by cleowang | Nov 3, 2018 | FEATURE
How are you? What are you upto this weekend? Here are some of what we were upto in rural China recently.
First of all, I’d like to commend my beautiful guests once again for volunteering in cleaning up mountains and coasts in rural China! They are very dedicated and thorough, earned us great respect, compliments, presents and good snacks and food (we were given Chinese paintings done by the Head of the local gallery, who was very touched by our actions, the mooncakes after volunteering tasted the best).
To the locals, we were not tourists, we were guests and friends. In some of these photos, you’ll see them cleaning up the mountains along with enjoying sceneries and wildflowers. In future blogs, I’ll post the coastal cleanup photos.
As you see in the photos, we had a feel of selling fresh harvest from the mountains, there we bought walnuts, jujube, huge peaches, also bought rare expensive medicinal bracket fungi – Lingzhi, wild in the mountain, which was gifted to the local ladies who cooked many meals for us.
Papercutting is a delicate time-consuming folk artform that is not well inherited, each papercutting has a story/symbolic meaning to it. We did a cactus flower as well as an apple, some creative guest discovered clever way to decorate a shaved head with this auspicious red.
The guests tried out the traditional wedding cart, I wasn’t there that time, they worked it out themselves, all had a go and good laugh. Just to note, normally it’s the lady sitting in the cart, men (2-8 men) carrying the cart.
Food is being grown everywhere on village streets. Our engineer guest was inspired by the long lofa, and engineered it into his mouth.
One of the guests is a talented dancer, tried out traditional Chinese dances without much lagging behind… and of course there were moments we all laughed.
Do you see the giant broom that the popular TV presenter Costa Georgiadis find meditative about! Come meditating with it in each sweep action in rural China J.
We’ve done a whole lot more things than these, I’ll do another blog on activities after the next accommodation blog (such as scorpion catching, foraging, fish-net mending, rope making)
Please note that for 2019 bookings made by November 2018, you’ll get $200 off the tour price, and if you happen to book fast enough to make the 3rd booking for April tour (2 places taken already), or the first 3 bookings for September tour, you’d be able to enjoy $300 off.
And if you’d like a longer tour and would like to experience ancient China, please also join me in April 6th– 16th for 11 days in southern China before Rural China Tour April on 18th – 27th. The “”Step into Ancient China” would be about Ancient Chinese Gardens, silk and tea making, bamboo digging, cooking and crafting, rice growing, cloth dying, lots of picturesque ancient villages and mountains and rivers… and ancient Chinese culture, including umbrella making, fan making, opera singing, particularly paper making, paint brush making, ink and ink stone making etc. I’ll also include Chinese medicinal herb garden and Chinese medicine museum experiences in this trip. You can check out some beautiful images on google about this destination.
by cleowang | Jul 7, 2018 | FEATURE
Welcome to July!
Thank you for some lovely feedback on rural China newsletter! It’s so good knowing that you are reading them and enjoying them, your replies to my silent emails are sunshine to my day J . And what an inspiration meeting the community-minded people from South East Producers!
Today Rural China Newsletter will showcase you some of the activities we did in ancient Xiheyang Village.
We’ve made dumplings of all kinds and ate them J delicious! Village-milled flour, village-grown wheat, garden-grown garlic chives… We learned making flower bread, made an Australian lizard with flour too, we went to a cheery local opera, was commented as Shakespeare like by guests, we did folk dance, we ventured into country market, tried various food… picked Jujube from a hundred-year old tree, the list goes on… These doesn’t include the activities we had in mountain villages yet, that’ll be the next newsletter.
I’ve just talked to the village activity manager today, we’ll get even deeper this year… such as fermented soy bean paste (miso) making, pickle making, traditional popcorn making with a big bang, sour dough, vermicelli making, traditional house building, painting onto steamed flour bread, could be all possible, if only we had plenty time… I’m excited and looking forward to checking them out with you!
For September 18-28 tour, last few spots available, please let me know ASAP if you can make it, it’s only a bit over 2 months away.
For April and September 2019 tours, first 3 people to book for either of those two tours will get $300 off. April tour has only one $300 off space left, so if you are keen, please lock in the special in.
China could be mystery land to many, mass media hasn’t been the best influence. If anyone has questions or concerns about travelling to China, I’ve also developed Travel Tips on Rural China Tour website, they are very helpful information and can put your mind at ease, and/or get you prepared. Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions beyond what’s already covered there.
By the way, have you like Rural China Tour’s facebook page yet? Many thanks in advance 🙂
Enjoy your weekend!
by cleowang | Jul 5, 2018 | FEATURE
With the Duanwu Festival (known as Dragon Boating Festival by many) just passed, I thought to share with you another big traditional Chinese festival with you: Mid-Autumn Festival, because for guests coming to rural China with me this September, we’ll spend the festival with the locals there in the ancient Xiheyang Village!
Mid-autumn Festival by its name, it’s the middle of autumn on the lunar calendar, i.e. 15th August. This year, it falls on 24th September on the solar calendar, strategically set during our rural China tour!
The Festival derives from the appreciation of clear autumn full moon from Spring Autumn Period 3000 years ago, with historic events happening on that day through history, it has become one of the four biggest traditional Chinese festivals… Now it is a festival of appreciating autumn full moon, autumn harvest, enjoy great seasonal food and celebrating the family togetherness.
Do you know that the dark shadows on the moon have been imagined by Chinese for eons as a white rabbit and an Osmanthus tree? Look up on a full-moon night, and you can see the rabbit ears J
A famous food to go with this festival is… the mooncake! All over China, mooncakes are made differently with various fillings, and different pastries. The fillings can be fruits, nuts, lotus seed paste, red bean paste, jujube paste, duck egg yolk and more. We’ll venture into the country market and you get to see lots of the varieties, of course feel free to try and buy the ones you like.
And the little-known ancient village that we will stay in and celebrate festival is called Xiheyang (means West of the River, Sunny). Here are some photos of the village, and in the next newsletter, I’ll share with us the activities we did with villagers in last year’s stay in the village.
There are still several spots available for the small group trip over to Rural China this September, booking closes in a month, so please let me know rather soon if you’d like to come with me this beautiful autumn!
Bookings for 2019 trips are already happening, timing is end of April and end of September, contact me for detailed information and book in early to secure special deals…
by cleowang | Jun 7, 2018 | FEATURE
I’ll share with you the usefulness of corn plant, continuing on the resourcefulness theme, a lot to learn from rural wisdom 🙂
During corn harvest, you’ll see lots of locals would volunteer to help corn farmers to peel corns off their husks, because corn husks are so useful, as you see in the above pictures. They serve as baking paper, adding corn sweetness to the bread or dumplings. They can also be made to practical things like sitting mat, baskets or beautiful crafts.
Nothing is wasted, corn cobs are dried and used as good fire kindling, even better, once crashed, they are very good and cheap mushroom growing medium. Corn stalks are used as firewood and making crafts… childhood memories.
This is one example, you’ll discover more when you look at old houses – different parts of the sorghum stalks are used for roof construction and insulation… I’m astonished learning about it myself, the locals can tell you correctly in detail.
Nature gives us so much, as long as we are ingenuous to discover them, respect them and not waste them.
Come to rural China with me this September and experience it yourself. September booking is filling up, please get in before the small group fills up!
And 2019 tour bookings are happening too, bookings are being made already, thank you! Book in within this financial year to receive great discount and avoid price rise, please email me for details.
by cleowang | Jun 1, 2018 | FEATURE
This post will be a bit less formatted as I type it on my mobile, real time from China.
Although the topic is scheduled to be on Resourcefulness in rural China, I thought while I m here learning Chinese painting and calligraphy, checking out more beautiful rural villages for us to visit, I may as well share some photos with you all for now.
Picture1 features a family ancestor worship hall, the thick round beam is made of Camphor Laurel, strong fragrance deters all insects, including spiders, so its all clear of spider webs without dusting.
Picture 2 is an ancient house converted to a lovely BnB, great healthy food. Not cheap, and my guests for this Huizhou tour will stay here for a night.just too beautiful.
Picture3 is a mill at one ancient village in Huizhou. that village will get you experience wax printing, cake making and rice planting.
so long for now, heading to my Chinese painting class.
by cleowang | May 26, 2018 | FEATURE
Happy weekend! I’m back from China!
Today I’m presenting you with some yummy wild food:
The 2 fish dishes are from the delicious and auspicious fish in Chinese folk culture – carp! The first dish is red braised, the young farmer bought it fresh and live from market, and it was divine! The second dish is sweet sour deep fried carp, the bones become crispy, when that dish is served to us during Chinese New Year by my mum, it always disappeared in five seconds among the chopsticks of mine and my cousins’.
Picture3 is corn pikelets with prawn head paste, strong taste, typical local peasant’s food, today a delicacy sought by fancy eaters!
Picture 4 is Sheppard purse (wild herb) meatballs with woodear fungus.
Picture 5 is deep fried cicada in shell with sesame seeds and coriander! One favourite summer night activities by kids from old days and adults today is spotlighting cicadas in the dark, after they come out of soil, before they climb up the tree and shed the shells.
Why not come with me to Rural China this September (18th – 28th) to try some of these wonderful wild delicacies! Group size is limited to ensure great interaction and personable experiences, so please book in quick. If you’d like to secure a spot within next week, I’ll give you a free ticket to “Fish Kiss Bath” at Aishan Mineral Hot Spring. All you need to do to secure this special deal is to transfer $300 deposit to Shaoying Tours within next week, BSB 302 162 Account Number 1117866, with your name in the description, upon receipt of the deposit, Shaoying Tours will email an acknowledgement to confirm booking