Xiapu Mudflat(Chinese name: 霞浦泥滩 Chinese Pinyin: xiá pǔ ní tān ) is a humble but favorite destination for who are enthusiastic about photography, especially for photographers. Although Xiapu is a simple and crude place, but visitors can see the most local life and take the most beautiful photos here. Xiapu is a small region along the southeast China coastline in Fujiang Province, China. The closest hub of Xiapu Mudflat is Fuzhou, Province capital of Fujian. It is about 175 kilometers away. Fuzhou can be reached to main cities in the country by flights, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhouand Xian. Xiupa Mudflat is the largest mudflat in the country, encompassing 40 square kilometers and more than 400 kilometers of coastline. Xiapu County in Fujian Province attracts a lot of tourists and photographers from home and abroad for its unique coastal scenery. Xiapu ranks the first place on the list of "Top 10 Paradises for Photographers" by CHIP FOTO-VIDEO Digital Photographers, a famous Chinese professional photography magazine.
In addition to its tiger-striped beaches, bamboo structures and poles, buoys and fishing vessels provide human counterpoints to the natural beauty of this area. There are a variety of things for photography in Xiapu mudflats all year round, for the laboring work is different throughout the year.
What and When to Take Photograph in Xiapu?
In March and April, it is best time to take photos of Yangjia River and the villagers who are fishing in the river.Yangjiaxi River is located northwest to Xiapu County. It is famous of ancient elegant banyan trees and a very enrich maple forest. Except those unspoiled scenery, you can also take a bamboo raft down the river to experience a tranquil rural country life. If you enter before 7 am or after 5 pm, no entrance fee needed. To get to Yangjiaxi River, you can get on a bus heading to Sandhazhen(三沙镇) at the Xiapu county centre. The frequency of the bus is 15 minutes and this trip will cost you 8 yuan and 25 minute.
Seaweed and Fishery Photos
From April to June, it is harvest time for seaweed and fishery, so it can take good photos of people working in sea with egrets flying above the sea level. This period of time should belong to be the most extensive shooting season of the year with rich genre. After the ground was covered with seaweed, the fishermen would hold up a section of bamboo to hung seaweed to dry up. The grass on the beach, drying the seaweed on bamboos, boats resting on the beach and working fishermen perfectly interprets the essence of Chinese ink painting. Bailucun （白璐村）village is one of the biggest producing villages of seaweed in China, the best time to go there to shoot the harvest of seaweed is May.
Palette Sea Sky Views
From July to September, it is typhoon season, but it is also the best time to shoot the seaside sky clouds, sunrise and sunset.
Laver Harvest Scenes
From October to February in following year, it is time for the harvest of laver. Photographers can take good photos of working people and maple leaf in Yangjiaxi. The local people along the beach are mostly engaged in marine culture. For the great seawater temperature and plenty of sunshine, this place is rich in croakers, kelp, oyster and laver. The bamboo poles, stone columns and fish nets are usually put into the mudflat to dry laver, kelp and other marine products. When the sun and sets, the tide rises and falls occurs, all the things on the beach, including bamboo poles, fishing boats and fishing nets can form various spectacular and fantastic sceneries.
Beiqicun in Xiapu County
For taking great laver harvest photos, Beiqicun (北岐村) is the most popular village as it is one of the main laver producing village in Fujian. To get to beiqicun, you can wave to stop a bus heading to Songshan(松山) which will cost 3 yuan and 10 minutes to get there. Alternatively, you can take a taxi for about 5 yuan and also ten minutes. Or you can take high-speed train in Xiapu getting to beiqicun in 15 minutes, which is not highly recommended as it is a lot of hassle.
Dajing Castle is a site that has a history of over 700 years. Together with her moat, it has a fully equipped defending system. Inside, there are several flagstone roads connecting to the four directions with houses and pavilions in between. The whole system withstands 700 years of questioning and demanding weather yet still.
Local people working in the mudflat
Together with the scenery, colorful low lying sand, history, culture, fisher farms and fishermen working scene of this place, it is no doubt that it becomes a great destination for photographers. The hills in Xiapu are the most ideal spot for photographers to compose many of the stunning pictures. There are four classic photographic lines in Xiapu: East Line, West Line, North Line and South Line.It will remind you a rustic Chinese traditional seaside life and amazing palette views.
Mudflat is deposition plain in the waterside of rivers, lakes or sea. It is the general term of marshlands, river banks, lake banks and sea beach. It refers to the coastal beaches, which is defined as the coastal zone tidelands between high tide and low tide, flats between normal water level and flood hydrograph, or the flatland between normal pool level and maximum flood level for reservoir and pits. According to the material composition of tidal components, the mudflat can be divided into the rock beach, sand beach or mudflats three categories. According tide, width and slope of mudflat, it can be divided into high-tide beach, middle-tide beach and low-tide beach. Because of the diverse types of shores, the effect of water flow and river sediment concentration and other factors, some shores are erodes by water. Some of them extend to the land, while some of them extend to the water. Mudflat is not only an important land resources and space resources, but also contains a variety of minerals, biological and other marine resources. The main advantage of mudflat is used for reclamation.
1. You'd better wear good hiking shoes or sneakers, for mudflats are muddy, wet and rugged mountain rocks sometimes.
2. Xiapu mudflats is linked closely tidal rise and fall. You must be sure to inquire about the rising tide of the season for advance, so that you take the best photos that you want. In addition, you should be concerned about the weather changes, we must avoid the typhoon season. Spring and autumn are generally good seasons to go. In winter, November is the best season to shoot seaweed
3. For people mainly go to Xiapu to shoot for beach fishing, seaweed farming, drying nets, sunrise and sunset at sea, natural scenery, so you should generally carry a telephoto lens that can reach 400 long and also carry a stable tripod for support.
4. Xiapu is near to the sea side, but for shooting locations are usually far away from where you live, you must travel work from down to dusk to see the most beautiful views. Therefore, you should bring jackets, flashlight and enough warm clothes, as well as rain gear in case of changing coastal weather.
5. Admission fee for visiting this rural village is free, but those villagers there have developed a notorious reputation for ripping off tourists, so stay alert.
6. English Speaking Level: Xiapu County has its local tongue called Funing accent. They can manage mandarin when it comes to make some money out of tourists, but for English speaking, don’t expect too much. Our agency can provide a driver and/or guide as you wish. Besides, this rural area doesn't have as many of the four-wheeled taxis or city buses like in the cities anyway.
7. WI-FI: Xiapu doesn’t have much WI-FI providing café bar or social club so be prepared to spend lots date there.
How to Get to Xiapu?
Usually, you need to get to Fuzhou, Xiamen or Wenzhou first, then transfer from these cities to reach Xiapu Railway Station. Upon your arrival in Xiapu Town, take local taxi or minivan to reach the mudflat area.
Xiapu Railway Station: This train station has trains connecting to those major cities around such as Fuzhou, Xiamen, Hangzhou and Ningde .It would only take 15 minutes to get to Xiapu from Ningde station. Both the No. 8 and No. 2 bus could take you to Xiapu Railway Station in the county. Upon your arrival in Xiapu Town, take local taxi or minivan to reach the mudflat area.
Getting Around in Xiapu
The Flag-fall price of taxi here is 5 yuan. But giving this is a small county, three wheels often turned our more than taxis on the street, price is negotiable though and usually no more than 15 yuan.
The buses here are running in a very relaxing way as they can be stopped if you just wave your hands beside the road.