1. Ling Shang Restaurant Village, November 2017. Having spent the afternoon hiking around the wonderful Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, I had naturally built up quite an appetite. I could have just gone to a local hole-in-the-wall and filled up on cheerful cheapness. But then I’d have been missing out on this wondrous four hundred year old restaurant village, seemingly engraved into the side of a mountain overlooking a babbling brook.
1. Yongjia Shu Yuan National Park, November 2017. With winter finally starting to hit the southeast of China, I instinctively felt my annual hibernation period calling me after a busy few months of travel. Resolving to squeeze in one final trip before scuttling off to my man cave; I headed off to Yongjia County, a rural region in Zhejiang Province just fifteen kilometers north of the monster city Wenzhou. My first stop was this pretty national park, named after a famous Song Dynasty school.
1. Xu Ao Di Village, November 2017. My visit to Taishun County was a major highlight of my travels across southern china in 2017. I saw an array of ancient bridges, an abandoned temple, a stunning reservoir and an equally awesome three-tiered waterfall set in a remote forest-mountain park. Driving back to my Sixi Town hotel on the last evening, I thought my explorations had come to an end when we suddenly happened upon this ancient village community.
1. Nanpuxi Scenic Park, November 2017. I’d started to get a little concerned that we weren’t even going to find the park. The GPS was going crazy as we tackled turn after hairpin turn on the narrow mountain road. But we needn’t have worried, because in the end the road simply stopped altogether right at the edge of the park. The trail begins outside this amazing structure, which is actually just someone’s home. An old couple sat on opposite ends of the massive porch; he sittin’ doin’ nothin, she peeling potatoes.
1. Wenxing Bridge, November 2017. The last of the six bridges I saw during my adventures around Taishun County was perhaps my favorite of them all! Located deep in the arse end of nowhere on the edge of Xiaochun Village, my travel buddy and I had inadvertently stumbled upon both Wenchong and Wenhong bridges while in the process of tracking it down. But then we finally found it, perched above Yu Stream, surrounded by gorgeous autumnal farmland.
1. Wenchong Bridge, November 2017. There are said to be around seven hundred covered wooden bridges scattered around Taishun County. But not all of them are as ancient or stunningly beautiful as Xi Dong and Beijian bridges. We were driving from Sixi Town to Xiaochun Village looking for the highly recommended Wenxing Bridge when we stumbled upon this modest structure, visible from the main road.