Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Nan Xi River

Although Wenzhou isn't a tourist hot spot it does contain some beautiful scenery, which unlike Hangzhou's West Lake is hidden away from the city centre. A one hour bus or car journey can take you to the Nan Xi river. Kimi and I were invited there last week by her two Aunts and Uncles. I wanted to go but had to be at work for 2 o'clock as I was to attend a rehearsal for the school's singing competition in which I would be hosting (!). The actual show would be taking place the following afternoon so it was required of me to be there. The Aunt wasn't perturbed by this and came up with a plan B: we would go in the morning and have me back in the city by 2pm. It sounded great so I accepted. The downfall was that we would have to get up at 5am. Anyway, we managed to drag ourselves out of bed and Kimi's uncle swiftly (very swiftly) drove us to the river.

First, we walked through some wilderness to appear at a lake where we, and some other non-local Chinese tourists were guided onto a yellow plastic boat.

We were pushed out into the middle of the lake where the boat floated with the calm current. After a couple of peaceful minutes, laughing could be heard from the back. I turned around to see the boatman sporting a large grin of embarrassment (I've seen this kind of grin many times before). I asked Kimi what the problem was and she told me that the guy had forgotten his oar. Of all the things to forget! So he rolled up his trousers and jumped in.

As we sat there aimlessly floating around, it hit me that we were actually surrounded by complete nature. It was beautiful.

Luckily our man returned with his oar and dragged his legs back through the shallow water to sail our yellow plastic boat to the next bay.

Much of the area has been left untouched, which is rare for beauty spots in China. I was more than happy to see the absence of speakers planted into rocks that pump out hardcore dance beats. However, because Nan Xi river has not been completely converted for tourism it is missing some basic safety measures. For example, the bridges used to cross parts of the river were just square-ish stepping stones, some of which were smaller than my feet. This, I did not like.

After two hair-raising crossings I was promised there would be no more and we trekked onwards to the final boating trip. This time we would be crossing a large part of the river which would take approximately 45 minutes to sail down. The chosen method of transport for this was a boat constructed entirely out of bamboo. Even the chairs, oar and probably boatman's hat were made of the stuff.

We were incredibly close to the water and at some points a person with slower reactions than mine would have had a wet pair of shoes and socks to deal with. Apart from this it was a very pleasant and comfortable ride. Time was running out for me so Kimi's uncle rushed us (and I mean really rushed) back to Wenzhou city centre. He was so prompt that I even had time to spare before singing rehearsals at the local KTV would begin.

EDIT: Click here to watch the video of this day.

1 comment:

大眼睛熊 said...

Hey babe,reading this brought so many memories back!! That was a really nice journey,i enjoyed being surrounded by the nature,and u too~ :D