I complete a bit of work via the Internet quickly before departing for a full day of activity. Mr. and Mrs. Wang and Christine meet me in the lobby of the hotel and we depart for a visit to the Tangyue Memorial Archways. When we arrive at the tourist site, Mr. Wang parks the car near two women who appear to be preparing some food from the field. We are greeted at the entrance by a friend of Mr. Wang and guided to the site. The 7 archways were erected to honor individuals who were recognized by the Emperor during the Qing and Ming Dynasties. The individuals were recognized for their righteousness, generosity, familiar loyalty, and charitable efforts. This is the largest collection of archways in China. There is a temple with stones recognizing the men of this distinguished family. Next to this building is a temple dedicated to recognize women. The only such temple in China dedicated to women. As we leave the tourist site we stop in the shop of our guide. He gives me a gourd that grows in the area. Don’t worry it has been dried and will not spoil. He sells ink stones, brushes, and other small items. They explain to me that this area is famous for the “She Inkstone,” a required tool in traditional calligraphy). As we return to the car, Mrs. Wang pays the women a few coins for watching over the car.
Anhui is one of the poorer provinces in China. It is not for the vast number of agricultural fields that generate a wealth of wheat, rice, corn, sweet potatoes, lotus root, and sugar case. Anhui does have some natural resources such as iron from Ma’anshan, coal from Huainan, and copper from Tongling. Their greatest challenge is the transportation expense limiting the amount of exports from the area. Tourism is the largest source of income for the immediate area, but the greatest contributors to this are the vast numbers of domestic tourists that visit the area. The challenge is reaching larger numbers of international tourists. Several phone calls are made and the Mayor asks me to present Wang Yu and my proposal for an international English based gateway site on Friday to the Huangshan Tourism Committee. Our luncheon concludes with photos and a pledge to work together for the benefit of the community’s economic well being.