PENGCHENG FORTRESS - A CHANCE MEETING
Just about a 30 minute drive from where I live in Pingshan Town is this ancient fortress which has guarded Guangdong's southern coast for centuries.
Imagine the tales the walls could tell! And still do! Today, its hundreds of apartments are full of folks renting the flats.
I had driven by this historical monument numerous times but never stopped. Just happened on a not too hot day to stop in. Entrance fee is about $2.50 USD. Inside lanes are well directed with wooden signs pointing in every direction. Buddhist and Taoist Temples abound within it's four walls.
Ming and Ching Dynasty relics can be found and the 3 courtyard living quarters of Generals long passed.
You can rent one of the hundreds of flats (reminiscent of the Beijing hutong) inside the walls for a very nominal fee even by local standards. Or you can rent a stall and cater to the tourist blown in by the four seas!
On the day I visited, I had a chance meeting with Grandmaster Yip Sui's students who had come by bus from Hong Kong...about a 3 hour trip. We just happened on to each other on the same day, along with some Taichi and Northern Mantis Hong Kong friends.
Of the four gates of this walled Fortress, only the Northern gate seemed to be closed. Symbolism? And only the Southern gate collected fees. The East and West gates led directly to the outlying communities.
Vendors sell everything from antiques to ice cold bottled water and hand fans. There was a large nice antique kungfu drum I had my eye on that day for $250 USD. Its probably still there. I knew I wouldn't play it!
Some of Grandmaster Yip's students burnt incense at this temple (above) and we stood in front, chatted and laughed and generally had a good time before heading off to the West gate.
I recognized at least a few of those folks I met by chance that day from Grandmaster Cheng Wan's Chu Gar Mantis Celebrations.
It was like being awarded the Certificate of 108th Standing Chairman of the Hong Kong Chu Gar Mantis Cheng Wan Martial Art Association in 2002...108? A long esteemed line before me! And certainly symbolic by "yuan fen" - "lot or luck by which people are brought together".
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