18 Oct 2010 – Day 6 of Shantou Trip

Today is slightly better.  Wakey wakey at 6 am, followed by breakfast at 6.30 am, before departing for our packed schedule of the day.  Three attractions 李坑, 汪口 and 江湾, were lined up plus visits to 2 factory outlets before heading to the Jiujiang, Lushan 九江市庐山 train station to catch our 5.30 train back to Shantou.

Buffet breakfast was served.

Short journey of about 20 minutes and we were at the entrance of Likeng 李坑.  The ticketing system is very hi-tech.  A contactless card was used for admissions to the 3 attractions we were visiting.  Shown on the back of the card were several other attractions, 卧龙谷,灵岩洞,彩虹桥,晓起,思溪延村,文公山,百柱宗祠,石城,江岭, that card bearer was entitled to.  Fingerprint was used for initial registration of the card making it non transferable.  Subsequent admission required tapping card on reader cum fingerprint scan.

After clearing the admission formalities, we were greeted by this large lotus pond.

A grand arch indicated that we will be entering the beautiful village of Likeng.  Likeng village is said to be built more than 900 years ago.  However, many of the buidings were redeveloped during both the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

To get to the village, we had to walk on a wooden boardway for about 100m, with padi field on our left and a stream on our right.

Following the stream upstream will lead us right into the village as it flows through the entire village.  This is what make this village unique and beautiful, earning its name 小桥流水人家.  However, I’ve no idea what those rafts were for as there were 2 mini waterfalls preventing them from getting into the village.

This is the 1st mini waterfall.

After this 2nd mini waterfall, visitors could take these small boats up or down the stream, which is only knee to waist deep, for a view of the village.  Honestly, one is better off walking on the path parallel to the stream.

A villager doing her laundry.

Another villager washing her vegetables.  I’m not sure how hygiene that was, but I did observed fish swimming in the stream.

Saw these long large gourds grown in somebody’s front yard.

Most of the houses in the village have white walls and black roof tiles.

Many bridges were built to connect the houses on the left to the path on the right.

Our guide leading us to this house where many of its door arches and pillars had very dedicated wood carvings.

A dedicated wood carving across the doorway.

A closer view of the beautiful carvings.

This pavillion built right in the middle of the village was probably used for gathering and celebrations.

The most decorated building in the village.  The signboard indicated that it was a wood carvings shop.

An inn where visitors could stay for the night?

On our way out near the main entrance, saw this buffalo cooling off in the stream.

Leaving Likeng, we visited a knife factory.  After the demonstration, a set of 3 knives was offered at RMB270.  When we boarded our bus without buying any, offers were made on the bus at RMB135, unbelieveable discount.

Our next attraction was Wangkou 汪口.  This disused water wheel was located at one end of the village.

At the entrance of the village, there was this bridge connecting to the other side of the river.  Didn’t venture over, so no idea where it led to.

There was only 1 path cutting right through the entire village.

Firewood was stacked outside many of the houses as it was the main source of fuel for cooking and keeping warm.

This is the building where villagers pay their respect to their ancestors.

An overflowing mini dam at the other end of the village.

Another bridge at this end of the village connecting both side of the river.  This shot was taken standing on the bridge. 

On our way to Jiangwan 江湾, we stopped by a tea factory to sample the local brews.  As most of our tour group members were Teochew from Shantou preferring “Kungfu” tea, no sales was made.

Right at the entrance to Jiangwan village was this 萧江宗祠 where villagers pay respect to their ancestors.

This grand arch standing guard at the entrance to the village.  Shops on both sides catered mainly to tourists.

A shot from the back of the arch.

Walking through a back alley of some of the village houses.

This house is no longer occupied.  It had been converted to an exhibit for tourists.  Have you noticed the practice of hanging drid maizes?  Wonder what’s its significant?

In one of the exhibit room is this stove 炒茶锅, meant for frying tea leaves.

In another room were these equipment which I believe were used for processing grains.

This looked like a kitchen with food processing equipment hanging on the wall.

At the end of the village was this large pond with foot path around it and pavillions for tired visitors.

After the packed morning schedule of 3 attractions and 2 factory outlets, we headed for our much needed recharge at this restaurant near Likeng.

A shot of the dinning area.  Notice again the hanging of dried maizes?

Here is a glimpse of the restaurant kitchen.  This shot was captured after my lunch…..haha.

Finished our lunch at about 12.10 pm, we were to take a 3 hours coach journey to 庐山 train station for our 6.00 pm train back to Shantou.  As we started early this morning, and all the places we visited were near one another, we were 2.5 hours ahead of schedule.  Some members in the group then suggested we visit Jingdezhen 景德鎮 famous Porcelain Street 陶瓷一条街.  But before reaching there, our guide brought us to this Porcelain factory for a guided tour.

A skilled craftman hard at work.

The factory floor.

Stacked up uncompleted porcelain wares.

The famous Jingdezhen’s poreclain street.  The exact same teapot set that a member of our group bought from the factory at RMB55 after heavy discount, can be had for RMB30 here.

Besides the many shops, there were many street hawkers peddling their old and broken porcelain pieces too.

A closer look at the old and broken procelain pieces.  Wonder who will buy them?

One of the few food vendors amongst the porcelain peddlers.  These food on sticks look similar to the Malaysia’s Lok Lok.  Noodles were also on the menu.

This shrine was on the street level above the Porcelain Street.

At last, we were at Lushan train station.  Took our dinner at one of the many small restaurants just across the street.  After dinner, bidded our guide farewell and headed into the station for hour 15.5 hour overnight journey back to Shantou.

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~ by grbenji on 25/10/2010.

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