The very next day, we originally wanted to go to Kaili. However, due to the traffic jam, we were stuck in the middle of nowhere. In the end, we decided to go to Zhenyuan first so that the next morning we could enjoy the view on Wuyang river. On the way to Zhenyuan, our guide Miss Wang asked us if we had ever been to Fenghuang Ancient town. She said that the first time she went there, she loved the town very much. However, when she went there again, it was too commercialized, which disappointed her very much. Miss Wang also mentioned a book called Border Town by Congwen Shen. Just then, she noticed that no one responded. So she stopped talking about it. 隔天我們出發準備要前往黔東南的凱里。不過因為塞車的緣故，我們就在不知名的某處先用餐，然後前往鎮遠古城。這是為了趕隔天早上唯一的一班觀賞舞陽河的船。在前往鎮遠途中，我們的王姓導遊就先問我們是否去過鳳凰古城。她說她第一次去到那兒的時候，很喜歡那座古城。可是第二次去的時候就很失望，因為太商業化了。講到這，她就提到沈從文的「邊城」，寫的就是鳳凰古城。講完後，沒人搭腔。她似乎意識到對牛彈琴，所以就轉移話題了。哈。
When we arrived at Zhenyuan, it was already dark. Fortunately we still made it to take a ship and watch the whole city at night on the river. There was a girl from Miao tribe, and she sang two songs for us. 到了鎮遠，都已經天黑了，還好還趕得及搭船觀賞鎮遠古城的夜景。鎮遠古城晚上燈火通明，彷彿回到古代在流水上觀望著家家戶戶載歌載舞的景色。當晚我們船上有位苗族姑娘，還為我們獻唱兩曲呢!她的歌聲真是宏亮呀!
According to the Internet, "Zhenyuan Ancient Town in Guizhou has a history of over 2,000 years. It only covers 3.1 square kilometers, but has numerous cultural relics and over 150 scenic spots. Here you can see caves, pavilions, palaces, temples and waterways." The night we stayed at a 3-star hotel in Xiexi. Our rooms were duplex rooms. It looked fine, but our air conditioning wasn't working. Even the bathroom wasn't okay. So basically it was freezing to me. Other guests said that their rooms were perfect. 根據網路上的訊息，鎮遠古城已有兩千多年的歷史了。全鎮有超過150個參觀景點，在此我們頂多就看了祝聖橋、青龍洞以及舞陽河。當晚我們是在一個離鎮遠不遠的地方，叫做鐵溪，過夜。那間飯店是三星級飯店。聽說張三豐曾去過那裡飲用過泉水。我只能說，當晚我住的那間空調壞了，而且浴室水龍頭的出水量很小，還好我當晚沒洗頭。當晚大概只有13度吧。冷ㄎ一ㄎ一。不過別間聽說就很正常。
In ancient time, Zhenyuan, located on Yungui Plateau, is a city situated in the autonomous
region of Miao ethnic groups. It had flourished economically and culturally since Zhenyuan was a hub of regional land and water transports. Many merchants gathered here from all directions
and some of them even settled down.
Zhenyuan had increasing number of immigrants and then gradually became a
strategic town for water and land transport, just like a metropolis in
southwest Guizhou. 鎮遠這地方因為處於雲貴高原，易守難攻，加上長江水系的支流剛好留過鎮遠，使得它在古代就是軍事要塞、商旅往來重鎮。可說是中國古代南方水上絲路的中心驛站。
bridge you saw in this photo is called Zhusheng Bridge. According to the Internet, "Built over the Wuyang River, the Zhusheng Bridge is also part of the
Qinglong Cave site. Historical records indicate that Burma envoys
passing through Zhenyuan used the bridge often. The huge stone bridge,
built in the mid-Ming period, is 135 meters long and 85 meters wide,
and contains seven arches. After its completion, the bridge became the
thoroughfare used by envoys of Southeast Asian countries visiting
Zhusheng Bridge has been there for more than 700 years,
and has never been restored. However, the pavilion on the stone bridge
was once destroyed by the KMT during wars. So it was reconstructed in
the later years. 祝聖橋七百多年以來都沒有經過修改。不過上方的亭子卻因為國共戰爭時被國民黨破壞掉了(這是當地導遊說的)。所以是後來仿古修建而成。
In fact, most of the architecture you see in Zhenyuan was all restructured. After the Communist Party ruled China, most of the old buildings in Zhenyuan were torn down. It wasn't until recent years, the Chinese government realised the importance of protecting its traditional architecture and culture that people in Zhenyuan started to rebuild their houses in the ancient way. 不過呢，鎮遠的街道，大多是後來重建的。好像是文革時期吧，共產黨竭盡可能破壞各種古物。所以我們現在看到的鎮遠古城街景都是這數十年重新仿古蓋的。講到這，我們當地的導遊就用民諺說:「頭牌一枝花，二牌蓋過它。三牌京果鋪，四牌油炸粑。五牌開馬店，六牌爛豆渣。」這用來說明鎮遠家家戶戶一到六牌的景色，十分有意思。頭牌一枝花就是頭牌是最好的，出自頭牌的女生當然是最漂亮的。至於六牌爛豆渣，就是做豆漿時剩下的東西，那就是濫豆渣啦。鎮遠街道好寧靜，寧靜到讓我很懷疑這裡有電影院這類的娛樂設施嗎?
"The Qinglong Cave, built in 1490 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), is located at the foot of Zhonghe Mountain along the banks of Wuyang River in Zhenyuan County, Guizhou Province. 參觀完鎮遠夜景的隔天上午我們先參觀舞陽河。午後，用過餐後，我們就參觀祝聖橋以及青龍洞。剛剛說過，青龍洞是三教(佛教、道教、儒家)共存的。建於明代，依靠在山腳旁邊而建，看過去總讓我想起山西省的懸空寺。
The Qinglong Cave, the general name for a group of constructions, covers an area of 20,000 square meters. The constructions stretch over one li (0.5 km) from north to south, with more than 100 pavilions, terraces and towers -- large and small. The unevenly distributed constructions include the Qinglong Cave, the Zhongyuan Cave, the Wanshou Palace, the Niyan Pavilion and the Censer Rock." 青龍洞是一系列的古建築群統稱。裡頭有青龍洞、中元洞、萬壽宮等等。在萬壽宮的時候，導遊提及許真君，還提到一句有名的成語:「一人得道雞犬升天」。
"This is the stage building. It is one of the most well-preserved stages with exquisite carvings in Guizhou Province. Along the edge of the stage are elaborately engraved nearly 10 scenes of the stories of the Army of Yangs' family. (A famous family in the Song Dynasty, which made great contributions in fighting against the aggressions from the north minorities.) On the ceiling of the building, there are relief sculptures of flying dragon and the picture that describes good luck, handsome emolument, longevity and happiness. Behind the stage, there is a dressing room with two small annexes on its two sides for resting. Both the right and left winding corridors are interlinked with the wing-room, and the plaque of the corridors was carved the pictures of the 8 immortals in legend. Usually, the wing-rooms on the two sides of the courtyard were prepared for the nobleman or merchants and their family to watch performances. The extant architectures were rebuilt in the 28th year of Guangxu's Reign in Qing Dynasty." 這就是戲樓啦。戲樓顧名思義就是看戲的地方。有沒有發現中間的樓板較兩邊來得低? 這是因為古代中國人認為戲班身份低，所以他們必須比商人還要低階。戲樓的雕刻也十分精細，而且天花板也很像我在林家花園看到的天宮賜福一般。
We saw this engraving outside the Longevity Palace, part of the Qinglong Cave. Our local guide told us that this engraving (and actually there were two engravings) were preserved during the Cultural Revolution. Why? Because someone put two pieces of paper on these engravings, saying, "Long Live Chairman Mao!" 這個雕刻是在幹嘛用的? 這是我們離開萬壽宮時，門外所看到的。門兩旁上方都有這雕刻。據說這雕刻之所以沒在文革時期被毀掉，就是因為當時有人在上方貼了兩張紙，寫道:「毛主席萬歲!」唉呦，看來當時要是大多數人在文革時期都想到這招，說不定可以保存很多古文物呢!
Honestly, I didn't believe that mountains would be like this until I saw them myself. In the past, I always wondered why in Chinese paintings, the mountains were so grey. When I visited Zhenyuan and Tiexi, I finally realised why. 老實說，在去鎮遠前，我一直不太相信中國山水畫裡頭的山怎麼顏色會是灰黃的。直到我親眼看到貴州鎮遠、鐵溪的山，還有舞陽河的山，我才明白，是真的有這樣的山，古人才如此做畫。
The info about Zhenyuan is from these websites: