Hongcun: China’s Link from the Past – Guest Post by Judith Ann Abayari

Hongcun: China’s Link from the Past – Guest Post by Judith Ann Abayari

Do you want to see what China is like a millennium ago? Hongcun, found in the Anhui province is a 900-year old village in China. Being there is like traveling through time and seeing a part of that era preserved so beautifully. Here is a travel guide for all the people who are interested in going to Anhui and see this magnificent ancient place.

Where is Hongcun?

Hongcun, literally Hong Village in Mandarin, is a part of the eastern Anhui province in China. Anhui is more than 400 km from Shanghai. So that will take about four hours and 30 minutes of driving. If you are around Tunxi, you can get there with a bus for around 20 minutes of travel. If you are coming from Tankou, then minibuses will take you there in 35 minutes.

Best time to go…

If you are coming in the late quarter of the year, the best time would be around early of November. It is autumn at that time and everything is vivid and picturesque from any vantage point.

March and April is the ideal time to see the “Sea of Flowers” as it is at that time the valleys are in full blossom. Colors of life and nature would inspire the hidden artist in everyone visiting Hongcun.

A short history

Hongcun was established during the Song Dynasty around the year 1100. It flourished through the Ming and Qing dynasties as it became the center of trade at that period.

The village was originally the ancient home of the Wang clan. And through the years, Hongcun experienced numerous changes, while preserving most of its infrastructure and culture. Additionally, they preserved most of its customs, cuisine, and regional arts. That is why stepping into the village will feel like being transported to an ancient era where technology has less influence than anyone could hope for.

Attractions

Aside from the natural sceneries such as the sea of flowers and autumn beauties, the Hongcun village pride itself from having an authentic architectural art. You will be able to see the Ming and Qing dynasties’ influences in the buildings around you.

The overall layout of the village resembles the shape of an ox. The villagers have masterfully used the canals to divert water to their courtyards creating a crisscrossed network of artful water structures. The houses will seem like paintings from afar, with little gardens around them. There is also the famous Moon Pond that you can enjoy for blissful scenery.

Hongcun may be a tourist attraction but it does not feel like one. Stalls and other tacky souvenir booths are not placed all over the village so avoiding them will be easy. That means more time for everyone to look around in its full glory. Just do not forget your camera when you go there.

It is said that the village was designed with good feng shui in mind, hence the shape of the ox. Since drones are popular nowadays, looking at the village from top view will be much easier, and will let you take a breathtaking shot.

There is much to Hongcun that words cannot describe. So it is highly advised that you get there personally and see everything for yourself. Aside from Hongcun, there are nearby tourists spots as well if ancient beauty is what you crave for. There is the Xidi, the Tachuan village, and the epic Mount Huangshan that is best for hikers alike.

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