Pics: Guide to Hainan's Xibian Village, Wanning

By Li Xiang / HICN / Updated: 18:15,16-October-2021

At the foot of Dongshan Mountain, in Wancheng Town in Wanning, a county-level city in the southeast part of Hainan Province, lies “Xibian Village” (the name literally means “village by a stream”), where people live along both sides of a stream running through the village.

The sea of bougainvillea flowers

Upon arriving at the quaint village, you will find your attention immediately drawn by the amazing clusters of bougainvillea flowers which can be seen by the roadside, on the rooftops… basically everywhere, as if you  are floating in a sea of flowers. This cute flower is the official flower of Hainan, which gives the village another name — the “Official Flower of Hainan Village”.

This flower is not only a symbol of the village, but also an important tool for local people to reduce poverty and boost their incomes. Growing in the village’s 60,000 square meter large bougainvillea agricultural base, there are 53 different species of bougainvillea. That’s not all — by utilizing grafting technology, one bougainvillea has been made to grow flowers in five different colors, including red, yellow, white, orange, and purple.

The Bookstore

A bookstore holding thousands of books can also be found in the village, and has been ranked as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the island province. The bookstore has an etiquette hall, calligraphy hall, long table meeting hall,  and other areas. Top calligraphers are also invited here to give calligraphy classes and host calligraphy exhibitions from time to time. Before classes begin, it’s traditional to change into the robes of an ancient scholar and bow before a plaque bearing the portrait of Confucius (551-479 BCE), one of the most influential Chinese educators and philosophers of China’s Spring and Autumn period.  

The Cultural Corridor

Adjacent to the bookstore is a 300-meter long cultural corridor featuring over 60 plaques  bearing the words of ancient Chinese sages. The lettering on the plaques was printed from rubbings of the inscriptions carved on the Dongshan Mountain cliff stones. While walking through the corridor, you may gain a better understanding of why Wanning is called "the Hometown of Calligraphy".

Hainan Folk Museum

The museum holds a large collection of items used by the people of Hainan in the past. Here you can find agricultural tools such as plows, rakes, irrigation buckets, stone mills and mortars for food processing, oil lamps used by ancient scholars, and scales and abacuses used by businessmen.

The courtyard

If you are tired, you can get some rest and enjoy some local snacks in the village courtyard. For your beverage, you can choose between Dongshan Mountain Partridge Tea and famous Xinglong coffee, which were both loved by ancient Chinese poets and many Chinese leaders. Have a little chat with the local people here — If you're lucky, you may witness a lively traditional Chinese wedding!

The Qilou Street

In this small village, there is also a Qilou Street built by locals, featuring Southeast Asian style “arcade” or “qilou” buildings, with a distinctive overhanging second story. Bars, restaurants, and theaters can be found on both sides of the stone-paved streets. Before you leave the village, you’ll want to take some time to stroll around and discover the many delights hidden here.

(Photos: official “万宁发布厅” WeChat account)



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