With their snowy white-washed walls and charcoal black-tile roofs, the ancient villages dotted throughout the Huizhou region look like a scene torn straight from a Chinese ink painting. If you’ve ever wanted to wander through the picturesque villages that you see in many Chinese martial arts films, Huizhou is the place to fulfil that dream!
The ancient region of Huizhou, famed for its colourful history, used to span southern Anhui province and northeastern Jiangxi province. It was once the ancestral home of numerous successful merchants, renowned politicians, and illustrious scholars. In fact, the Hui merchants established such a fine reputation for themselves that, by the Qing Dynasty, they had practically achieved celebrity status and were said to have left their footsteps on almost half of the globe! It was these Hui merchant families that were responsible for the glorious Hui architecture that you’ll find in Huizhou today.
Duration: 7 days and 6 nights.
Dates: 19th of April – 25th of April.
Cost pp: £780
What's Included: 6 nights of accommodation; entrance fees to all of the villages; 2 dinners; tea every day; the cost of all transportation during the designated tour times; the services of an English-speaking guide with a vast knowledge of Hui art and history; a pdf file with important information about Huizhou; and any further help or information we can provide if you decide to continue traveling in China after the tour.
We will start our tour in the city of Huangshan.
There is a domestic airport in Huangshan that is connected to many major cities in China, such as Beijing and Hong Kong. Alternatively, high speed trains operate between Huangshan and most major Chinese cities. If you need us to arrange your trip to Huangshan by flight or by train, please let us know in advance and we will be more than happy to help you with your journey.
On the second day, we’ll be traveling to charming Chengkan, the first Hui village on our tour. Chengkan is widely regarded as one of the most typical Hui villages in the Huizhou region, so it should give you a sense of what to expect from our tour.
In ancient times, Shexian represented the cultural and economic epicentre of Huizhou. We’ll start the day with a fascinating tour of the old town, followed by a visit to the Tangyue Memorial Archways. Once we reach the archways, we will be treated to some of the historical background behind their creation, such as the strict moral rules surrounding filial piety and chastity in traditional Hui culture.
After all that hard work, we’ll take a leisurely stroll along the Xin’an River and visit some of the traditional craft shops that line its banks.
In the morning, we will take the train back to the city of Huangshan and from there we will travel to Yixian by coach. Yixian is where the picturesque villages of Xidi, Nanping, and Hongcun are located.
Once we have arrived in Yixian, we’ll immediately visit Xidi, one of the most famous villages in Huizhou. However, we will be staying overnight in Nanping, because it is much quieter. Since Nanping has been largely kept in its original condition and hasn’t been heavily developed for tourism, staying overnight in this quaint village will undoubtedly offer us a window into what life was like for the rich Hui merchants during ancient times.
After staying overnight in Nanping, we will awaken the next day and spend the morning leisurely appreciating its beauty.
In the afternoon, we will head to Hongcun, which is listed alongside Xidi as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey from Nanping to Hongcun is very short, so we will have plenty of time in the afternoon to visit the many fascinating attractions in Hongcun.
In the morning, you’ll be given the option to choose whether you want to: stay in Hongcun and enjoy a pleasant stroll through village; or go hiking in the neighbouring village of Lucun. Lucun is another authentic Hui village but, much like Nanping, it isn’t as popular with tourists so it’s very peaceful.
Please Note: The entrance fee for Lucun is not included in the tour price and is around 50 RMB (approx. £6). The most famous attraction in Lucun is Zhicheng Hall, which is almost entirely made out of delicately carved woodcuttings. It costs an extra 30 RMB (approx. £4) to enter the hall.
Tips for staying in Hongcun: Take time to venture out of the village in order to explore the tea fields that climb their way up the nearby mountains.
On the afternoon of the sixth day we will return to the city of Huangshan.
Participants are either free to start their return journey or continue their travels in China.
If you want to visit the Mukeng Bamboo Forest or Mount Huang and need our help, please do not hesitate to tell us in advance and we will make arrangements for you.
Please Note: You can choose to stick to this tour entirely, or you can just incorporate it as part of your wider plans to travel across China. We can provide you with information and help you with any other travel plans you may have if you need us to. We also provide a hotel booking service and a flight or train booking service for all of our members’ traveling in China outside of the 7 designated days of the tour. We will also provide a consultancy service for you, which will help you to plan your journey across China and give you useful tips on traveling in China.