Thursday, 13 May 2021

Hangzhou explorations: from Yongjiancun to Dongencun (China)

Hi Sign Hunters,

I would like to share some photos of a recent hike I have done in Hangzhou. I walked from Yongjian village (勇建村) to Dongen village (东恩村). Both settlements are located in Hangzhou's Xiaoshan district (萧山) near the airport. I did the walk on a day when Summer heat (about 32°C) with high humidity (over 60%) finally hit the city, which means that I drank 2 litres of water during the 12k walk. The reason I chose to go here, because there is a small but dominant hill called Hangwu (航坞山) between the two villages with two Buddhist temples (Solitaire 接龙寺 and White Dragon 白龙寺) on the it, and I saw one of the temples from the distance when we drove past the hill a few months earlier. When I am in a car and cannot stop, I mark the spot on the map and I usually explore the area one day in the future. The day finally came and I made my way to Yongjian village, which is located on the western side of Hangwu hill.

Hangwu covers a relatively small area, but the sides of it are very steep. So it is a little bit technical and if you come here for a hike, get ready for never-ending, almost vertical stairs - especially if you want to conquer the hill from the Dongen village (east) side. Nature is beautiful here, even though it is heavily disturbed by quarries and excavation sites; though the positive aspect of this is that people with huge excitement about geology can easily collect some igneous rocks here (porphyritic andesite, I think).

I was lucky that both villages on both sides of the hill had their signs displayed at the boundary point, so I made sure to make proper records. Sign hunting is hardly ever this straightforward mission when it comes to finding the sign. This can get even more difficult in China where there are large settlements with absolutely no welcome signs or whatsoever, but there can be small, random villages or parts of larger settlements with signs that cannot be identified as even maps do not show them. And then here comes Dongen village, which had at least four (if not five) signs. I took pictures of all. Have a look!

"The Hangzhou explorations" series has older posts available, too. If you are interested, then check out the following articles: "Jiangyangfan eco-park", "Eight Diagram Field and its surrounding hills", "Treasures of Wushan", "Dreaming of the Tiger Spring", "Dragon Well", "Yangmeiling village", and we also have the "Hangzhou from the Air" (俯瞰杭城) series within a series.

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~ Laszlo

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2021). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.


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