C'est la vie
The toil of the island’s first generation of inhabitants can be witnessed today by soaking in the breathtaking sight of rock faces.
Carve your own adventure, by veering off-the beaten-path to explore the unspoiled beauty of a ‘stone village’ called Lidiao, located in the Cengang area in the west of the archipelago’s proper.
Legend has it that a stonecutter surnamed Wen living in the late Ming Dynasty of China had to run for his life after offending his greedy boss. He took his family to a deserted island, striving to make a living by cutting slab stones off the rock faces and becoming the first inhabitant on the island.The man hewed out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope that instigated the long-standing stonecutting tradition of the island.
The toil of the island’s first generation of inhabitants can be witnessed today by soaking in the breathtaking sight of rock faces hewn flat and the remains of the original slab stone collecting caves, one of which has been remade into a well that is still in use.
For adventurous tourists, photography enthusiasts or just those with a sense of curiosity, the village’s stone architectural vista is well worth a look.The 1.64-square-meter gourdshaped island is frozen in time, with the stone houses standing like wearied soldiers, weathered over time but continuing to uphold and protect the traditions of the island. Many of the dwellings have been abandoned, leaving the weeds to run riot.There is an eerie feeling when walking around the derelict structures, and peering into a dust ridden wing-room may cause one’s hairs to stand up on the back of their neck.
Like many secluded villages across the world, Lidiao Island has also seen the younger generations abandoning the serenity for opportunities in the city.As the waves of time have lapsed, the stonecutters have vanished.The days of making a living in the teeth of the stormy sea has become history. Only 50 to 60 oldies are still living on the island, enjoying a primitive, isolated lifestyle that is beyond the imagination of city-dwellers.They are more than happy to show you the way, but are too shy to look into the camera lens.