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Yu County Overnight Trip, 2014/08

In Brief: Photos from our weekend trip to several ancient towns in Hebei Province.

For this two-day trip we headed north to Hebei Province to take a look about the ancient walled towns in the area. Being just outside the main line of Ming Dynasty Great Wall, the big walls were needed for protection.

This is one of the few trips we have where we don’t do any hiking. We do a lot of walking, though, exploring the old alleys, lanes, castles, and temples of the towns, and getting an up-close look at what goes on in small towns 280km out of Beijing.

This is also the trip during which we see the Dashuhua performance, where molten iron is flung at the big walls to create a display a little similar to fireworks. But this time we didn’t get any photos of that! What we did get photos of are the ancient architecture and the interesting life of locals – see the photos below!

Homemade smoked tofu, drying in the sun. Yu County is well-known for its tofu! - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Homemade smoked tofu, drying in the sun. Yu County is well-known for its tofu!

The gate of the North Castle, where you can see the marks left from where they used to splash the molten iron during performances - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

The gate of the North Castle, where you can see the marks left from where they used to splash the molten iron during performances.

The gate here dates back some 100 years, to the Republic of China period - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

The gate here dates back some 100 years, to the Republic of China period.

“Let’s get this thing moving.” - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

“Let’s get this thing moving.”

Sunflowers behind a mudbrick wall, right by the south gate of the North Castle - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Sunflowers behind a mudbrick wall, right by the south gate of the North Castle.

Greens growing in a courtyard in the town - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Greens growing in a courtyard in the town.

Taking a look at a Ming Dynasty-era tunnel, recently reopened - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Taking a look at a Ming Dynasty-era tunnel, recently reopened.

Some Nuanquan Town locals sitting streetside - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Some Nuanquan Town locals sitting streetside.

Homemade moon cakes, ready for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Homemade moon cakes, ready for the upcoming Mid-Autumn Festival.

We happened on some stilt-dancers - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

We happened on some stilt-dancers.

Another shot of the men on stilts - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Another shot of the men on stilts.

Curious onlookers - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Curious onlookers.

This looks like a very spicy mixture … - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

This looks like a very spicy mixture …

Stilt-dancing must be hard work. Time for a cigarette break! - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Stilt-dancing must be hard work. Time for a cigarette break!

A shot from inside the Pavilion of the Jade Emperor, which used to be a watchtower looking out over the plains - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

A shot from inside the Pavilion of the Jade Emperor, which used to be a watchtower looking out over the plains.

These two were also visiting - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

These two were also visiting.

We saw frescoes from the Ming Dynasty - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

We saw frescoes painted during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).

The God of Thunder - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

The God of Thunder.

Locals outside the general store of a small village - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Locals outside the general store of a small village.

Birds for sale – a common sight - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Birds for sale – a common sight.

Books for sale, too - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Books for sale, too.

Dried fruit, including apricots - Yu County Overnight Trip 2014/08

Dried fruit, including apricots.

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