China: Hainan Island – Villages, mountains and forests (Translated by Irina Novikova)
This album shows a bit of nature and rural life in Southern China – on the Hainan Island.
There aren’t many cultural landmarks on the island, but there’s plenty of warmth, sea and beaches. Industry is nearly nonexistent either, so the air ecology is decent.
Not long ago Chinese decided to develop tourism here. As a result, a good portion of the shoreline is peppered with hotels. The island is, however, fairly big, so if one desires it’s easy to get away from tourist area.
Strictly speaking, the island of Hainan is a unique place and as far as I know is not indicative of the life in Southern China or the country as a whole.
I was told that in on the island locals can install satellite TV dishes without a problem (many take advantage of this opportunity and the white dishes can be seen on the roofs of even the poorest homes).
On the contrary, to do the same in Beijing, one needs special authorization that’s given to businesses only (hotels, etc) and not just to any citizen.
This memorial has to do with Chinese People’s Army.
Small “rural towns” typically look better than the ones in Russia – without a doubt there are a few buildings in bad shape, but one or two are always freshly reconstructed.
Police stations, government institutions and homes of “wealthy Chinese” look ideal, regardless of how poor the town itself is.
The roads are in pristine condition.
A bull – substitute for the cows and horses in Russia.
Methods of transportation, especially in the depths of the island, are quite colorful. How any of it operates is a complete mystery.
A particular trait of local drivers (at least it caught our attention and was supported by our translator) is their complete inability to use rearview mirrors (regardless of the vehicle type).
This makes passing quite strange – firstly, the passing vehicle must necessarily honk (because of that honking in the city almost never stops) and secondly, the whole process looks like a passing maneuver of the blind :)
This is an irrigation system.
During lunch men can be seen sitting under the canopies along the road – playing chess, talking. At the same time women continue to work :) Tradition…
Next photo, however, is contradictory.
Practically the center of civilization (several tourist landmarks are located nearby).
Locals, that rarely see foreigners, seemed more or less normal compared to the rest. Pity, there was no way to talk to them.
Local piggies are of black or almost black color for some reason. Probably just tan ;)
Even though the most people living here belong to Han – dominating Chinese ethnic group, about 1/5 are national minorities Li and Miao (on the photo some of them).
On the left – the girls are wearing school uniform.
Also, here exists an amusing law that forbids opening of Internet Cafes within 100 meters from schools.
Besides that, school children are forbidden to drink or smoke.
The only cat I’ve seen in China.
These houses are part of the village and by its state of decay surpassed the lowest of standards (any lower and the house probably isn’t built at all :).
One gets a sense, that the pig (from the village on previous photo) doesn’t grow fat, but gets a daily workout :)
A village worker.
The truck, I have to say, is exemplary.
Here we almost reached the center of the island and are climbing into the mountains.
Let me call your attention to the road. It was built literary before our eyes.
Because the road wasn’t yet finished, the car couldn’t go further, so locals gave us a ride on their motorcycles.
Stylish technology used for the road construction. ;)
This truck is far from being just “pieced together” – in fact it’s a production model, there were many of these around the villages.
They also like to attach a cabin to an engine block and call that a car. Despite this, the road construction excites imagination. Right as we watched they made curb and poured cement. This resulted in perfectly smooth road. Something tells me, that it will last longer than our “fancy” asphalt.
We climbed the mountain for quite some time and then walked along the stream-canal.
The nature, of course, is very beautiful.
For the tropics that we were in, it wasn’t that hot. Winter ;)
No animals were visible that ay. But while driving we saw a cobra right in the middle of the road (it was probably estimating whether it can eat that much or not ;)
They probably grow rice there. However, on a different account – that’s where they steam salt.
Part of the road I described earlier is visible here.
Near the waterfall a group of Chinese sat down for lunch and installed a flag with the name of their company.
I believe they are cooking something.
The sticks are on the ready.
Waterfall was big and beautiful. I cannot remember the name.
These two photographs are almost identical. The one on the left was made with a short exposure, the one on the right – with a longer one. The one on the right seems nicer, but also less realistic (especially, if viewed enlarged).