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Kam's Mainland China Lychee trip - More than yummy. (July 2001)

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Anticipating lychee? Listen to Kam first about what this trip is about.

Kam ran a business in DG from 94 to 98. Although the business was closed, his relationship with his former DG business partner, Man, prevails. If time allows, Kam comes back to DG during lychee time. For the fruit, and for seeing old friends.

DG is one of the most motor-cycled cities in Southern China. People use motor cycles for almost everything.

These men are Transporting piggies in cages. See how the piggy on the left sticking out one foot to help the cyclist stay in balance?

Man has this good Taiwanese friend, Wang, who owns a few factories in DG, as well as a 40 acre orchard which he uses for "morning exercise". He love the mainland so much that he bought this orchard to retire.
Over that hill, and the hill behind it, and yet another hill behind, then you will see another hill  ...
Wang's fruit is not for sale. But if you are his friend, you can walk in any time and eat all you can. Kam had lychee there in 1999 and found that his lychee is much better than those bought on the street. Red, round, big, juicy, small seeded, sweet, you name it.

So here we go ...

We spent 30 mins in that 1 foot deep mud pot. At one point, I thought my lychee trip ended at Ke Garden.

Not as simple as what you can see. The engine is overheated and we have to spend another 30 min watching the mud.
Wang's retirement house. Not the typical luxurious show-off standard. That reflects Wang's nature-loving state of mind.
A private pond for fishing. Scuba diving allowed? Forgot to bring my gear anyway.
Loquat, or "Yellow Skin".
Longan, or "Dragon Eye". Harvest comes after lychee. Thailand produces lots of them but not as sweet and tasty.

Lychee tree here ...

Lychee tree there ...
Mangos!!! Huge mangos!!!
Lychee tree everywhere!!!
 Ok, time to be honest with you. There is only lychee tree, no lychee. I only find out upon arrival.  

We had a lot of rain in the past few months when lychee blossomed. No pollination, no lychee. It happened to lots of lychee farms in DG this year. 

During good years, lychee in DG goes for $1-1.5 per pound. This year, it's about 3 times that price. And if you are not familiar with lychee, you can't even tell if these $5 lychee are genuine DG lychee. Sellers ship lychee from nearby areas to sell as DG lychee. Best way to protect you against this - not the consumer laws, it's to get a DG friend.

All-you-can-eat-for-a-season lychee trees in lychee farms are available for booking at the beginning of the year from about $150+ each. If you book a tree in advance in a bad year like 2001, you probably have to eat the leaves get even.

Only few survived in Wang's orchard. Small, dry and dark. We stood, in silence,  in front of the trees.
 As I said, this trip is partly for lychee and partly for meeting old friends. Man didn't alert me of the situation because he has preparation to fulfill the lychee objective too - he bought big, fresh lychee from a neighbor orchard. 

Man says "You are in this orchard, and you are eating lychee, with old friends. What else is missing?"

Kam goes and  

Yum, yum, yum. Drop your weapon. I got hostage!

(Just for the sake of posing for the official PIC of the day. These mangos are too green to be eaten)

  Health Hazard - lychee is know to be "hot". You will find yourself suddenly in bikini after putting a lychee in your month? No, it's a body condition that the Chinese is describing with "hot".   Eating too much BBQ, deep fried stuff, and some "hot" things like lychee are the causes of  "hot"ness. I think it could be describe as having too much of certain substance dissolved in one's blood/body and thus throw the body out of balance.
  According to grandma, white chrysanthemum tea (brew with hot water) can put the body into balance again.    Possible symptoms of being "hot" are 1) bad breath, 2) bites cheek easily, 3) taste bitter when drinking bear (ok, it should be "beer", thanks Susan for picking on me ), 4) have lots of dreams, 5) has a high chance of getting sick.
Got something to take home too. Thanks Man. What can I say. That is some warm hospitality there.

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