Huizhou is a city located in central Guangdong province in the south. Part of the Pearl River Delta, Huizhou borders the provincial capital of Guangzhou to the west,Shenzhen and Dongguan to the southwest, South China Sea to the south. Its southern part (Huiyang district) is a part of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen built-up area, the biggest built-up area in the world with more than over 44 million inhabitants encompassing the whole Shenzhen known for electronic manufacturing.
The city also has a West Lake where Su and his concubine Morning Cloud strolled.
A pagoda named “Six Metaphors” after the last lines Morning Cloud recited from the Diamond Sutra at her death.
“All laws of actions are
like dream, mirage, bubble and shadow
as dew and lightning.
It should be observed as such.”
You can see her grave right behind the Pagoda and there are statues of Morning Cloud and Su on site.
Elephant Head Mountain mentioned in the second Novella is 18 kilometres away from the Huizhou city area.
Other than the exotic fruits and lychee poetry, Su also wrote about locals eating rats in the Wild South. It is interesting to read Peter Hessler’s first chapter “Wild Flavor” in “Strange Stone: Dispatches from East and West” inviting readers along on a taste test between two rat restaurants in South China.