Sujiawei Hakka Village and Xinfengjiang National Forest Park
Sujiawei Hakka Village
Located in Sujiawei Village, Yihe Town, Dongyuan County of Heyuan City, Sujiawei Hakka Village is a picturesque village featuring Hakka culture and ancient dwellings. The village is also famous for the residence of the descendants of Su Dongpo, a great writer, calligrapher and painter of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).
The enchanting rivers, lush bamboo trees, gigantic banyan trees, ancient buildings, fishing boats and distinctive waterwheels contribute to the beauty of the village, while the rich culture also adds charm to it. Sauntering in the enchanting village, you will easily drink in the centuries-old culture of the Sui Family, and the antiquity and simplicity of the Hakka people.
Yingqin (Welcoming Tourists) Bridge, a must see spot of the village, represents the hospitality of the inhabitants towards their visitors. Standing on the bridge you can see the whole village, a group of square buildings in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasties' (1644-1911) style. The perfect drainage system of the constructions made the village survive heavy rainfall.
Hakka Marital Customs
Teasing the bride on her wedding night is a typical marital custom of the Hakka Village. Showing the tradition of horseplay in the bridal chamber, it is a popular performance among the tourists. The Hakka matchmaker invites one of the tourists to act as the bridegroom while the others are amused by the interesting and funny performances.
Hakka Round-Dragon House
The Round-Dragon House is a typical Hakka residence with the architectural characteristics of Central China. The Round-Dragon Houses of Suijiawei Village resemble a grand circle. In the past, to withstand the unfriendly intruders, the Hakka people lived together and constructed their houses in the style of a castle.
Yongsi Memorial Hall
The Sujiawei Hakka Village consists of eighteen local style Hakka dwellings, with the most ancient one being Yongsi Memorial Hall. Built in 1481 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the memorial hall is the place where the Hakka people offer sacrifices and discuss important affairs.
Su Ancestral Memorial Hall
The Su Ancestral Memorial Hall, with a history of over 470 years, once had an array of significant cultural relics of the Su Family. The existing plaques, which were given by the emperors, provide an idea of the past glory and resplendence of the Sujiawei Village. More than 100 title deeds of the Ming and Qing Dynasties kept in the memorial hall witnessed the richness of the village. The burning of incense before the memorial tablets reflects the adoration of descendants of the Su Family towards their honorable ancestors.
Tourists to the Sujiawei Hakka Village have the opportunity to grow vegetables in the fields, extract oil in the oil mills, catch fish and drift in the rivers, and have a taste of the local foods.
Xinfengjiang National Forest Park
Situated in Dongyuan County of Heyuan City, Xinfengjiang National Forest Park is built relying on the largest man-made lake in South China, the Evergreen Lake. Backed by the Laurel Mountain (Guishan Mountain), the zenith of the city, this scenic area also holds hundreds of green islets dotted on the lake.
The forest park covers an area of 160,000 hectares (395368.6 acres) in total with water areas of 37,000 hectares (91,429 acres). Characterized by vast area of forest, graceful waters and enchanting natural scenery, the geographic environment of the park is richly endowed by nature. In the vast virgin forest lives much subtropical evergreen broad-leaved vegetation, some rare plants, about 130 species of animals and 110 kinds of birds. With its great variety of flora and fauna, the forest park is known as 'Kingdom of Flora' and 'Paradise of Fauna'.
The Laurel Mountain (Guishan Mountain) of the forest park has a pleasant climate and unspoilt natural beauty and marvelous mountain splendor. The fresh air and the favorable environment make the mountain a natural oxygen bar. There are cloud-kissing ancient trees, delicate pavilions, murmuring brooks, an iron chain bridge, fields of wild flowers, and over 20 charming waterfalls in the mountain. An extensive area of wild azaleas grows on the main peak of the mountain which has an elevation of 1,056 meters (3,465 feet). In April and May, the mountain top is covered by colorful blooming flowers.
In the forest park, there is a long stream with rare stones scattered throughout the water and unique pavilions standing along the bank. Flowers, both wild and cultivated, form a wide belt of natural beauty on the banks, making the stream a delightful attraction.
Tourists to the forest park can entertain themselves by participating in such activities as aquatic disco, playing in the water, drifting, swimming, climbing, hiking, and exploring the natural beauty of the area.
Jorg Ostrowski, M. Arch. A.S. (MIT), B. Arch. Toronto