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Baihe &lotus; Mini Tour

Shiny Lee
2015-07-30

Midsummer time has come around again, and our i-tour is no less hot than the weather. Mid-June’s sizzling sun has made one sweat all over, with a heart burning to take a trip to Baihe. Before the tour, we would like to remind all of you to bring your cooling-off items. June marks the culmination of Baihe’s events; the much-anticipated lotus festival has just kicked off. To be sure, such an annual event is included in the i-tour. Follow our footsteps to take in the lotus lakes, do lotus dyeing, and enjoy as much cuisine as you can. 

 

Caodian Community: Appreciate the lotus with a professional guide

 

The morning’s itinerary counted on Mr. Wu in the Caodian Community, who would lead us to appreciate the lotuses and do lotus dyeing with his professional knowledge. According to Mr. Wu, dawn is the best time for lotus appreciation as the lotuses bloom most beautifully at that moment, with a few drops of dew on the lotus leaves that look like diamonds against the sunlight. 

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 The royal water lily from Brazil can bear a load up to 50 kg. Children or slim ladies can sit on their giant leaves.

It was almost noon time when we arrived, so we could not see the “diamonds” dotted on the lotus leaves and the lotus’s feminine charm after they “wake up”, as Mr. Wu had told us. We suggest you come at dawn to witness their best appearance, while enjoying the cool breeze. 

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After Mr. Wu’s detailed introduction on lotus ecology, we went back to the Caodian Community’s activity center to experience lotus dyeing. Lotus dyeing is very different from the indigo dyeing we did in Jingliao. The latter requires cool water, while the former involves boiling water to extract the pigment from the lotus seed pods. The fabrics can only be dyed if they are boiled together with the pigment for one to two hours. 

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Before the lotus dyeing, the instructor drove us to the activity center. The sun-dried lotus seed pods had already been put into a large kettle and boiled, and the pigment had been extracted. What we needed to do was design dye patterns. We folded and tied the cloths and threw them into the boiling pigment water. The parts that were tied would not dye so that the step of tying determines how the patterns will look. This requires one’s imagination and luck.

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The white cloths were processed in advance with boiling milk because the protein would make the cloths easier to dye. Soy milk is an alternative. The cloths to be dyed were so nutritious, weren’t they? A “nutritious” cloth guarantees an evenly-dyed pattern. 

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The patterns made with Popsicle sticks and rubber bands mostly turned out to look different than we had thought!

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We put the tied cloths into the large kettle for them to be boiled with the pigment. We had to stir the cloths continuously in order to ensure even dyeing. The hot weather and the hot kettle made us sweat all over, but this also seemed to be a good chance for us to expel the waste inside our body! As it required some time to allow the fabrics to dye, we moved on to our next place in the itinerary, which was also the most important thing to do: having our lunch!

Yes, for me, who has a big appetite, the local cuisine is something that can never be missed in the every mini-tour. 

One cannot say that one has been to Baihe if one has not tasted its urn chicken dish. The mountain foot of Guangziling is Baihe’s hot spring resort and also where the cluster of urn chicken restaurants is located. Tourists can see rows of urns lining the roads here as if the urns were welcoming their visit. 

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Crispy crust and juicy meat are the word-of-mouth features of the urn chicken. The chicken also goes well with the locally-grown tender bamboo shoots. With these, one must have a good appetite no matter how scorching the sun is. 

 

Hushan Community: A good site to take a stroll and cultivate life

 

After lunch, as a rule, we continued to hand-make some souvenirs to take home. Due to the mini tours, I have become a craft expert and believe that I would surely find a second career soon.

 

Making a tiger sachet is what we learned at Hushan Community. The crafting process is preferably omitted here as we had to keeping pricking the tiger’s belly and this was really violent. Let’s just have a look at the sachets we made! What we made were little tiger sachets that can be hung. Of course, one can make a bigger tiger if he or she likes the tiger to be more imposing; otherwise, the tiger may look more like a small mouse, like the ones we made.

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That Baihe is famous for lotus farming is known to the public, but in fact Baihe has the world’s largest lingzhi mushroom factory. Lingzhi mushroom’s fame as a life-cultivating supplement is widespread, but not until we toured the factory with technology-based production did we learn the basics of growing lingzhi. 

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From thermoregulation and fungus cultivation to species incubation, Doublecrane’s modernized and high-tech factory serves as a perfect environment for lingzhi production. Its strict control also proves an insistence on quality. One PP bag only accommodates one lingzhi mushroom, and provides all the nutrients required for its growth via the culture soil. Outside the factory there are piles of used PP bags and many residents nearby collect them for fertilization.

 

What delighted us most during the visit was sampling the lingzhi tea. Also, the fans in the factory wafted lingzhi’s fragrance all around, making us feel refreshed as if we were getting healthier.

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What delighted us most during the visit was sampling the lingzhi tea. Also, the fans in the factory wafted lingzhi’s fragrance all around, making us feel refreshed as if we were getting healthier.

 

After enjoying the lingzhi tea, our final stop was Shan Xhi Monastery, a serene place for Zen meditation. The owner was hospitable to take us around and introduce the stories related to the Bodhidharma statue housed in the monastery. The monastery also provides lodging and life-cultivating dishes.  Shan Xhi Monastery is your best choice for a getaway from the urban hustle and bustle during weekends. 

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There was one thing not to be forgotten: the lotus dyed works we made in the morning. They were finally delivered to us at our last stop, and they had already been dyed dark brown. Just at the point of taking a glance at my work, I decided to hide it, to give it some sense of mystery. HAHA!

Wanna know what the work looks like? Welcome to register the i-tour’s “Dianzaikou & Lianbada Mini-Tour”!

 

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