Zhao Xin, the owner of Dome Under A Big Tree, asked, “Do you know anything about Xiaozhou Cun?”
It was 8.30pm when I arrived at Xiaozhou village, after a half-an-hour taxi ride from the city centre in southern province of Guangzhou, China. Zhao Xin greeted me at the village entrance and led me in. With my luggage in hand, I treaded gingerly on the dimly lit riverside path that was wet and slippery from the light rain.
Zhao is the owner of “Dome under a Big Tree,” an Airbnb lodging I was going to stay for two nights. Located right next to an arch bridge, the “dome” – or rather a little white concrete hut with domed roof – was the very reason that drew me to this water town. I chanced upon it on Airbnb and decided to extend my working trip to Guangzhou for a couple of days. From its silhouette in the dark, it looked like an adorable mushroom house in fairy tales. Zhao showed me how to unlock the bamboo sliding door and left me to settle in for the night.