Weekly Glimpse: Yangshuo’s Puyi Town

Posted on 23 August 2010 by Sasha

Puyi Town Corn, Yangshuo

The moment I stepped out of the Kayak and into Puyi Town on Yangshuo’s Li River I was met with the familiar scent of rural China. The smell of damp antique wood, smokey wood burning stoves, corn left to dry and the wafts of that overwhelming stench of the trusty communal bathroom.  This was certainly not a village tailor made for the delicate tastes of tourists!

Puyi Town, Yangshuo

Despite the buildings being wrapped in wires, the muffled sounds of televisions and a China Mobile just around the corner Puyi Town was still a sleepy rural village.  Its architecture echoed that of so many of the rural villages I had visited, villages that had not yet succumbed to the lifeless concrete blocks that are transforming villages into small heartless cities all over the China.

Puyi Town

Puyi Town, Yangshuo

There is something about peeling paint, worn wood, shattered windows and dead plants that had me wondering what this town had been like back in the day.  What was it like when the paint was fresh, the plants well tendered and the wood freshly carved!? It’s this reminder of the past, what it once was that gave this town character.  It was this that for me made it far more interesting than all the “Ancient Towns” newly built for tourists mirroring what once was.

Puyi Fisherman

Fishing is still an integral part in the lives of the people who live along the Li River.  Despite this region most famously known for fishing using Cormanan birds many fisherman still stick to the tradtional net catching method.  At the days end after bringing in the days catch the nets are hung up ready for another day’s work.

Puyi Town, Yangshuo

Puyi Town, Yangshuo

Puyi Town like so many other small towns in rural China could easily be mistaken as a ghost town.  Whole streets and alleyways quiet and seemingly uninhabited, that is until you walk past a door only to have a child run out and enthusiastically say Hello!  with their Grandparents or mothers following close behind.  But what made this town eerily quiet was the lack of loud pop music pumping out of a youths phone like you hear in the city.  That is because the teens and young adults have most likely left the village for a ‘better’ and more opportunistic life in the city.  Leaving only the old or the very young.

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6 Comments For This Post

  1. Andi
    Twitter: andiperullo

    Wow, great pics! Felt like you took me back in time.
    Andi´s last blog ..Brasil- Day 1 Part 2 My ComLuv Profile

  2. Sasha Says:

    Thanks Andi! :) It felt like stepping back in time being there!

  3. Suzy Says:

    What great subtle insight into a town most probably would just pass over. Love that last photo. It’s certainly spooky.

  4. Sasha Says:

    Thanks Suzy, I love that last photo too, it really sums up the feeling I got when I first stepped into the village, is anybody home!

  5. Kristy Says:

    This reminds me of parts of Yangshou that I saw back in 1992 before it became part of the standard tourist run. Lovely shots~ thanks for sharing!
    Kristy´s last blog ..Photo of the Day- Leal Senado Steps My ComLuv Profile

  6. Sasha Says:

    Thanks Kristy! There is definitely not a lot of towns around Yangshuo that i’m sure still maintain the same feel as they did a few years back, China tourism is just booming at an insane pace!!!

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