WATERCOLOURS – 水彩画

Travelogue in Water Colour : China

Unforgettable Fenghuang Town in Xiangxi
Part two of a Travelogue in Water Colour : China

Making my decision to travel to Fenghuang Zhen was mainly inspired and influenced by a book titled Bian Cheng or Border Town, which I have read many years back by a famous Chinese writer, Shen Cong Wen. Set in Chadong and rhw Tuo-jiang River of Xiangxi, the story tells of a girl named Cui-Cui, her grandpa and a yellow dog living on a small boat.

It reminded me of a black and white movie produced in the 1960s, based on the same book, which starred Lin-Dai who played Cui-Cui, and Yan-Jun.

Coincidentally, New Zealand’s famous writer Rewi Alley described Fenghuang Zhen as one of the most beautiful ancient small town in China. The small picturesque city is surrounded by hills and streams.

So I invited two fellow watercolourists, Tan Leong Kheng and Pang Teng Khoon, and a former colleague, an amteur photographer Lydia Ong Tok Eng who share the same sentiments about Chadong and Fenghuang Zhen for a trip to Xiangxi.

Before leaving Singapore, we booked our rooms at a hotel named Lingling’s Inn. It is reportedly built on stilts and situated on the river bank of Tuo-jiang River and that is the main reason why we chose to stay there. The inn is named after its owner, Lingling, a warm and friendly Tu-jia tribal native who said she will personally pick us up at Ji-shou train station.

We flew from Singapore to Guangzhou, China. Taking the afternoon train, it took us 17 hours to reach Xiangxi. By the time we arrived at Ji-shou train station, it was around 11 am the next morning.

An alternative route to Fenghuang Zhen is via the Guangzhou-Huaihua route which takes about 8 hours by train and another 2 hours drive to Fenghuang Zhen.

Along the way, the train passed through 108 various sized tunnels. The scenery along the rail track is filled with scenes of rural farms and rivers. We also observed the lives of natives along the river banks. This provided us with plenty of ideas for our paintings, sketches and photography.

Lingling and her driver, Mr Zhang, were waiting for us at the train station when we arrived. Being familiar with our itinerary, Mr Zhang proposed that we visit Chadong before dropping us off at the inn. Our original itinerary was to visit Chadong the next day but Mr Zhang explained that doing so would result in us passing through Ji-shou again. Hence, we agreed to go along with his plan.

Long and winding through rough terrains

I was getting really excited about seeing Chadong so soon, hoping it will remain true to the magnificient description by Shen Cong Wen. I was eager to know how much of its heritage was left for us to explore. I reckoned the trip from Ji-shou to Chadong took 5 hours as we had to pass through many villages on rough terrains.

The road to Chadong is long and winding, which makes it uncomfortable for city slickers like us to travel. We passed Huadan and Aizhai roads which took us around the mountains. Along the way, we saw tombstones built in memory of road builders who lost their lives during the construction of the roads.

Soon, we were on our way ascending a mountain path after passing through several villages. Located in Sichuan, this mountain is believed to be a hiding place for Chiang Kai Shek, a Chinese Nationalist leader, during the Revolution. The road was dangerously close to the edge of the ridge but our driver maneuvered skillfully and we soon reached another village.

By 3 pm, our stomachs were rumbling. We checked out some of the food stalls at one stretch of the road but were unwilling to try the food due to hygiene reasons. Finally, we had our meals at a stall with seemingly better hygience standards. After filling our stomachs, we resumed our journey to Chadong with Lingling. Being our driver’s first visit to Chadong and our goal to reach there before nightfall, Lingling had to enquire for directions too.

I was told that the former Chinese Prime Minister Mr Zhu Rongji, was educated in Chadong, and he visited his alma mater sometime back. Hence, this explained the heavy construction of the roads.

At last we reached Chadong at 5 pm.

Many small towns along the river

We saw many small towns along the river with the hills of Xiangxi as its backdrop. Unmistakably, Chadong is indeed a beautiful place.

Chadong is situated at the cross roads of Xiangxi, Chongqing and Guixhou. It is situated close to the river where boats were moored at jetties on the outskirits of the small town. Many tourists like ourselves came to Chadong because of Bian Cheng and Cui Cui. Knowing the legend of Cui Cui beforehand makes the scenery us even more mesmerising. Most importantly, we yearned to learn more of Cui Cui’s story.

Looking out from the stone platform at the ferry terminal, you could appreciate the beautiful mountains of Sichuan. There was a small boat 3 metres from the shore but made a detour towards us when the boatman saw us. The boat was sailing along a cable which the boatman used to ferry his passengers to and fro. Indeed, this description was found in the book of Shen Cong Wen.

There’s a small bamboo pole laid across the boat with a metal rings hanging from the pole. Now, this is different from what was described in the book where instead of bamboo poles with metal rings, it should be a chain with bamboo rings.

We learned that a statute of Cui Cui and the yellow dog were erected and placed far away on a small island well covered by huge trees. Now the island is undergoing a makeover to turn it into a garden as a tourist attraction. We saw the word “Bian Cheng” carved on a cliff from afar; this could also becomes a landmark for tourists.

The named Chadong may be unknown to many people but for those who have read the description by Shen Cong Wen will yearn to visit this place. Chadong is not to be missed if you are in Fenghuang Zhen.

At the foot of Nanhua Mountain

The journey to Fenghuang Zhen was filled with joy and laughter and Lingling would occasionally sing for us as we traveled, feeling no exhaustion. After dinner, we continued our journey for another one and a half hour from Ji-shou to our inn in Fenghuang Zhen. We alighted at the entrance of the town and took a stroll to our inn.

Fenghuang Zhen is also an ancient small town of history and culture. This beautiful town is surrounded by mountains with a river flowing alongside the town wall. The town is situated next to the river bank of the Tuojiang River, at the foot of Nanhua Mountain. There are many pockets of Miao tribe villages, an ethnic minority and we were told that they are found in Delang located in Ji-shou, the Mengdong River in Yong-shun and Fan-zheng Mountain in Guizhou.

The next morning, we could see the Nanhua Mountain mirrored by the clear water of the Tuojiang River. The view includes the stopover for boats, sound of drums, cooking smoke rising from the houses on the top of the cliff, and laughter from ladies who ding their laundry by the river , offering a picturesque view on an otherwise mundane day.

We felt grateful to Shen Cong WEn who made Fenghuang Zhen stood out among other cities in China. His vivid description of this beautiful place in Xiangxi grew out of his utmost fondness for this place.

What captured oue eyes were the old houses built by a mixture of bricks and wood and the curving eaves which looked like a group of dragons and phoenixes coming to life , dancing and frolicking under the sky.

The dented bluestone pathway, the old village houses and forts leave traces of its past. The marks of bullets on the huge metal door of the town are the evidence of war. The stream of the Tuojiang River flowing just outside of the town is warm and crystal clear. Not far away from the streamn we saw a few boats in the river and women from the Miao tribe clubbing their clothes at the jetty while children were playing on the stone platform.

We came upon Zhongying Street where Shen Cong Wen used to live. In the courtyard, his handwritten couplet still hung on both side of the door. Prominent were aa collection of books he had written and the rattan chair he used to sit when he wrote his manuscripts. He wrote about the simplicity of life in Fenghuang Zhen, a beautiful culture of Xiangxi which he wanted to introduce to the world.

It’s pity we were unable to visit his tomb which is located further away at Ting-tao Shan.

Colourful and lively people

By noon, the streets of Fenghuang Zhen were filled with peddlers selling merchandise such as Mioa garments, souvenirs, Tu-jia jewelry, and a local delicacy made of ginger and sugar. Guesthouses could also be found along the narrow streets.

We passed by the building where the well-known Chinese artist, Huang Yong-yu used to live. This place was formerly used as an emplacement zone to resist the uprising from the Miaos and is now an art gallery of Huang Yong-yu’s works. We deduced that the people in Fenghuang ancient town are simple and honest.

Though many houses in the town retained their vintage look their backyards were furnished with modern facilities. We explored the small town from lane to lane, stopping at a teahouse furnished with Japanese Tatami mat facing the Tuojiang River for a break. We picked a side table by the window, all the chile enjoying the fabulous view as we sipped our tea. We wanted to capture the most beautiful side of this place with our pencil sketches and cameras.

Then, we continued along the market street lane, tried a Tu-jia restaurant next to Rainbow Bridge recommended by our driver. We were greeted by the friendly owners of the restaurant. We ordered a few dishes and snacks which cost us not more than two Singapore dollars equivalent. Another restaurant besides the river is recommended because the dishes are overpriced and of poor quality. We were also introduced to a prominent restaurant that serves hand-made cruller and soya bean drink that tasted heavenly.

Miao villages

The next day, we were woken up by the singing of women who were clubbing their clothes by the river. If not for their singing, we would have missed the chance to appreciate the beauty of Xiangxi landscape in the morning with the sun shimmering through thin mists, especially at the lower reaches of Tuojiang River. Overwhelmed by such a scenic morning, we hardly felt the passage of time.

Then, we made plans to visit the villages of Miao at Shan-jiang. There are many market places in Fenghuang, but Shan-jiang is the most popular and largest, opening once a week for their tribe gathering and trading. We read that the Miaos traveled great distances across mountains to trade at the Shan-jiang market fair.

When we reached the Miao village of Shan-jiang, a few Miao women came and greeted us when we alighted at the gate. We were told that as part of their custom, the rule for entering the village is to sing a duet with them accompanied by rice wine. I took a glass of strong rice wine and left the duet to my companions.

After harmonizing, came the rour. They led us on a tour to the functions of various units in the village. It was really an eye opener for all of us. I took out my pencil and try to capture as much as I could on paper.

We visited their museum which showcased some of their culture in terms of garments, photos of houses and religious artefacts. After that, we watched the traditional Miao dance, performed by a group of young people. The performance was just a few simple dance steps but their coordination was impeccable and that won them many rounds of applause.

When it was high noon, we were brought to a house by the village chief for another brief introduction. We were told that there are black and white tribes in the Miao tribe. The village chief then showed us their tribal attire dressing when in miao woman came along dressed in traditional Miao clothing with silver jewelry. Another shy but beautiful Miao woman came in show us another set of their traditional clothing with silver trimmings. The village chief then taught us how to put on their traditional costumes.

The, there was another performance waiting for us called the drum dance. Guests were invited to dance and sing along with the performers. We were invited by the village chief for lunch when the performance ended. The hospitality of the Miaos was an unforgettable experience for me.

After that, we made it in time for the last hour of the Shan-jiang market. People from all parts of the village flocked to the market with their goods for trade. Throngs of people packed this huge market and the ambience of the market was filled with the yelling of buying selling between traders and buyers. It was a very busy and vibrant marketplace.

Southeast of Guizhou

We wnt back to Fenghuang Zhen before setting off the next day for the Southeast of Guizhou. Hence, we engaged another driver eho had been to this part of Guizhou. For those who wish to travel on their own, you need to prepare travel passes and entry permits to ensure a smooth journey as entry requirements differ in various countries and provinces of China.

We traveled from Shan-jiang to Guizhou Tong-ren. There are other passages to take and these depends on which part of the Guizhou you are visiting. From Shan-jiang to Guizhou towards Kaili, this is the shortest route, and only transportation has to go through a thorough check at the custom.

Slightly less than 15 minutes after passing through the customs, we were met by a sudden spot check inspection point. According to the driver. These spot check inspection points are impromptu.There, we spend another 20 minutes arguing over the permit passes.

We then headed towards Kaili, the hub of transportation in the southeast of Guizhou. A new airport has been constructed in Tong-ren offewring flights to Guizhou twice weekly. The road passage is nicely decorated with trees but there are no forests or mountains in sight.

The wet weather in Guizhou all year round has caused the ground to turn muddy, thus making it difficult for our vehicle to drive through. We finally reached out hostel by nightfall for a good rest before resuming our journey the following day.

By five in the following evening, we were glad to see that despite being regarded as a small town. Kaili has modern buildings and the locals were very friendly and helpful. Public transportation is easily accessible with flexible fares.

The following morning, we looked for another Miao village in Lei-gong. It was drizzling throughout our journey and we could see some dwellings along the slope of the hill on the other side of the Pala River.

When we reached the Miao village, we did not see anyone at the gate except for a caretaker. We were told that we could not enter the village without informing them of our arrival beforehand, but luckily our driver who is Tujia native could speak Miao language

After the caretaker was told that we were tourists, he suggested that we joined another group of visitors for the village tour starting at around 1 pm. Soon, the visitors they were expecting arrived in their tour buses. Shortly after the caretaker announced the arrival of the visitors, a few old ladies dressed in grayish black and a mixture of blue with white hoods stepped out alongside some young Miao women beautifully dressed in their traditional clothing.

Again, drinks were displayed at the main entrance of the village to welcome their visitors. This is a common Miao welcome regardless of their location in China. The drinks were offered to the visitors who were asked to sing a duet with the host. The Miaos are very good drinkers and the women can sing really well. Then, we were invited to their performance with the other group of visitors. The host put up a lively performance and many guests joined in the dance and sing along with the performers. It was another enjoyable seesion for all.

Then, a Miao girl invited us to her three-storey house perched on the slope of the hill. Her house was large and had one living room and four spacious bedrooms. Although it is a village house, it is well furnished with electricity and strove which her family used for cooking and keeping warm.

We thanked for the hospitality and bid them farewell before leaving for Fenghuang Zhen via Rongjiang. We passed by Liping, and was captivated by the flat green fields and a small village hidden by the mist. Along the way, we saw some women from Miao making their way to the market in another village. A carriage packed with goods and passengers was heading in the opposite direction, back to the village. It was evening by the time we reached our inn at Fenghuang Zhen.

Dragon Boat Festival.

The following day, we did not realize the impending Dragon Boat Festival until we saw crowds from all parts of the town participating in the dragon boat competition.

From our inn, we could see contestants practicing diligently for the race. Sic long boats were splashing to the beats of drums. This festival, which commemorates the late patriot, Qu Yuan, has gradually lost its appeal among many Chinese . Most people will only remember the festival for its rice dumplings. Exciting as it is, many will not bother to watch the Dragon Boat Race as its significance has been forgotten.

Not so at Fenghuang Zhen. Regardless of your age or gender, they will invite you to join their teams.

The stmosphere at our inn in Fenghuang Zhen was akin to a festival. The air was filled with songs sung by some elders accompanied by their musical instruments. It was enjoyable and spontaneous. All in, it has been a beautiful and unforgettable trip to Xiangxi for all of us.

issue 38 WE Travel & Environment/2006NOV – scipt original



湘西凤凰镇 – 贵州黔东南之行

湘西凤凰镇是被新西兰名这作家路易艾黎为中国最美丽的小城之一.
这美丽的小山城,山流不高秀雅,水不深秀而清水玲洌,楼掩映于群峰流水之间, 玲珑, 秀丽,如一幅含畜优秀的山水画.可以认谓凤凰可以列入一生必游之地.想去凤凰镇主
要由于年前阅读了中国名作家沈从文著作<边城>而触动了我的凡心. 书的故事描述
是于茶峒和凤凰沱江为主, 描写翠翠,爺爺和小黄狗, 相依为命在小蓬船上, 也因此很想去实景中去了鲜解及寻回旧日梦境. 同时它勾回我童年时代的回忆. 大约在60或70年由邵氏电影公司所在实景拍摄丽的黑白电影, 由林黛和严俊合演的翠翠,也正是沈从文笔下的”边城”. 这一直都很深根刻动印在我脑海中不断浮动起来.
因此约了两位画家陈隆庆和冯庭坤和爱摄影的王淑英. 大家都有共同点凤凰茶峒和贵州黔东南.一游一走一看一拍一画走入凤凰茶峒和贵州黔东南潇洒走一回. 这样我就着手计划和策划咱们的行程和路线. 我们就首先从新加坡直接向凤凰镇的玲玲客栈订客房日期时间. 选择玲玲客栈是由于从网上了解一些情况再加上玲玲栈属于沱江江畔吊脚楼旧屋我们很想体验和感受一下旧时生活的写照,再说客栈主人本身是土家族,名玲玲; 这个客栈就是于她的名为名; 天真活泼可爱又友善又开朗. 而且也到时也会亲身到吉首火车站接待我们, 这样好客就打动了我们的心, 真可称得上服务志上!

我们从新加坡出发到广州,赶上下午的火车直通往吉首. 到吉首须坐十七个钟头
再经过一百零八个大小黑山洞, 隔天大约十一点左右低达吉首火车站. 也可以从广州到怀化只需八个小时到时再从怀化乘坐车两个小时半车程到凤凰.
非常热情的玲和司机张师父玲玲早己经在火车站等我们的到来, 上了车,司机建议我直接先到茶峒. 由于我的计划是于茶峒先提,心也正在心忐忐急要早一点看到茶峒,沈从文笔下的茶峒,它的变化有多少,还保甾旧又有多少让我们来寻根.从吉首到茶峒需要五个小时吧…路程(?)
我们便踏上茶峒的道路驶去.知道去茶峒的路途不易行驶,而又遥远,歪曲不平坦.去茶峒须经过花垣,也是必经的道路.我们的车还要经过矮寨盘山公路.这条公路又在乡,而且又多险峻.在路上,有一处塑造了一座铜像,是纪念那些为这条公路失去生命的工人.车还是要往前进,翻山又越岭,一山过一山,一岭过一岭.也不知道经过多少的农村.不经不觉我们又要上更高的山岭,大慨这高山岭应属四川了吧,也听说蒋介石曾经躲在这峭壁山岭一带,这一公路真险恶,还好司机师父的驾驶技术真高明,非常扎实,又机灵.又来了另一村落,大约三点左右,天空还蛮炎热,大家也感觉肚子有点饿了.找了好多家个体户饭摊,不散吃.结果找到一间较简陋,算起来卫生条件俏微好一点和可以.总算暂时可以作一小憩.添饱了肚子再往前赶路,由于我们夜晚必须赶回美丽的凤凰城茶峒,虽然司机并不很熟悉,这也是首次到茶峒,行驶时便问路,非常负贵也很照颧我们的安全,玲玲也陪伴我们一道到茶峒.
也听说中国前总理朱容基,也是在茶峒那儿受过教肓,前些时候他也回来看一下自己的母校,这也难怪通往茶峒的道路到处正在抢修…
最后总算到了茶峒,大家都顺了一口大气,得解放了.
湘西多山,山脚多,河边多镇,茶峒就是这么样一座不知那年那月从河岸上冒出来,美得让人发呆,羡慕的古典边镇.
从地理分折.茶峒本身地处湘,渝,黔三省市交界,小镇正属地方凭水依山筑,近水的一 面,刚在城外河边留出余地设码头,湾泊一乌蓬船.也因此今日来到茶峒的游客和我们一样冲着<边城>里的风景和”翠翠”而来的.不错,游边城,自然会提到”翠翠”二字.当你陶醉在这美的景致,美好风情,美的传说中,恐帕也最想打听的就是曾生活在<边城>里的翠翠了.
从石板上站在渡口,你可望向对岸正是四川归秀山,重厌管.河的一边拖着一艘小乌蓬船依然依旧在河的两岸载着人们靠着一条铁索线依呀依呀慢慢往前行驶.小乌蓬船渡船己经离岸三丈远,看见我们,又渡回来.在那船荡开碧波回来的时候.我也在想,我仿佛走了许多只为了寻找终点,而这终点正是硬硬横着一条乌篷的渡船,和那书里所描同样情景一样.
渡船上横了一根小小竹竿,挂着一个可以活动的铁环,溪岸两端水面横牵了一般竹缆,沈从文笔下边城所不同的是铁环换成了竹,竹缆换成了铁索.景依旧在,而翠翠是沈从文笔下所创作的人物引导我们来寻找翠翠.远处有一尊翠翠和小黄狗雕塑在一个小岛上,掩饰在岛上无名树技桠里.其实翠翠早在这镇子己传说开来.目前翠翠和小黄狗雕塑像也被移在彼岸上,岛上也正着整修成公园于迎接另一批的游客来作一名胜地.从另一彼岸的峭壁上也明显刻着沈从文先生所题的<边城>两字也可为另一个旅游胜地的标志,这也是我要寻求一个真实实景也.

茶峒,这名称或许对许多人来说,可说是一个陌生名字,但对看过了沈从文笔下边城或许更想要来茶峒寻找翠翠的梦了.若你到凤凰而没到茶峒,又好像缺少一样东西还没找到,因为凤凰和茶峒都有血缘联系一体水源 –凤凰是边城,茶峒也是边城.

我们又从茶峒赶回凤凰镇.玲玲客栈老板玲玲一直陪伴我们,有说又有笑,有时还会听到她的歌喉唱山歌,太热情了,也幸好我们的司机技术非常高.我们也吉首用晚餐,在一间署名的鸭饭店用餐,店里人客爆满.从吉首到凤凰城还需要一个半小时路程就到客栈.车无法进到客栈,只能在城门下,走过一条斜石板路才到客栈.

凤凰古城不傀成为中国国家历史文化名城.它与吉首的德夯苗寨,永顺的猛洞河,贵州的梵净山相毗邻,是怀化,吉首,贵州钢铜仁三地互间的必经之路,这是一座江边小城,临沱江依南华山,真正的山青水秀.美丽的小山城凤凰山城,位于沱江之畔,群山环抱,关隘雄奇.碧绿的江水从古老的城墙下蜿蜒而过,叠翠的南华山麓倒映江心.江中海船点,山间暮鼓晨钟兼鸣,悬崖上的吊脚楼轻烟枭枭,码头边的浣纱姑笑声郎郎…啊!凤凰犹如一幅浓墨浅彩的中国山水画.
说得也真,真正使凤凰闻名遐迩,却得益于著名作家沈从文.沈从文先生以一支纤巧的笔,融合迸自巳对凤凰的全部挚爱,全部的情感,精细地描绘出一幅幅湘西美丽的地方人情风物图.
凤凰 – 也首映入眼帘的就是那古朴的房屋建筑,属砖木混合结构,屋顶上飞檐翘角,雕龙画凤,远远望去,如一群苍龙金凤在空中飞舞嬉戏,张牙舞爪,栩栩如生.进入城中,清
一色青石板铺就的街道,那上面一些抗洼的痕迹,记隶着它所经历的沦桑,记隶着时代变迂的印痕.那古朴的木房孑,那黑漆的大门,那小巧的四合院,那班驳的墙面,无不记录着历史的悠远.站在坚实的护城楼上,极目远山近水,想象着当年的烽火硝烟,那锈迹班班,弹痕累累的护城铁门,记录着当年的战事是何其悲壮,何其惨烈护城楼分东南西北四楼,城墙围绕山城,仍然保存完好.
从城门楼子出去,便是沈从文先生笔下有名的沱江清流了.在城市里住久了的我们,很难看到如此清澈的河水,那水清澈得简真让人感觉心底都是澄明透净的,用手试一不水温,则感觉水是柔柔的,暖暖的.河边青石板铺就的码头上,几位朴实的苗族大如正用捧槌着衣服,那清脆的槌击声,随着沱江清流,流向很远很远的地方…沿河两岸是一排排错落有致地吊脚楼,楼上饮烟枭枭升起,江上有几个撑船埔鱼的男人,岸边有一些操持家务的女人,水中的石墩上有一群嬉戏玩耍的孩童,赤裸裸在那儿奔跳又呐喊,吊脚楼上有传来隐隐约约的私语,不自禁地就让人切身感受到沈从文先生小说里所描述的那种幽美凄迷的意境.
中营街是沈从文先生故居所在地.进入里面,是一个小小四合院落,简洁而又古朴,正堂窒摆放沈老当年写作时坐过的藤椅,墙上挂着沈老书写的两幅对联.侧屋是沈老陈列着很多他写过的作品的出版书籍.望着陈列室里的一部部作品,想象作品所描述的故事情节,想象着他笔下的三三,翠翠,夭夭,萧萧,阿黑,老七,水手和吊脚楼上女人的悲欢离合,许许多多或是喜悦的故事…在沈从文的作品世界里,她们没有经受文明的熏陶,她们生活在善良朴素的人群里,自由自在地倘佯在青山绿水之间.这就是沈从文所要展现给世人的最丰富的湘西文化的内涵.
沈从文先生的墓穴安置在听涛山,可惜没去,感觉有点遗憾.
春雨朦朦,凤凰在山水空朦中别具有韵味.久经磨砺的青石板路,两侧被烟熏黑的油漆木门,似乎在人们讲叙着过往的时光.街道两边琳琅满目的商品,小店里的艺人,T-恤衫上的彩画,蜡染的土布苗族服装,书局,当地有名的特产 — 姜糖,街边闲坐的苗族老人,还有一小群苗族妇女,销售纪念章,土家族银饰和银币,构成一幅美妙的动静态图 —凤凰古街风情图也.走迸湘西,感受凤凰,感受沱江的美丽和湘西的淳朴,感受那沉淀在凤凰骨髓里的人文精神,沈从文先生<边城>中描述的人物意境,感受苗家一切的一切…

走了走,走过黄永玉的夺翠楼之后,抬头便见回龙阁.清延为防苗起义一度将阁楼改建为炮台,后来炮台也毁了,如今则是黄永玉的画室-夺翠楼,重阁飞檐,真凌其上.
我也感觉到凤凰古城大部分人是憨厚而淳朴.
穿街过巷看古城的民居.现在的古城里很多房子已变成了砖木混合结构,或是前面保甾古建筑的样子,但后院却是干净明亮的现代建筑.在街卷里有很多家庭旅馆
经过一家茶馆甾住了我们匆忙的脚步.它在沱江设了些简易的塌塌米,面对沱江,面对一排排古朴的房屋建筑.我的第一感觉告诉我想在这坐一天,任凭思絮飞扬,可想任何事也可不想任何事.于是我们叫了一壶茶,一边喝茶一边看,专心的取景,很认真的拍下认为最完美最美丽的画面.画速写的画,描出最美丽的图画来

吃钣是每天必须要做的.我们选择了一家虹桥上面旁边的老陈土家菜,这也是我们司机张师传堆荐.这里价格很实惠,味道也很地道,老板是本地人热情又好客.还可以选择吃凤凰的特色菜,血粑鹎,酸辣鱼,共六菜一汤,不妨一试本地风味.凤凰古城里还有许多小吃,比如冰凉粉,每碗一元;凉皮有一元或二元两种,可以凉拌吃或抄着吃,凉拌米豆腐每份一元;炒田螺五元 – 十元无价格较贵.大家用餐要注意,千万不要到江边大排店用餐,宰你砍你绝对没有商量,价格可是超级贵.

也是司机师传介绍早餐选择虹桥桥头的老字号好粉店吃,红烧肉粉,牛腩粉,木耳田片粉,油条,豆浆水,每碗粉卖四元分量很足.

敲打的声音还时有节凑感的响着,我依然在倚栏而望,一种仿佛是穿越了时空脑海中,一层层的晨曦轻雾,朦胧胧中,轻轻的瓢逸,沱江下游在晨曦轻雾中更显得壮美而神秘,几个早起的土家妇女在江岸边的青板上勤快地洗着衣服,那木制的衣棒在她们手中有节奏地上下槌打着衣服,我们今天正是被这样的敲击声和歌亮声所惊醒起来,不然可无法欣尝到这山区小城清晨中最自然一目古朴,原始动人一幕,直让你觉得不知今朝是何年.
今天行程是到山江赶集和到苗寨一游.到湘西若没去感染一苗族群的赶集情况.凤凰内有好多地方都有,只是非常小规模,唯独山江赶集属于大型,而且并不是每天拥有,而是今天配合和遇上是赶集日期.
我们先往苗寨参观.到了山江苗寨前,早己在那儿迎接我们的几个漂亮又美丽大方的苗族姑娘.迸寨前,她们就向我们讲解迸寨规条,凡是来客都必须顿照规守 – 那必须对唱对喝三杯酒,这是她们苗族的礼节和风俗礼.我就一突起而然感觉到非常有趣味这一次自由行之旅.所谓入乡随俗,也包着一种豪奇与入乡随俗去了解苗族人的生活情况,也想尝试她们苗族的美酒,是如何的味道和滋味也不错.
我就领了一杯由他人来替我对唱歌.哗!!!好辣的米酒又好强,但没有浓育酒味谈薄如水…
我们一路走,苗族一面给大家作一简单介绍村落各方的运作和作用,这也给大伙儿一大开眠界.但我于最快速度速了好多的速写.
先是参观山江苗族博物馆,主要在介绍一些苗家族人家的风俗习惯以及房屋,婚嫁,服饰,信仰等等各方面.我个人倒对牙床很感兴趣;”寒江夜,月牙床,泪湿轻罗帐”.参观完毕后,由一群二十左右岁的年轻人表演的苗族歌舞,内容可谈不上精彩,但是舞蹈员个个对待每个节目态度非常认真,也赢了不少人的掌声.
午下时,村长带领我们到另一个房屋.也一一来作简短的介绍苗族内有分黑苗族和白苗族.找了一位苗族姑娘,头戴银饰传统礼俗打扮,亮一亮相.再来一位可说是美女可爱又甜美,不戴头饰而一身带有俏微的孔雀兰色,是一种非常优美的兰色调,传统服饰,身上穿着几条细银装饰,村长给于介绍如何的穿戴,这也属于另一种苗族服装.最后这里表演的是大鼓舞,还邀清来宾客一斉共舞, 一斉欢唱,真是一遍热烘烘.舞后村长邀清大家一斉共迸午餐.在苗寨中和他们一道共进午餐,使我一生可说难忘的旅程,那热情的招待…
赶紧下山寨,赶上苗族赶集.一星期只有这一天,山江赶集.赶集是苗族共同语言.从四面八方各方的苗族一清早从各地山寨跨越高山越过高岭,背着一罗罗的兰子的物品为了就是迎着赶集市作买卖生意.这里真是人山人海蜜麻麻,黑买巾兰色衣布圈圈轻,怎至是背对背,呐喊呐叫呐卖呐买,总算给我亲眼一睹赶集市大场面.
回到凤凰好好的休息一下,作好一切准备到贵州黔东南.司机也联系上了,主要司机师传必须准备一切通行证文件和公车入境手绩的否则麻烦多多,尤其在中国.各省有各省条规没有统一公价.所以自由行必须了解情况.
我们便从山江直往贵州铜仁..到了铜仁关卡,只是公车须要经过非需严格的审查和检查各方面的检验,算是相当通顺过关.走不到十五分钟,一段又在另一公安又要再检查.这一次可说是一个大挑难司机师传,结果争则浪费二十分钟…奈何? 总算麻烦过了.我们赶紧往凯里奔驰.凯里在黔东南是属于主要交通中心,无论从火车铁道还是陆路都须经凯里作转站的交通.目前铜仁有新机场,落成不久,一星期只有二趟飞往广州.这里的大道可说是大整修道路宽大平坦,两边种满绿油油花草,树林一串串一层层一遍遍真是所渭广扩天地一视无涯.在铜仁这一遍看不到山林,这或说为了推扩贵州旅游大业而作了一大投资.
如今要国家富有除了本身国家有巨大资金处,还得靠堤高旅游业,这是明智选择.
行走了三小时,逐步的我们看到的是小山林了,开始道路是不平坦也不容易行走,凸凹不一,我们也开始放慢.这一带开始开垦大路直通凯里.路也较难走怎至还要绕川深山越山路,到处烂泥浆.贵州终年都有年而下雨.雨后的烂泥更加行,怎至还会陷入泥穴水中,还好司机技术不错,加上车是日本牌.因此还可放心心清.路总算走出来了,夜色也暗淡,也只到附近小镇找旅店作一晚小憩,隔天就赶路.
第二天好早便赶路,大约夜晚五时左右才低达凯里.找了饭店就大伙儿找个个体户小吃店解决一下肚子,饱欲后,人也精神狂一狂看一看凯里的夜市.凯里这一小镇虽小,非常现代化,规模不算大.生活条件非常微薄简单,非常写意不忙碌.人们也非常热情和好客,又热诚帮你解决问题,真是有问必答.服务水平算满分了,当然卫生条不可太挑剔了.凯里又具备了条条道路通罗马优越感,这里交通管道,是样样备备和通;大公共汔车,小型面包车,还有小的如嘟嘟车也行.价格可讨价还价.随时都能车到你要的目的地.
隔天我们又一早便向雷公山苗族寨行驶.去雷公山的途中也下渐渐梅雨.沿途的巴喇河对岸景色又优美,河水清澈,到处分布着半坡苗寨.汔车一路上山途中,越往上走,雾气就越迷朦浓,还好是道路是新修的相油马路,很稳.
来到山路旁,看了指示路走,一个转弯的道路,便到雷公山苗寨.进寨一望无人.找了许久才遇上了一位管理员.寨是不准随便迸入,必须有联系单位才可行入.辛好司机是凤凰土家族能言苗语,大约是说我们从海外遥远而来,因此建仅能等上一点钟后有批从凯里前来参观可一道参加.
其实我们在寨内大厅内,观察看不到半个苗族.就在这时管理员通过扩音机传说准备装饰迎接来客从凯里来访参观.不到一分钟,不晓从何躜出来,有老妇人穿着灰黑兰色苗族装头包白头巾,个个体壮,精神奕奕蒂着小苗女,欢欢喜喜朝向大门等客到,年青苗女,全幅整装,丽艳亮呀,头戴银饰牛角.牛角头饰只能在贵州黔东南才观尝那丽亮银饰挂着满身银器饰.我到黔东南主要目的也正是要找此类的苗族,比较有特色的少数民族之一.这里的有年长老人,他们负责吹乐长哨,大都有八十有出.
大家在必经大寨大门外,摆好罐罐的美酒准备迎客宾的到来.远远一辆辆车载满客总算来了,浩浩荡荡
一个个排着队,一杯杯美酒相敬相饮大痛快.迸了大寨中心典.来客围绕起来坐视观看苗族们表演歌和舞.我倒是欣尝她们的歌.有跳也有舞,还邀清来宾一备齐齐欢唱,乐的来宾笑口开.之后开始苗族妇女销售纪念品和他们的民族银饰品.我个人感觉其实无论这些苗族处在深山何处,大体一样迸寨前都须要喝饮迎客酒和对唱山歌.我非常欣尝苗族女的歌唱歌,很使人陶醉忘返,嗓子高,调子优美,人更甜.
最后我们也被一苗族邀清到她家作客,我也倒是有兴趣,了解一下苗族的家是怎样的样子.跟随着.那是一条小径路,斜岖从后寨的另一小山坡,非常的斜.小的一条小小路,一个个的走上这小径斜真的是易走.暗然发现在上面木屋底层,好一个非常宽大层,堆了一层层的乾草,非常迷暗,里面还可喂养了不少猪和牛呢(?),真想不通如何能把小山坡把屋子建起,而是三层楼高大木桐筑起.屋内还有一大厅,还加上一个小烘炉于便可以取温.除了大厅,内还有四大间睡房,非常宽大,而且还和父母同住,这里也还有电流供应.一个厨房,只是没有卫生间而可自在在大自然解决.我发现,它的火炉除了可保温处还可用着围炉作温炉用餐清来客.这民族非常聪明智慧非常高,这一点可点给我非常深刻印象.所有的苗族人酒量非常行,个个能饮能情不管老少.

就这样我们告别了他们便取道从另一条道路行驶.这次从榕江方向迈迸.走向小径路往黎平看是还有另一天地.一路上风景优美景色非常依人,绿油油的山田和深山,远山隐隐约约的小村庄在迷雾中像一幅美丽水彩画的意境.一路看上可见到苗族妇女们背着一罗罗的物品,…是准备赶往另一村庄的赶集.赶集对苗族妇女们是否是属一种不可缺一的生活一环.远远也可听到马蹄声…闪而过.马车载满货物和载满人最后赶着回村庄….回凤凰己是黄昏了.

正在想感觉端午节也快耍到了
忽然,一阵阵有节奏的鼓声从沱江上传来,猛然想起,现在己应是端午节的前夕了,江面上己是有龙舟在竞渡在竞习中.这里的人不分男女老少大家都非常落力和毅力为自己的龙舟队竞赛,也不管风吹雨晒不断的练习.住在玲玲客栈,我们可以倚栏上可以清楚观尝到他们如何集体精神和热城而争先恐后的接力练过.有五,六只龙舟在鼓声中舞动起来,但见桨影如风.鼓舞飞扬,浪花四溅,好一派非凡景象,显出凤凰人的集体体育精神.
端午节,这个逐渐被人们当成只是吃棕子的节日,它的起源也逐渐被遣忘.屈原那纵身一跳,成就了一个端午节.龙舟竞渡,己成了一种体育竞赛.看到龙舟竞渡,又给我回忆起沈老在<边城>书中所描述女主角翠翠,在沱江看龙舟…
夜色迷茫,倚栏干又迷朦中对面的古塔传来一渐惭优美的乐唱,那是几个年老者抱着乐器,诉畅古乐,这一写意般的生活,没有压力的负坦随而畅唱,你又能在那儿寻找这样的忆境…呵.这几晚,我们都被这一传送的音谱而陶醉.

旅游的行程总该告一段落了,明日将从凤凰乘车到怀化赶火车到广州回新加坡.
这一旅程给我留下许难忘的回忆,它将会永远甾涟在我的图画中去,追寻.

初搞于天籁阁2006NOV













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2 Comments »

  1. What wonderfully fresh watercolours; Enjoyed your control and looseness of the medium. Do you have a site for me to see more? peter

    Comment by peter sit — January 3, 2007 @ 7:48 pm | Reply

  2. I loved the watercolors, for being so soft they trigger such an emotional responce.

    Comment by handcrafted pearl jewelry — April 20, 2007 @ 10:55 pm | Reply


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