Global village

Updated: 2015-04-13 08:20

By Belle Taylor(China Daily)

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Global village

Fish is a specialty of the village. [Photo by Belle Taylor/China Daily]

We were an international bunch-Spanish, French, Danish, American and Australian.

We picked up two Chinese tourists on the way up the mountain and encouraged them to sing a song for us in Mandarin. They are from Sichuan province and sang in their local dialect.

We reciprocated with songs from our own nations, and I reflected upon how music is a great unifier, even if people don't share a language.

I wonder if the passing travelers who came through the town during the Ming Dynasty sang for their hosts. Maybe they did-although it's a fair bet none of them would have been Australian.

We walked back down the mountain and into the town itself.

Every corner has something of note-a small Buddhist shine, an ancient stone mill or a faded Mao Zedong quote written on a wall.

We stopped for lunch at one of the many local restaurants.

Most seem to be part of a family home, and as you walk the streets people will try to entice you in to their makeshift restaurant with big, simmering vats of food on the street.

Fish seems to be a specialty of the town so that's what we ordered, along with a variety of local vegetable dishes. The food came quickly and was, for the most part, pretty good. The fish, however, is the standout.

Full, we walked through the town and up to the small temple on the hill overlooking the settlement.

This is a place of community gathering, where Cuandixia's residents have held their festival days and markets, and gathered to pray for rain and worship heaven for hundreds of years.

It's a peaceful spot, and previous visitors to the shrine in the temple had left offerings of fruit and cakes.

We stopped for a while and soaked in the history of this ancient place. We were just another group of travelers passing through Cuandixia.

About this series

China Daily explores Silk Road destinations every Monday.

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