10-Mar-2002 -- The hunt for this confluence was fun and filled with a lot of nice seaside scenery. The day before I had traveled to Quanzhou from Xiamen with my new Chinese friend, Chen Liang. We headed out to a 14th century Ming Dynasty walled city by the sea called Chongwu, and we knew that the confluence was about 15 kilometers from there.
However, we were a little misplaced by our map. We knew the point might be offshore so we rented a boat to take us across what we thought at the time was the main bay to cross to get to a second peninsula. When we only completed about 2 kilometers, it became apparent that there was a much bigger bay looming over the other side of the peninsular peaks in front of us. Although in advance we had agreed to pay our boat driver to take us further, he rudely refused, and we found ourselves forced off the boat at a breakwater construction site.
Continuing in the direction of the point we took a 3-wheeled taxi to a picturesque hillside town called Dazha, which was filled with local Minnan people in their traditional blue and white clothing. The Minnan people are predecessors of those who came to Taiwan and formed the people now referred to as Taiwanese. We hiked up stairs and small pathways to the top of the town's hill which was graced with rounded granite boulders and elaborate Chinese tombs. We kept hiking up in hope of finding the big bay, but we kept reaching false summits. This area of hills and valleys was very dry and filled with granite boulders, yucca-like trees, small farm plots, tombs and small groups of goats. After one or two kilometers we got a view of the huge bay. We could barely see the other side of it.
We climbed down some steep cliffs to the sea. There was no town or roads, only two small boats in coves nearby and a few Minnan people scattered along the shore collecting sea snails. We yelled to the boats as we thought they were our last chance to get across the 11 kilometers of the bay. There was no response, but finally another boat came by, and we yelled and waved our shirts and money. Luckily they pulled over to pick us up. The man and woman fishermen had collected a lot of fish that day which they had to get to the market to sell, so they could only take us to a nearby port town called Shanxia. They were very nice smiley people who offered us water and refused any payment for taking us to the town.
From the port town we piggybacked on a motorcycle to take us both around the big bay to the place closest to the point, a town called Jinfeng. At this point we were in a hurry because the sun was getting low in the sky. We navigated the motorcycle driver to the outskirts of Jinfeng to a small village by the sea called Dongte. At this point he couldn't go any further so we paid him off. We walked down some steps through a small forest and out onto a big beach. The point was about 1.5 kilometers away, which was likely on the other side of a small peninsula, in the sea. However, we couldn't be reasonably certain whether it was on land or at sea.
Because the sun was now going down we figured our only chance was to run out to a group of small fishing boats at the waters edge next to a temple of Mazu, god and protector of fishermen. It is worth mentioning that only a few kilometers away is an island called Meizhou, which is the mythical birthplace of Mazu, one of China's most well known deities.
The fishermen had finished for the day and we could only convince one guy to take us out for 20 yuen (about $2.50). We hopped on his grungy boat filled with sea snails and puttered along at about 6km/hour. The sun had just gone down, he wanted to go home and he thought it was too dangerous to return from the sea too late. He was not very cooperative and almost turned around about 400 meters from the point. When we got within 30 meters of the point I took the photographs. He wouldn't kill the engine so the photographs were likely taken between 30 and 60 meters of the point.