It's another two hours before we got back to our hotel. By the time we arrived, there nothing but thunders in my stomache..
All smoke and dripping goose fat
The fire leaping up the dripping grease
They've now got mechanized turning during the roasting process under one of these clay bell-top covers
The "lai chee" firewood
There it i, ready to serve. According to the master BBQ chef, it'll take about an hour to finish one goose per stove
"May I ask what's that you're frying, Miss? "
"Oh, it's chicken samosa!'"
"It's one of our local specialities"
"What's that made of?'
"What's that made of?'
"Oh....it's difficult to tell. Would you like to have one? Try it."
"Oh, you're so kind. ....um, simply delicious. Thank you so much."
We got up early the following morning to film the faded lotus flower at a pond outside our our hotel
another faded flower
Just a few faded flowers. More stalks than flowers.
More like abstract paintings
More of the same
and lonely reflections
in our lake side hotel
After breakfast, we were on our way again to Ku Lo Village (古勞水鄉) ,north east of Hok Shan County (鶴山縣). It owes its origin to two clans, the Ku's and the Lo's, who fled her to avoid political persecution in 1274. The greater part of the population in this village still bear these two surnames but the town they founded, Ku Lo Town, now has a population of some 27,000, living on paper production, printing, electronics, cosmetics and shoe manufacture by relying on its connections with its overseas Chinese descendants. The village and its environs has a coastline stretching some 9 km. It's a part of the river Sijiang. Also called "圍墩水鄉" (meaning "water country with enclosed embankments") and including 昇平、雙橋、新星、坡山, it has been dubbed the "Venice of South China" and its fish ponds and lakes support the livelihood of some 15,000 locals. Ku Lo is famous for it "bean paste" (古勞面豉) and its "silver needle" green tea.(古勞銀針」綠茶). The area is formed by deltas from the silt carried downstream by the Sijiang and to prevent flooding the locals started building embankments during the Ming Dynasty and to reinforce the strength of such embankments, they planted sugar cane, bananas and other crops. Traditionally, big embankments are called "Wai"'s (「圍」) and smaller earth mounds are called "Wai Tun" s(圍墩). In the past, whenever there are heavy rainfalls, some of the embankments would burst but in the last few years, the levels of the embankments have been raised so that they can now withstand floods occurring once every 50 years. The local now live on fish farming producing such fish as 青魚、 草魚、 鰱魚、 鱅魚, 桂花魚、鱸魚、鱉魚、基圍蝦、美國蛙 etc. Some of them also raise ducks. Every year during the Dragon Boat Festival, there'll be a dragon boat festival and the teams from different Wai's will compete against each other to the deafening din of drums,gongs and firecrackers!
A village maiden carrying some vegetables across a wooden plank bridge to the car park
The "melon skin boats" used for local transport through the web of waterways criss-crossing the "water country".
According to this introduction of the area, the 500 acre nature reserve area of Wang Hoi Long (橫海浪) close by is home to thousands of white storks and has produced a famous general Chan Hoi (陳開), leader of the Tai Ping Rebellion during the Tsing dynasty, a Wing Chun Kung Fu Master Leung Chan ( 梁贊) and the king of Chinese herbal tea Wong Lo Kut (王老吉) and a renowned Chinese actress Wu Dip (胡蝶)
This is where we boarded our boats for a tour of the water country.
Bamboos on both sides of the river
A fish culture enclosure close to the bank
it's a clever device: just different lengths of bamboo poles in different combinations
The larger ones are enclosed with plastic nets
A typical fish culture enclosure
banana trees along the embankment
To strengthen the embankments and help retard soil erosion, trees are planted on them
A boat moored to one side of the embankment
one of the small islands in the lake
An oarsman rowing 3 of our tour members
Our oarsman. He told us we should have come during summer, when the lake is full of thousands of lotus flowers.
The oarsman rows standing up
The "water gate"
Another boat going past the "water gate"
The return journey
Two boats with its oars
Fish nets left to dry
Some of the fish ponds
Another such fish pond
We were taken to a pond close to an ancestral hall of the Lee clan where we are supposed to find some faded lotus flowers.
The entrance to the Lee Clan's ancestral hall there
a riverlet close by
some broken lotus stalks
The trapped sun
Finally we were taken to Siu Kong (Small Hill) (小崗) of San Hui County to see how joss sticks are made. According to our local guide 2/3rd of all joss sticks for export to South East Asia and Taiwan are made here. There must have been 20 or 30 such workshops in the area
Some ring-shape joss sticks: they let them dry over a vegetable patch!
Some conical shaped joss sticks
Some giant joss sticks with carved characters: "Good Business"
Giant joss sticks with characters "safety for the whole family"
A girl painting the side of the joss stick with gold paints
The workshops are very primitive
bundles of joss sticks ready to be transported
joss sticks stacked up like so many terra cotta soldiers ready for service !
The joss sticks and their shadows
this is how they stack up bundles of joss sticks
a master joss stick maker at work
He would take a bundle of sticks all glued and hit them over the joss stick powders on a work bench, lift them up and swing them down again to get a second layer of joss stick powder, shake them over the small board a little distance away from the work bench to shake off the excess joss stick powder
And then bring them to the other side of the room where he would bundle them together
The master swinging a bundle of empty sticks after the first layer of powder
Then the joss sticks are brought out to the courtyard to dry
They are laid down on racks according to length
This is the joss stick making area we went to
Our final stop was a palm fan making exhibition hall
This is its formal name
The parts of a palm
First they pick up a dry palm leaf and dry them in the sun
then they cut it to the required size
the next step is to shape them with a machine
Then they dry it over a pan
They sew the edges
Then the master painter will burn the relevant pictures and characters on to the surface of the fan with a heater pen
skilled worker sewing the edges
a master burning a painting on to the palm fan
Two of his finished products
This is an intricate picture burned on to the surface of a fan
This one has different pictures on each side
a palm leaf hat
a palace lantern made with palm leaves
The garden outside the exhibition hall
leaves over fern
more leaves over fern
A palm shape decoration in the garden
A farewell to Guangdong from the palms in the garden