Friday, September 16, 2011

Heritage | Hainan 海南 Escapade

Last August, I had the opportunity to go back to Hainan to perform some prayer rituals for my late grandparents. I'm half Hainanese as my mom is descendant of Qiong Hai, Hainan. We did some sight seeing in Haikou, Sanya before going back to Qiong Hai.
To me, Hainan is really fast developing into a major city cum resort island. Its generally clean and there were a lot of housing and resort developments. The only negative was that the people can be rude sometimes. I am glad that we did this trip. A first oversea family trip for me and we met a lot of never seen before relatives, and of course we were back to my grandparent's ancestral home and the village is kinda cool!

Electric bike is a popular transportation here.

Bicycle, electric bike and scooter are some of the common transport here. Alleys like this are meant for the bikes so becareful when you cross the road. Actually, always look left and right when you cross the road, vehicles are coming from all directions.

Funny english translated signs everywhere.

The famous Wen Chang Hainanese chicken. Steamed and served with mild chilli flavored sauce. After so many meals of Hainanese chicken, this serving found in Fu Le restaurant in Haikou is the best!

Deep fried fish served with sweet and sour sauce. One of the more popular Hainanese dish as I found every meal that we had in Hainan serves this dish. I am not complaining since it's my kind of food and it's delicious.

Fu Le restaurant in Haikou.

On our four hours ride to Sanya, we stopped by this place.

Don't know what's the name of this place, but they rent out boats to tour the river and rafts like this for water games. It's freaking hot out there, somewhere close to 40 degrees and those on these rafts must be crazy!
Don'tHot scorching sun, 40 degrees Celcius, war games in the water... hmmmm...

Impressed with all the variety of liquors available.

Veges... I had very little of veges as usual. lol.

Sanya... this place has some of the best beaches in Hainan!

Yalong Bay, regarded as one of the best beach in Sanya.

Common water sports/activities, banana boat.

The Yalong Bay underwater world is around here too.

Love the bluish almost turquoise sea water here.

The jetty at the beach.

Beach shades and seats ala Hainanese style.

Palm trees.

Pretty damn beautiful beach.

Let me ask my translator and I will get back to you on this sign. lol.

As stated in my previous entry on my film version, I really had no idea what these ladies were up to by the beach.

Camwhore session.

I was asked on an assignment to come out with more goods like this. More girls from my travel photos. lol.

Skewers and souvenirs.

That's all for the best beach in Hainan.

After a hot day, this is a damn good refreshment.

Next, a ride uphill to Luhuitou.

Luhuitou is a sanctuary for lovebirds and a great place to catch a great view of Sanya.

The legend around this place revolves around a hunter who followed and hunted a deer for nights and finally it led the hunter to this hill. Once they reached here, the deer stopped galloping away and turned back to face the hunter. That was when the deer turned into a young beautiful lady. Eventually, they fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after.

This statue was carved to commemorate the legend of the hunter, the deer and the beautiful girl who was said to be a fairy.

Man-made island with some pretty luxurious development. It tells you all about Hainan as a developing city and island.

Funny signs appeared again... lol.

Sanctuary of love.

Souvenir stalls, selling mostly handmade crafts of seashells, embroidery and weaving.

No entry fees for anyone shorter than this girl.

Guan Yin of the South Sea, the tallest Guan Yin statue in the world located at the Nanshan temple in Sanya.

The statue has three aspects. One sides faces the inland of the island and the other two face the South China Sea.

Family portrait at Nanshan.

Lunch break from work.

This kind of bikes were found everywhere.

Finally, we were at Qionghai. Found this in one of the relative's bedroom.

All these woods and bricks, almost 100 years old or maybe more.

Disproportionately built but has the quality to last for a century.

The village of my grandparent's hometown.

My dad and uncle posing in front of my mom's ancestral home in Qiong Hai.

Kitchen. We are the only house in the village which has an external kitchen.

The common interiors and layout of the houses here. One exit on each side of the house, with the living room in the middle and two big rooms flanking on both sides. No locks required.

Fell in love with this bike in Hainan.

Time for some fireworks to welcome us back!

(L) Auspicious couplets on almost all the entrance of the home in Hainan. (R) One of my relative here, very helpful throughout our stays.

Fireworks! These are some really powerful fireworks! It blasted several stones my way.

Ang ang...

And I continue to explore the neighbourhood. The village is filled with alleys like this.

This is our lunch in Qiong Hai! There were more dishes actually, about 10 dishes in total.

The streets in Qiong Hai.

Life on the street.

Family portrait with the Hainanese relative, grandmother's side. Some of the elderly in the front rows are my grandma's siblings.

Today is the day. The reason we made the trip back to Hainan was to invite my late grandparents' soul back home. My cousin brother was the official VVIP of the day, I was the official photographer and my sister was the official videographer. It was a hectic ceremony which begins from the morning till late evening.

My personal photo frame holder... my cousin brother.

A family portrait at the ancestral home.

Early morning on the streets of Qiong Hai, busy and bustling with people.


Kuey Teow in soup with pork. Surprisingly, this was quite nice.

Noodle in soup.

Another distant relative, very friendly and made us feel right at home.

My fried Kuey Teow. Different from what we had back home but it's still quite tasty.

Hainan coffee.

More neightbourhood exploration after breakfast.

Pinang trees and more family property.

A neighbours house.

Just bricks on top of each other without any cements to form the wall.

(from left) My aunty in Hainan and a kid who is also a distant relative i think.

Everyone in the village was very helpful.

The cook preparing our meal for lunch and dinner.

These determine the agenda of the ceremony. Each of these contains a different assignment and by the time it was the last one, it was night fall.

Burning offerings.

My cousin brothers.

On the way to the river.

This was our bumpy ride. Looks cute but not the best of ride.

The riverside.

Playing with my shadow, trying to be Luffy d Monkey from One Piece. lol.

This is my Luffy view with the straw hat. They are performing a ritual to invite the souls of my late grandparents from the river.

All of us family member were required to wear straw hats.

Unique eggs in rice for prayers; and some "kuih" ala Hainanese style. It's not too bad actually.

The elderly.

Our lunch and dinner (same food throughout the day); Stir fried pork with carrot, onion and capsicum and glass noodle with bamboo shoot.

Stir-fried seafood with green peas and fried groundnuts with chinese sausage. The chinese sausage tasted weird but the fried groundnuts were awesome!

Braised pork and steamed goose. The braised pork was quite good, kind of similar to what my grandma used to cook but the steamed goose was a little bit weird for me.

First time seeing this as the base for joss stick. I was told it's the stem of banana tree.

Chicken running wild everywhere.

Two mischievous kids.

The portrait with family from grandpa's side.

That's all from my Heritage-Hainan Escapade. Thanks to all the relatives who were very helpful and courteous throughout our stays in Hainan. We hope to come back again.


clive said...

i guess you are the first friend who went hainan and had hainan chicken XD looks silky clean from my expectation. and love the brick house feel!

斯迪维 said...

My dad is descendant of Qiong Hai, Hainan 2, haha :)

Andrew Yep said...

Yea... I think I'm the very few people around who goes to Hainan.

Yen said...

Is the Hainan coffee tastes good?

Btw,my grandma also from Hainan~=)

Andrew Yep said...

Hi Yen... I didn't try the coffee but my mom says okok only. So you're partly Hainanese too like me. hehe...