Remember when I wrote that I had totally forgotten that we actually did travel once a bit around in China? Back then I wrote about the trip to the Jianmenguan Pass which was actually in the end of a 3 day trip around the north of Sichuan. Why Sichuan? Because it is the neighbouring province of Shaanxi and just a few hours by bus away. Our first stop was Zhaohua Ancient Town which is in the Yuanba District, Guangyuan, Sichuan. Okay, it was not the first “stop” as we did had a couple of stops during the bus ride at service areas. In one of those service areas I saw a public toilet nightmare but this is just too much for this blog and it shall forever haunt only my memories.
As I explained in the other post we were part of a tour group and hence the entire trip around was very carefully planned and left barely any time to go around on your own. At Zhaohua we went straight to eat at a little restaurant organized by the tour group. It was nothing special but good enough to have nothing to complain about. The tour around the ancient town was interesting but annoying at the same time. Interesting as the ancient town was really wonderful and offered tons of picture/ video material and annoying as the local tourist guide had a very fast pace going from building to building which forced me to run after the group more than just once as I was busy taking pictures or recording some videos.
Zhaohua is a very old town with several temples, an old city wall with several gates, old governmental buildings, sculptures and also an ancient flag stone road. I read back then in some online source that some thirty years ago the town was much smaller, many temples were missing/ destroyed back in the day but that there were also many wooden structures left from the early Qing Dynasty. Though there were many old structures left it was a bit messed up because ugly new houses had been build all over the town. In that source the author explained also how different the town looked when he went there again several years ago as many wooden structures had been torn down and replaced by these new structures. Now these houses didn’t look like new houses anymore as they got fake wooden house fronts so they looked like the old houses again. So by the time we went there I really couldn’t tell which were the original old houses and which were the new “fake old” houses. Besides that the whole town was pretty much very touristy. Not that I am unhappy that they rebuilt so many of these ancient structures but I really don’t understand why they had to tear down actual ancient houses and replace them with new ones.
We were in the town for a few of hours before heading to the next destination. Nearly the entire time there was spent with eating and running behind the tour guide. Thankfully we had some 45 min times to go around on our own which allowed us to relax a bit after running for so long time and take a closer look at the buildings. The main street in that town was full of little shops selling souvenirs, local snacks and clothes. It was also there that I suddenly ended up with a little snake in my camera bag. No, it didn’t just appeared out of thin air but a man had it on his shoulder and offered me to hold it myself. It was then that the snake decided it had seen enough people for one day and quickly wriggled its way out of my hands and into the dark and cosy camera bag. The man even offered me to buy the snake but you know it would be a bit hard to get that animal through security and customs at the airport…
How do you feel about rebuilding ancient structures but tearing down existing old ones at the same time?
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