Feiyunya in Guizhou Province

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

It’s always nice to end up somewhere which seems to be off the map and there are certainly plenty of those places in China. Like Feiyunya, about 130 km (in a straight line) north-east of Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province. It doesn’t appear on maps, in our script at least, it’s not in Lonely Planet’s China guide and searching for it online barely turns up any information apart from a mention of the small National Minorities Museum within the complex.

Although it doesn’t appear in high enough resolution to discern anything, apart from the car park, you can find Feiyunya on Google Earth at N 26° 57.126’, E 107° 59.113’

IMG_8431 - Feiyunya gate 540▲ Feiyunya entrance gate

Feiyunya was a complex built as a rest place for travelling officials. It’s entered through a superbly ornate entrance gate from the late Qing dynasty. It’s unusual in that phoenixes appear above, dragons below. Usually it’s the reverse. The gate is flanked by long ‘flag poems,’ although there’s an even longer one on the Jiaxu Pavilion in Guiyang. Inside an entrance building houses souvenir shops, the original was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution because it was a shrine.

Then there’s a second entrance gateway – at 90° to the first – which incorporates elements from all three Chinese religions: Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The building where officials actually stayed has a roof shaped like their hats

IMG_8438 - Feiyunya 540▲ We climb on up to the top of the complex to the ‘Flying Cloud Cave’ where the rocks do indeed look rather cloud like and which the name Feiyunya refers to. Yun means cloud in Chinese, the province of Yunnan is ‘South of the Clouds.’ There’s some Ming dynasty graffiti there and the whole complex is very beautiful.

IMG_8469 - Huangping hotel - 540▲ From Feiyunya it was only 10km back towards Guiyang to the regional centre of Huangping where I spent the night. The next morning as I checked out I realized I could have paid a little more than my standard single and for 518 RMB opted for a much more interesting room!