Xiapu 霞浦

 

The location of Xiapu (霞浦)-

 

Click her to view China Fujian Xiapu in a larger map from Google.

That was many years ago when I saw a painting like photo with amazing pattern of fishing huts scatter on low-lying beach.  There is no name to indicate the location of the picture but I know it is one of the well hidden place in China.   The picture was kept in my mind until one day I read another magazine with similar pattern of pictures then I know it is a fishing village in Fujian province.  It is not a popular village name and I somehow forgot the name again and just remember it is a place in Fujian Province.  And I told myself I have to go this place when I visit Fujian one day.  Not until this year when I visited a bookshop in Shanghai and found a book called “The Last Precious Landscape in China” (中国 最后的稀世美景)by The Discovry of National Geographic.  I found the place again in the book and this time I decided to not let the place slip through again from me.  I bought the book.  Yes, the village is called Xiapu (霞浦).  Xiapu is located at the North East of Fujian province.  It has a long coastal line of 404km, with a large portion of sea shore protected by mountains and rocks (calm and safe), making it perfect for fishers to establish since the past thousand years.

There are a lot of scenic spots in Xiapu.  According to the local photographer –

  • In Beiqi (北岐)you can see the big crowd of fisherman working. 
  • The beach in Xiaohao (小皓)is one of the most beautiful (come during sunset and you can see a lot of fisherman boats scatter around the water with good lighting). 
  • Shatan (沙塘)low lying beach has stunning sunrise. 
  • After Shatan is Shajiang (沙江), the water here is isolated and calm and simply too many subject for photography. 
  • Sansha East (三沙东壁) has good sunset. 
  • Weijiang (围江) is worth the trip during the season of seaweed harvesting. 
  • During morning should take the picture of thousand rows of fishing bamboo planted on low lying beach with Mantou Shan (馒头山)- Note: “shan” -> mountain.  
  • Beidou (北兜)has beach and Yanjiaxi (杨家溪)has pituresque old banyan tree forest.  
  • There are more like Qidu(七都)and Erdu (二都). 
  • Xiaau village (曉澳镇)a famous place for Mollusks (缢蛏 ) farm.  
  • Baishen village (百胜村)and Daao village (达澳村)are famous for big crew of fishermen return (around 3000 of them) from catching Mollusks. 
  • Huangqi village (黄岐镇)is a photographer’s secret famous for large scale of floating fishing village. 
  • Shaao Bay (沙澳湾)at Qida village (奇达村) is popular for abalone farm with many colourful floating house. 
  • Xiaou village, Baishen village, Daao village and Huangqi village are in Lianjian county (连江).   Another hidden gem near to Xiapu with a coastal line of 209km.  The low lying beaches in Xiapu and Lianjian are surrounded by hills.  

The hills serve as a good spot for photographer to compose many of the stunning picture of Xiapu.  Together with the scenery, colourful low lying sand, history, culture, fisher farm and fisherman working scene, it is not strange why there are so many photographers travel to here with so many unusual picture like photos were taken.  

Hand draw map of Beiqi (北岐)by Figuremaker in Yododo Blog.  Low lying beach surrounded by hills – (http://www.yododo.com/area/blog/012529C0FB92193EFF8080812527D42B)

Image from www.whatsonxiamen.com.

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/chongkin/4717311877/

Image from http://resultsof2ndgdpc.giadinhphoto.com

Website link about Xiapu –

http://www.21percent.com.cn/ps/html/2011/997.

http://www.chekim.com/blog/2010/01/10/fujian-xiapu/

Calender for Photographer –

The best season for photography is after mid-autumn.  This is the time when the fishermen start to re-build the farm and hang the seaweed to the bamboo planted on low lying beach.  The scene will last for a month.  Subsequently, the fishermen will continue maintaining the farm and do harvesting simulteneously.  The seaweed is in white colour at the early state and turn to yellow and green with black at the edge before harvesting.  It will need one month to grow and harvest and there will be 5 harvesting until next year spring.   

  • Jan to Feb – Purple laver (紫菜)A kind of seaweed –  harvesting at low-lying beach land.  Dismantle of bamboo pole.
  • From April – Fry  (鱼苗)catching at low-lying beach land
  • May – Seaweed ( 海带) harvesting.  Seaweed hanging at bamboo pole
  • June – Osbeck (跳跳鱼) catching by villagers at low-lying beach land and cultivation.   Oyster (海蛎) hanging scene.
  • July – September: Tyhoon season with high possibility of clear sky.  A good opportunity for low-lying beach photography.
  • August – September: Mollusks (缢蛏 ) harvesting at LianJian (连江).  Purple laver start hanging on bamboo pole
  • October – December – Purple laver, oyster and other seafood harvesting

 

For non-photographer –

Based on the feedback from several blogs, Xiapu offers affordable lodging and fresh seafood.  Sunset and sunrise.  Do nothing and relax.  白水洋 and 海蚀地貌 around Xiapu and Fuzhou can be a nice twist and break from the fisher farm scene. 

 

How to get there –

Fuzhou (福州)is the nearest city.  There are ten over buses every day from morning travel to Linde (灵德).  From Linde, you can transit to another transport to Xiapu for another 99km of journey.  There are also many direct express buses from Fuzhou Northern bus station to Xiapu (about 2 hours).  Lianjian (连江)is nearer to Fuzhou.  Mazou (马祖)Island of Taiwan is just one stone away from Lianjian so you probably would like to visit Mazhou together with your trip here (provided you have the multiple entry visa of China).

  

Reference –

1.  The Last Precious Landscape of China by the Discovery of Natinoal Geographic

2.  China Tourism Magazine – 2011 Apr – Issue 370

3.  Shanghai Tan’s blog “Fisher Paradise” – http://www.chekim.com/blog/2010/01/10/fujian-xiapu/

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