Another “follow-up” post, this time to the tale of our visit to Anhai’s Wu Li Qiao, or Five Mile Bridge.

I went back not long ago with my Mother-In-Law and two daughters, and this time we walked further down the bridge than I’ve ever gone before–perhaps 3/4 of the length and back. This time I learned a bit more about the bridge from my Mother-In-Law, such as:

  • Half the bridge is in the jurisdiction (and under the care of) Jinjiang County (i.e. the Anhai side), the other half by another county, Nan’an County. The structure of these two halves is different. The Jinjiang/Anhai side has six stones across the breadth of the bridge. The other half has seven.
  • The supports on the Nan’an side are boat-shaped, as seen in this picture. On the Jinjiang side, they’re square.
  • In the 50’s and 60’s, water around the bridge was clean enough to swim in. Now it looks like it could melt steel.
  • Last year, people stole a pair of statues (pictures below) from the mid-point temple during the night, with several people required to carry each one away to a waiting boat, with the ultimate plan of smuggling them to a buyer outside the country. The “kidnappers” were captured before making the shipment out of the country, though, and the statues returned, however. (This wasn’t the first kidnap attempt, just the first time they actually got them away from the temple. On an attempt some years back, the thieves dislodged the statues, but apparently didn’t bring enough helpers to carry them. Darned heavy mo-fo’s, I’ll wager.)

Some photos from our outing:

My Mother-In-Law and 4-Year-Old Daughter in front of the Anhai-side bridge gate:

My two daughters in front of the mid-bridge temple altar:

The mid-bridge temple ceiling:

Detail of a stone inscription on the mid-bridge temple wall:

Stone inscription at the mid-bridge temple:

The view out the front door of the mid-bridge temple
(Those are the stolen-but-rescued statues dressed in red):

Halfway between the mid-bridge temple and the Nan’an end of the bridge, you’ll find this small kiosk-sized temple. The old man inside is telling one girl’s fortune while her friend waits to the right.