Here is what I recall. It was about 2600 years ago. I was born in what is now Guangzhou. I don’t speak and have never studied any Asian languages, but the sound of my name would be similar to the English sound “Lee-ow-ah-twan”. My father was a common weaver. Quite a bit of trade went through the area. One encountered people from all over Asia. A man who came to my father’s wake told me of a spiritual teacher further north. I was interested in this so I left Guangzhou at the age of 20 and sailed north, looking for a place which had a bay and high cliffs. I believe it was somewhat north of what is now Fuzhou. It was a small fishing village. At the top of the cliffs was a forest where I lived with the teacher and a few other disciples. I lived in what we called a “2-3-4” hut because of the rough dimensions (ratios) of the poles used to make it. It was sort of a simple tent-like structure. We often took walks up to a higher area of twin mountains which we called the “knees”. The place was quite isolated and we almost never heard from outsiders. I think less than a dozen times for the rest of my life did anyone from inland areas come there and these were just adventurers out for a “long walk”. When I first arrived there I could speak with the locals a bit. There were enough similarities in the dialects for communication to take place but it was difficult. I recall the sound of the language as sounding more like what I hear now as Vietnamese but I’m not sure of that. If one encountered people from further north, however, we couldn’t understand them at all.
I am posting to this message board because I understand that many people from this part of China have moved to Taiwan over the years. My questions are these: 1. I am wondering if anyone has ever heard of a place such as this. I think the area was roughly between what is now Fuzhou and what is now Wenzhou, but it might be somewhat outside of this area. On the map I am looking at it would definitely be far north of Guangzhou and south of Hangzhou. Of course, it has changed over the centuries, but I’m sure one would still see the bay or harbor surrounded by rather high cliffs. 2. Can Americans travel into this area of China (between Fuzhou and Wenzhou)? Is it part of the regular tourist routes, or would one have to make special arrangements to go there? 3. Could one hire boats to travel the coastline in this area? 4. Are there any places where one might be able to obtain photographs of the coastline in this area? 5. Is there a way for me to have this posting translated into Taiwanese or Chinese and posted at relevant sites in China or Taiwan? Thanks very much. P.S. I apologize if I have offended anyone with my tale. However, my interest is sincere.