For thousands of years, the cozy street scene
shown in the picture below dominated much of China's landscape.
These small towns served as cultural and economic hubs
for surrounding villages.
A scene of a traditional town typically
seen in south of China
A typical Chinese town, particularly in the south, often
features winding streets, narrow waterways, arched bridges,
with houses tightly arranged around slab-paved pathways.
The rooms along the main routes in the town are normally
used as shop front and fully open to the street, with living
quarters located upstairs and at the back of the property
dotted with one or several inner courtyards.
During market fairs days, the stalls selling local products,
many of them being fresh trimmings directly from farmland,
would densely line the sides of the roads: seasonal vegetables
in bamboo containers, nuts in wicker baskets, bean products
on timber boards, small groceries displayed on clothes,
and clay figurines presented as an early version of slot
Life in small towns as such is intimate, you can smell
the food from your neighbours, and know the world just
by sitting in the front room with a pot of tea on the red
square table: You see local people and travelers from
distant land passing by, watch wedding or funeral processions
parading through, observe the change of seasons that brings
the change in the streetscape, witness the unfolding of
human dramas which never abate. The streets are like shared
living rooms, that provide stages for people to share their
feelings, emotions, and life experiences.