Searching for old home north of Fuzhou


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.

Originally posted by Ltlredwagn: [b]Here is what I recall. It was about 2600 years ago. I was born in what is now Guangzhou[/b]

You lost me from the get go. Can you clarify the above quote??? You a Chinese ghost of some sort??


There are boats along the coast. I doubt they’re very comfortable. I doubt the area is closed to foreigners. But whatever you might have looked like 2600 years ago, I’m guessing that right now you don’t look Chinese. And a camera-toting foreigner wanting to hire a boat along the Chinese coast (not too far from the Taiwan-controlled island of Matsu) might arouse some suspicion. Just be good-natured and willing to come up with a nice-sounding story, like that your ancestors came from there.

Here’s something that happened to me about eight years ago. I was on a boat going through the Three Gorges (soon to be the one-and-a-half gorges). Lovely area, one of the main tourist sites in China. And there I was, snapping photos and trying to avoid capturing on film the trash that the locals were tossing into the river from the decks above. A man came up to me and told me I couldn’t take pictures there. I looked around at the many other people using their cameras and asked why not.

“These are secret Chinese geological formations.” I had to try hard not to laugh. Of course, he was just a strange guy with no particular authority; but I didn’t want to get into a battle over face by just ignoring him. I mentioned the fact that if over one billion people can see something, it’s not a secret. He wasn’t impressed. Eventually he was made happy when I told him that I just wanted the photos to show my students, and that I wouldn’t take the film out of China.

China: land of the non sequitur.

If you’re serious about travelling to that area, I recommend posting something on Usenet in Maybe someone else has made the same trip.