Tour Laiji with me!
I've shown you a lot about the Tree of Light, about me, and the design and build process.
Let's go around town a little here in Laiji village.
This is the entry to our HQ/ basecamp/ living space for the last few weeks. Many of the entry ways are just like this.
Here's across from us- the roads are pretty skinny here and there's usually a car parked on one side and maybe a dog or two lying in that intersection! Depending on what part of town you're in, buildings can be more modern or rustic (made of bamboo or stone gathered nearby.)
Here's a rustic house at the corner:
I haven't been inside, but it looks more like a workspace than a home. They're drying seeds, spices, and nuts outside pretty often.
This is a home around the corner with white grout on the red bricks- I thought the bricks were painted on at first! Age varies on these homes- some got lost in the 2009 typhoon from mudslides or falling rocks and were replaced in the relief efforts.
My friend here tells me everyone in town knows someone who was killed by a huge boulder then. Here's some more modern built housing.
Not sure if this is rental/ B n B or a home. Tourism is a big source of income here, so who knows?
Here's the main road in town, near what they lovingly refer to as "downtown Laiji" because it's where all the restaurants and shops are:
Our room and the houses I just showed are down and around the bend to the left. There's the Tree of Light rising up on the right just behind the B n B with the patio where I've taken lots of pics of it.
4 or 5 families and in-laws own much of the land here. The diner where we grab breakfast is in the orange building on the left, and the owners have some relation to the B n B owners on the right.
Ahead and just on the road to the left is the big B n B in town where many of the tours stop, learn about native culture and food, and where they park the tour buses. Here's their open air dining and outdoor spot where tourists meet local dancers:
Here's the cafe I'm in right now just next to the other B n B on the main street:
It's got a more modern menu (listed in English and Chinese!) that serves up curry, pan-Asian, some fancy beers and a great warm atmosphere.
Just across the way is the lunch cafe- a simpler spot with tasty traditional and regional food that many workers and locals enjoy:
Both are run by just a few people and don't really have walls. This one isn't even a building! Just bamboo and tarps.
That's all the restaurants in town! There's another about 15 minutes away at the entry to town. Then the next one is 45 minutes from there.
Many people here work at one of these eateries, at the B n B's or doing tours or dancing at shows. They also hunt, farm, do manual day labor in other areas or make wood crafts or build things.
One afternoon sitting on our porch at HQ, the neighbors proudly announced they'd trapped a wild boar!
The hunter, a tough stout man in his 60's, carried it down from his trap on a cliff face alone to his truck to bring it home. By dinner that night, we were eating boar ribs (and so was that dog!)
So that's life up here in the mountains of Laiji.
Come visit and enjoy all it has to offer 😊