Saturday, 16 August 2014

Qingyang Guzhen (青岩古镇), southwestern China

Qingyang Guzhen (青岩古镇), roughly translates to Old Town of Qingyang, is one of most important old towns preserved in the province of Guizhou in southwestern China.  Built in mid-14th century, it began as a military stronghold, but soon attracted a group of intelligentsias and craftsmen who shaped much of the culture as seen today.  In modern history, it was an important command post of the communist army, as well
as a secret hiding place for many of communist party leaders and secret agents, such as Li Kenong.  Equivalent to the French list of "Les plus beaux villages" (The most beautiful villages), Qingyang Guzhen is listed in 2013 by the Chinese government as one of the most charming villages.  Since then this has been a favourite destinations for tourists in Guizhou.

It is sometimes translated as Qingyan Ancient Town, but road signs will point you to Qingyang Guzhen.  There isn't a standardization in China for Romanizing place names.  More information on Chinese "Wikipedia" here:

 The local peasants are extremely camera-shy. 

 Breakfast for the champion.

 A Chinese wine cellar

Part of the process of making this candy is to have it take a Guantanamo-style beating. 

 Chinese cheese and cheese mongers.

 Pork knuckles

The old town is situated just 60km south of Guiyang, capital of Guizhou.  However, traffic in Guizhou is notoriously bad, and it had taken us a good part of an hour snaking out of the city.  There is no entrance fee to go into the town although almost everything is purpose-built for tourists, including restaurants and stalls. 

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