I knew Pingtan Island because a friend's family live on the island. Later, Pingtan Island became Pingtan Comprehensive Experimental Zone, the pilot site of Mainland and Taiwan exchange. However, what led me to visit Pingtan Island ultimately are the so-called "colorful castles" - the stone houses-and the beautiful beaches.
[Stone houses: ink painting-like, oil-painting-like stone houses]
Pingtan Island is rich in rock resources. Besides, it is surrounded by sea with big waves and big winds throughout the year, so ordinary building materials cannot withstand the rough condition. Therefore, Pingtan people make the best use of the island's rich granite as the building material: they first process granite into square stones of various sizes to build the main part of a house. The roof of the house is herringbone without forebay. Then, the roof is covered with arched tiles as well as countless big stones to prevent strong wind lifting tiles.
In Pingtan, where there is a village, there is a stone house. Looking ahead, these stone houses sitting between the sea and mountains have foundations, walls, door frames, beams, fences and pigsties and so on mostly made of granite stones. Even the village alleys, water wells and marinas are all built with rocks.
Passing the cross-sea bridge and turning left to drive along a newly built island ring road, we went all the way north to look for colorful castles of Baisheng Village on the north tip of Pingtan Island. Since island roads were newly built, the vehicle navigation couldn't recognize roads and we drove towards Suao in the west of the Island. We had no option but to go north along the country lanes. Due to this mistake, we meet stone houses in a nameless small village. These houses were built with stones from top to bottom and from the inside to the outside. Colorful stone houses mingled with a little green plant marked our first meeting with stone houses.
We saw some fishmen weaving nets by accident. All the way north, various stone houses constantly jumped into our sight. In addition to "colorful castles", elegant ink paintings appeared sometimes.
In Baisheng Village, we ate a simple lunch. After the lunch, we continued walking along the village road among the alleys, but did not feel the sense of colorful castles. Fortunately, a madam finally agreed us to climb to the roof of her four-storey house. We took many photos. In our lens, those stone houses formed a more enthusiastic oil painting with stronger visual impact: row upon row of stone houses covered with red, yellow, white, gray or other warm and cold colors. The bright and smooth picture was very beautiful.
Looking to the distance, the sea and the sky merged into one; colorful stone houses along the hillside stretched towards the sea, accompanied by the deep blue seawater and fishing boats moored in the harbor. Distant winding roads and partly hidden and partly visible windmills inspired rich imagination.
The other end of the island looked like a mirage. Row upon row of well-organized houses stretched before our eyes to the horizon.
All the way to the sea, we found Baisheng Village Committee sitting on the opposite of the fishing pier. A lot of large and small boats of different shapes berthed in natural but orderly arrangement. Looking from afar, fishing boats melted into the sea, sky and clouds, making people relaxed and happy.
At the nearby seaside, beach combers were catching a oyster-like seafood with a pry tool in the water or on the shore.
These bare rocks on shore should be the unique geological landscape of Haitan Island - marine abrasion landform
[Banyang Rock Sail-Shi Bei Yang]
On the sea surface of 500 meters in the west of Kan'ao Village, the northwest part of Pingtan Island, there is a disc-shaped large reef, holding a high and a low monument shaped sea stacks. The entire reef looks like a ship, while two sea stacks like two sails sailing though wind and waves. This is the most famous natural landscape in Pingtan - Shi Bei Yang, also known as "Banyang Rock Sail" or "Double Sails Rock".
Taking a ferry on the shore of Kan'ao Village, you will arrive on the reef in a dozen minutes. The reef bottom is a group of flat and complete rocks. Two stone pillars are coarse-grained gray granite. The one in the east side is 33 meters high, 9 meters wide and 8 meters thick, with a circumference of 57 meters; and the one on the west is 17 meters high, 15 meters wide and 8 meters thick with a circumference of 39.9 meters. The bottoms of both pillars are approximate square. According to geologists' research, these two pillars are the world's largest spherical weathering granite sea stacks.
[Longfengtou Bathing Beach]
Located in the south corner of Pingtan Island, Longfengtou Bathing Beach is 1.5 km away from the county. The beach is 500 meters wide and 9.5 kilometers long, with a slope of only 2.2 degrees. It is one of China's largest bathing beaches. It has crystal white sand, dotted islands and reefs, as well as dense forests. People can drive vehicles on the beach, and can swim and play in water.
Pingtan Island beaches have an outstanding characteristic, that is the sand is very fine. You can just lie down completely without any discomfort. And the sand is very white. The sand dried in the sun sand is actually close to milky, very beautiful. In addition, Pingtan Island beaches are very flat and open, suitable for beach volleyball, frisbee throwing and other recreational activities.
See how happy they are
Before leaving, Xiao Wu insisted on leading us to watch stone houses on a high terrain. He said generally people wouldn't build houses on high elevation due to strong offshore wind, so it was really strange that these two stone houses were built here.
It looks like a temple
These two photos were taken on the car. These stone houses look like being pasted to the background like curtain props
At sunset, we went back home under the sunset glow.