As we were driving around Pintang city, going to and from the patchwork classes and other places, we drove past so many interesting shops and other buildings. In this post, I'll give you some images showing various parts of the city.
I am sure many people would imagine a Chinese city to have a lot of places that look like the old steps and lane above. In fact, there were very few places in the city with buildings as old as these. I'm not sure just how old they are and it is likely that many similar old places won't be there much longer. While some places are being preserved for their historical value, I doubt many people (Chinese or foreigners) would want to live in these dark old houses compared with modern houses and apartments. One of the big differences I noticed between the old places and the new builds was the size of the windows. Almost every new place being built will have big windows. Having seen how dark the old houses can be inside (like the timber houses in the Miao villages we visited last week), it is understandable that people want bright, modern homes.
Many shops open right out onto the street. With the warm climate, they don't need glazed in shop fronts most of the year. It made it much easier to see inside as we drove past too. On our final patchwork day, Angel indulged my love of Chinese buns with savory fillings for lunch. Each layer of these huge steamers had a different kind of filling in the bun, from a sweet peanut butter (my favourite), to spicy vegetables and meat fillings.
The shop also had a deep fried stick bun, a bit like a long doughnut, but not so sweet (not rolled in sugar) and much lighter in texture. Along the other wall, there were tables so you could eat in too.
A few doors along, there was a motorbike repair shop. With the number of bikes on the road here, there were lots of bike sales, spares and repair depots in the city.
Outside the bun shop.
Many pavements in Pintang had slate pavers with lines engraved in them, presumably to make them less slippy in the heavy rains. The patterns reminded me of sashiko or machine quilted parallel lines.
This shop manufactured front doors. The style of new front door on most new houses is a fancy metal door. The mezzanine storage area was full of different metal sections.
Tofu and meat on sale in the street. All the food on sale here was very fresh.
A general store with vegetables outside.
Modern apartment blocks.
I took a lot of these photos from the car as we drove round, so some are a little blurry or might have windscreen reflections. I also took a lot of video clips, but I can't get them to upload to my blog.
Rinsing dishes from a restaurant. Many restaurants seem to contract out the dishwashing, and the small bowl and teacup combination that serves as the individual place setting were wrapped in clear plastic when they arrived at the table, so the dishes must go to some factory setup to be cleaned and shrinkwrapped.
There seemed to be market stalls on street corners every day.
As might be expected with so much new build going on, there were lots of shops selling tiles, bathroom fittings and white goods. Here you can see western style toilets on sale.
We drove past this older part of Pintang every day and stopped to take photos of it on the last day.
Ancient steps. I have no idea how old these are, but they have the feeling of being there forever.
There were more modern shops on the opposite side of the road. This shop was selling tiles and ceramic bathroom fittings - spot the Chinese style loos in the middle.
The old mossy walls looked beautiful.
A long noticeboard, with the remains of old posters.
The opposite side of the road. Note the big windows above the shops.
Another hardware shop. This one looked like it had rice cookers and other kitchenware for sale. I wish I'd had time to browse, as I am sure I'd have found something interesting, but probably too big to bring home.
Another gleaming tile shop. Ceramic tiles are a big product of this region, so I expect most of the stock would be locally made. Tiles are used everywhere, especially to face buildings, which must be quite expensive, given the large area of tiles needed.
Another hardware shop...
Behind the stalls on the market. Lots of snack stalls provide somewhere to sit and eat.
Another old wall.