Thursday, March 22, 2012

Huize and Baiwu - Ancient Towns

Once again we found ourselves liking a couple of Chinese ancient towns. Huize Ancient Town is located on a plain surrounded by hills. The southern center of Huize is a fairly well preserved old city with centuries old guild halls, temples, and schools. The Jiangxi Guild Hall is particularly cool with a magnificent stage. Huize by itself has more stages than we've seen in the rest of China combined!

Sun-Ling made a new friend in Huize. While checking out the old Confucius Temple and Academy, now the Huize No. 1 Middle School, we happened to walk into a student cafeteria just at closing and were invited to eat dinner with the staff who were eating their meal. No hesitation on my part. Good eats! Two days later, we ran into one of the ladies as we were taking our evening constitutional up to the Taoist Temple at the southern end of town. She and Sun-Ling became quite good friends as we strolled up and down together, chatting about life.

Nearby Huize is Baiwu Ancient Village, where copper has been mined for 2000 years. Baiwu is also located on a beautiful green plain surrounded by mountains. We rode city bus #17 from Huize to the end-of-the-line, then walked 6 kms to Baiwu. There are quite a few old crumbling family compounds in Baiwu, an old watchtower, wells, and a meandering stream. Having renovated/restored some old buildings, the town wants to attract tourists but the flies, smells, filth will make that a difficult task.

Observatory - Confucius Temple - Huize.
Huize, Yunnan, China

A couple views of the stage at the Jiangxi Guild Hall.
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Making egg noodles.
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Typical street scene in the old part of Huize.
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Some of the copper mined in Baiwu was minted into coins in Huize; thus the coin is the city symbol; hence the Giant Coin in the main square.
Huize, Yunnan, China

Heading to the well at sunset - Huize.
Huize, Yunnan, China

Huize with the old town in the middle - more or less.
Huize, Yunnan, China

View of Baiwu Village.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Watchtower.
Watchtower - Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Washing clothes at the well - Baiwu Village.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Working the fields.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Old family compound.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Composting in the streets.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Restored Catholic Church - Baiwu Village.
Church - Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

Restored Taoist Temple.
Baiwu Village - near Huize, Yunnan, China

2 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

Have you learned any architectural reason for the pointy uplifting roof peaks? Other than decorative, that is, which it certainly is.

john said...

Ed, No architectural reason that I know of, but I did some checking online and came up with this additional bit of info that makes sense to me: Traditionally, Chinese residences are courtyard houses. That puts half of the roof on the "interior" of the house, thus the motive to "decorate". Chinese are also big on symmetry, so all sides of the roof are decorated.