The continuation and end of our discovery of the Fujian Province in Southeastern China. The small town of Gutian, located in the Northeastern part of the Fujian Province is a historic place for the Chinese. Indeed, it is in Gutian that Mao Zedong, Zhu De, and Chen Yi held a meeting known as the “Gutian Conference” in December 1929. It was not a major meeting, a conference, or a meeting of the Central Committee of Chinese Communist Party, but merely the “ninth meeting” of the Communist Party of China for the 4th Army of the Chinese Workers and Peasant’s Red Army, better known as the Red Army which had been founded on May 25, 1928. This meeting, however, allowed Mao Zedong to propose and receive approval for the Gutian Congress Resolution entitled “On Correcting Mistaken Ideas in the Party” — henceforth Mistaken Ideas. And what a resolution it was! Mistaken Ideas was later applied to all People’s Liberation Army (PLA) units. The meeting was held in a building built in 1848 (late Qing dynasty) and arranged around a traditional siheyuan (courtyard). A tour takes the visitor through the meeting rooms, Mao’s office, and his bedroom. It was also in Gutian that Mao Zedong wrote the famous line, “A single spark can start a prairie fire”.
At this time of year, the building is surrounded by fields of large beautiful Lotus flowers. On the large leaves waving in the wind, we can follow drops of water run slowly from one leaf to the other as the leaves move in the wind. Thee Lotus is emblematic of Asia. Its seeds, flowers, rhizomes and young leaves are all edible. The large leaves are sometimes used as a wrap for food. The lotus seed is creamy and quite rubbery — a true treat for Asians ! Vendors offer tastes of this small snack. The flavor is fresh and slightly nutty !
But enough of history. Let’s dive into nature in the surrounding Guanzhai mountains about 168 miles from Xiamen and covering 48 square miles. The Guanzhai Mountains are renowned for their beauty and majestic landscape. They are one of the top scenic locations in the province of Fujian. While traveling through them, you not only enjoy the spectacular mountains but also the rich collection of peculiar rock and stone formations of all shapes and sizes, with various evocative names such as monkey head. Further, you can go boating on the calm and emerald Shimen lake covered in mist. Surrounding the lake we admire the lush vegetation, waterfalls and strange rock formations along the countless meanders of the lake. The only inhabitants that disturb this tranquility are birds and fish, in this case, black swans.
There is nothing better than a real ascent to feel invigorated and to admire the narrow crevices, deep valleys, and pavilions near the summits. And when the fog finally lifts unveiling a striking beauty, the panorama from the major peak, 2,168 feet high, leaves you speechless, especially at sunset when the sun lights up the orange hue of the rocks !