Travel Report: Fudewan Ancient Village Part II, China.
Fudewan Ancient Village, China.
Want to get the full context? Why not go back to the beginning with Fudewan Ancient Village Part I.
October 2018. Having strolled the narrow lanes, marvelled at the alum and stopped by the Tea Academy, my next port of call in Fudewan Ancient Village was the sleepy post office. In fact, absolutely nothing was happening, not even a whiff of human activity. Apparently it is still operational, with Jamie assuring me that if I wanted to send a postcard home, this was the place. In the end I made do with just a photograph.
From the post office we continued our ascent of the village’s steep, giant stone staircase. I remember it being so perfectly silent, save for the flutter of the breeze and some occasional birdcall. Moreover, the view over the countryside got better and better each time I paused to turn, catch my breath and look back over the way we’d come.
Eventually, we reached an almost empty stretch of wooden storefronts. There was an old dude smoking from some kind of homemade pipe. Elsewhere, a dog scampered past, while a caged bird shifted nervously from foot to foot on its little wooden bar. This, my friends, is authentic China!
Fudewan Ancient Village.
Further and further we climbed, my generally poor fitness levels becoming more and more evident. Then, at long last we reached the top, where a stone platform stood at the entrance to a single country lane leading in two directions.
“I’m so tired” complained Jamie, dropping onto a boulder. “Go ahead, explore, I’ll wait here”. Thus I set off down the lane, taking left just for the hell of it. Actually, there was very little up there, except of course for more wonderful views. After a while, I came across what looked like a disused quarry cut into the side of the mountain. Nothing to indicate the industry that happened here but a somewhat forlorn Chinese flag.
I also came across a couple of wood and stone houses, both nearly obscured entirely by the wild flowers and plants of their overgrown gardens. No sign whatsoever of any occupants.
Fudewan Ancient Village is a great little hidden corner of Zhejiang Province. Virtually off the radar for foreign travellers, it’s also a difficult place to reach.
How To Get To Fudewan.
Your best bet is to take the train to Cangnan Railway Station, which is fairly well connected from the cities of Ruian and Wenzhou. From what Jamie told me at the time of our visit, the public bus system is complicated, unreliable and Chinese language only. Hence you’d be best off grabbing one of the taxis that line the giant square outside. On the day of my arrival local farmers had laid out vast blankets of grains to dry in the sun.
The drive takes about an hour. Expect to pay around 100RMB per leg. If like me you go with a Chinese friend it’s oh so simple. Of course, I made sure to treat Jamie to dinner back in town.
Want to search further afield? No problem, I’ve penned stacks of travel reports from all over China!
I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.