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What comes to mind when you see the words: “Edge of Sky Corner of Sea”?

I was born on the north east corner of Hainan Island, China. When I was a little girl, Edge of Sky Corner of Sea, 天涯海角 in Chinese, a site on the south end of the island, was a far, remote and mysterious place where the earth ended. It was a place associated with thousands year old legends and had inspired many generations of poets including the eminent and eternally enshrined Su Dongpo (1037-1101) from Song Dynasty.

Finally I went after the apparition in 1988 for the first time and I had gone back twice so far: 2004 and Jan this year. A landmark in Sanya City, it sits on the southeast tip of Hainan Island and the edge of South China Sea. Besides the prominent location, subtropical climate, pristine and fine beach, alluring blue sky, azure water, coconut trees and tropical flair surrounding it, its hallmark attractions are the dozens of boulders sprawling the shoreline. About ten engravings can be found among these colossal rocks. The most renowned are one engraved with 天涯 (Edge of Sky) and the other with 海角 (Corner of Sea). But most historical is the one engraved with 海判南天 (End of Earth). The stone was carved to mark the spot as the south end of earth by envoys sent by Emperor Kang Xi, 1654-1722, of Qing Dynasty, to oversee the national mapping project.

Although Edge of Sky Corner of Sea is no longer the end of earth that I thought to be years ago, it has continued to entice and inflame my imagination. And maybe it is not too far-fetched to ascribe to it, partly, the seed of wander lust I can hardly contain.

The image in the header is one snapshot of Edge of Sky Corner of Sea.

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