Hongcun Village (宏村) - Anhui - China

Hongcun Village enjoys the reputation of 'a village in the beautiful Chinese picture' because of its location at high altitude and being shrouded by clouds and mist.

Established in 1131, this well-preserved centuries old village is unique. What makes Hongcun Village so unique is that the village was designed by a fengshui master to resemble a cow



The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China. One of the biggest of the residences open to visitors, Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small residence museum.



Together with Xidi it was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Hongcun was a location where the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was shot. Since then, tourism has dramatically increased.


Don’t let the photos fool you, they might look empty but let me assure you the crowds were there. I just waited for them to move on before taking the shots.



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Hongcun Village is built in the shape of an ox. The locals liken Leigang Hill as the 'head', two huge trees on the hill as the 'horns', the residences in the village as the 'body', a winding stream as the 'intestines', a crescent pond as the 'stomach' and the four bridges as the 'four feet'.




Hongcun is unique among all Chinese villages for its very sophisticated water system. Water is the main feature in this village. Its two large ponds are connected to a series of flowing streams which pass by every house, providing water for washing, cooking, and bathing.









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The humidity was extremely high today, probably, made worst by the fact that we just came down from the much cooler mountains (20C). It wasn’t fun especially with the huge crowds, from various tour groups, pushing and shoving. There appears to be no concept of queuing in China.


Ascend to Mt. Hallelujah - Huangshan - China

After a good night sleep and a good breakfast we were ready for our ascend up to Huangshan (Yellow Mountain). Our guide gave us the option of either visiting Hongcun in the morning and then up to the mountain later in the day. Apparently, it is still raining up on the mountain. We all decided to risk it and go straight to the mountain as that has always been our priority for this trip.

Cable car trip to the Top

There was fog all the way up to the top of the mountains. Near complete white out in some places as we saw nothing except white or the occasional cable car going the opposite way.





There was a collective sigh in the cable car when the fog parted and we caught glimpses of what was awaiting for us up at the top. The scenery was breath taking and I knew straight away that I was going to get great shots today if the weather cooperated.





Check out those pine trees growing on the side and top of the mountain.


"The prototype of Mount Hallelujah in 'Avatar' originated from Mount Huang, whose peculiarly-shaped granite peaks and steep mountain shape brought us great inspiration", said James Cameron, director of 'Avatar', at its Beijing Premiere on December 23rd.



Due to same stuff up, I mentioned in the last post, by our travel agent meant that we would only be staying for 1 night and 1 day instead of 2 nights and 2 days. I still get angry when I think about this.


Mt. Huang, Huangshan, China


Map picture


Tunxi (屯溪区) – Anhui - China

Tunxi Ancient Street

Arrived here late afternoon from Shanghai. Due to a stuff up of our flights by our less than observant travel agent we missed the last cable car up to the Mt. Huang so we will have to spend the night here in Tunxi. After checking in and a quick rest we wandered down to ancient street.

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This tea house is about 800 years old. The girl is performing a traditional Chinese tea ceremony and later instructed us on the proper tea drinking etiquette. I really enjoyed drinking one so much so I bought some.


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We then tried out Chrysanthemum tea. It was lovely, sweet and mellow. I really enjoyed it.


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This was lovely too and the most expensive tea we tried that night. Excellent green tea indeed.


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Hmm, looks like some sort of bicycle convertible. How cute is it?
Wonder if it would catch on back in Australia.


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I found this bicycle parked all on it’s lonesome in a back lane off ancient street.

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                           Drying clothes the traditional way.


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                             Fan Artist/Calligrapher/Painter.


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Seal stone Carver at work. He is actually carving this one for me. You can see what it looks like at the top right hand corner of this photo.


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                                      A very friendly local.


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Random tourist trying to decide which fan to buy or get both. This goes on for an eternity. Okay, I am exaggerating.


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Fast food Chinese style. The food was actually very tasty and ridiculously cheap.


This street with centuries-old history dates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Emperor Huizong (1082-1135) moved his seat of government to Lin'an (now Hangzhou), when many architects and workmen were conscripted to construct the new capital. After returning to their hometown, they imitated the structural style to build architecture along the street, so Tunxi Ancient Street was formed.

At the beginning of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), a merchant in Anhui invested money to build 47 stores so as to attract businessmen, which contributed to the communication of the street with outside world.

Gradually it developed into the distribution center for materials in and out of Anhui in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The street is paved with maroon flagstones with a total length of 1,273 meters (about 1,392 yards), of which 895meters (about 979 yards) is the pedestrian commercial street.

Shops standing on both sides are generally of two or three floors, which feature the local Anhui style of stone base, brick construction and tile roof. The layout of these buildings commonly takes on the appearance of shops in front while houses and workshops are to the rear. Once a professor from America was amazed by the street and he said he had found an Oriental Ancient Rome. Nowadays the street is also used as a natural studio for films and TV series.

Tunxi, Anhui, China

Tunxi, Anhui, China