nearby falls, completely immersed in the forest with no one, with a beautiful pool where I could just relax and swim
But this was not the only place around the town to escape the crowds, I found a trail that led to a port a I walked almost daily along that stretch of beach.
Some days there were cows with their farmer grazing allover the land and plus heaps of trush like: bottles, tyres, toys, cloths and more spread on the beach.
At the port there were a lot of shipwrecks and ashes around the beachside where people lit the bonfire.
I was pretty known around there, by then, and when I saw someone it was a good opportunity to strike up a little conversation and to joke on my Chinese accent that they found funny and with a lot of misunderstanding ,as well.
It was their simple way to live that captured myself and with very little to live on their lives they always had broad smile and that made me feel proud of myself to have started travelling and being able to meet such lovely people.
But as it happens allover China, even in Hainan, money is slowly slowly changing the mentality of this lovely people and this magical place is bound
to disappear in a blink...
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