Hongcun Ancient Village - World Heritage Site in Anhui

【Culture】Time:2024-05-13      Source:china discovery      Views:49

Why Visit Hongcun Ancient Village? 

Hongcun is the China you think of when you think of ancient China. Many of the buildings in Hongcun can date back to the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960 - 1279) and is regarded as the best example of typical Hui-style architecture. Called “the ancient village in Chinese paintings”, Hongcun is so quiet, peaceful and beautiful which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, together with Xidi. 

After Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed in Hongcun, more and more people get to know this ancient village. Many travelers choose to visit this beautiful village before or after the Mt. Huangshan trip.

Location & Transportation 

Hongcun Ancient Village is located in Yixian County, about 65 km from Huangshan Tunxi downtown area, and 37 km from Mt. Huangshan Scenic Area. It is about 10 km from Xidi Ancient Village. 

Transfer to/off Hongcun Ancient Village 

Travelers can use our private service (including private car and private tour guide) to transfer to Hongcun Ancient Village, as well as Xidi Ancient Village for one-day trip. If you are independent travelers, you can visit Hongcun by bus or taxi. The bus schedule below is for yuor reference.

From Huangshan downtown area to Hongcun: Sightseeing buses are available in Huangshan Bus Station. Buses run at 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 13:00, 14:00 and 16:00 from Huangshan to Hongcun. 

From Tangkou (Mt. Huangshan) to Hongcun: There is a bus station located in Mount Huangshan Front Gate. Buses are available from Tangkou to Yixian at 07:20, 09:40, and 13:40. 

From Xidi to Hongcun: buses from Huangshan downtown area will pass Xidi to Hongcun, travelers should wait for the bus at Xidi. Or, travelers can take local bus to Yixian County and then take bus to Hongcun village.

History of Hongcun 

Hongcun Ancient Village can date back to the southern Song Dynasty with a history of 900 years. In 1131, it was home to members of the Wang clan with 13 traditional houses at the beginning. It flourished during the Ming (A.D. 1368 - 1644) and Qing (A.D. 1644 - 1911) dynasties when it became a trade center. Most of the buildings, like South Lake Academy, Lexu Hall, Chengzhi Hall, Sanli Hall, Shuren Hall from this period still exit in this village today. 

Layout of Hongcun Ancient Village 

During the Ming Dynasty, the governor of Hongcun Village invited He Kaida, a famous fengshui master, for three times. He Kaika found that the landform of Hongcun Village was like a lying ox, so it was better to construct the village in the shape of an Ox (Chinese character for cow). Leigang Hill at the west end of the village is the head, two huge trees (poplar and ginkgo) are the horns and the village itself forms the body. The canal system functions as its intestines and the central half-moon Yue Zhao pond is the stomach and the larger South Lake the abdomen. The four bridges spanning the Jiyin stream at the front and rear of the village represent the Ox’s legs. 

This well-designed layout is very wise and practical. The street plan, landscape, architecture, decoration and the integration of houses with comprehensive water systems are still of great value and use today. 

What to See in Hongcun 

The moment you arrive in Hongcun, you will enjoy the charming landscape stretching before your eyes: morning mists, gray tilts, white walls, stone bridges, water lily ponds and verdant hills in the background. It is the real Chinese painting unfolding before you. Exploring this ancient village, you are recommended to see the South Lake, Moon Pond, Chengzhi Hall, South Lake Academy, Deyi Hall, Shuren Hall, Chengde Hall, Jingxiu Hall and Bi Garden, etc. 

South Lake (南湖)

Located in the south of Hongcun, South Lake was built in the Ming Dynasty in 1607. Taking West Lake in Hangzhou as its example, South Lake is in the shape of an arch and the lake embankment is divided into two layers. Willow weeping, birds singing, duck playing, water lily blooming…It is very relaxing to spend some time in this area. Hence, it is called the “Little West Lake” at the foot of Yellow Mountain. South Lake Academy enjoys a delicious setting on the tranquil South Lake. 

Crescent-Shaped Moon Pond (月沼)

Located in the heart of Hongcun, the crescent-shaped Moon Pond is the Ox’s stomach. It was built during the Ming Dynasty (A.D. 1368 - 1644). The Moon Pond is green all year around, like a bright mirror. During the visit here, travelers can always find senior people sitting leisurely to chat with each other, ladies doing some washing by the lake, and kids playing around… What a happy and peaceful scene! 

Chengzhi Hall (承志堂)

Chengzhi Hall is the best-preserved old building in Yixian County and earns a reputation as the “Folk Forbidden City”. Built in 1855, it was the residence of Wang Dinggui, a wealthy salt merchant in the Qing dynasty. The whole building is in wooden structure. Wooden beams and wall panels are decorated with intricate carvings of different themes, such as natural scenery, Chinese mythology or ordinary life scenes from the Qing dynasty. Many of them are gilded in gold. 

Recommended Visiting Route 

It takes 3 or 4 hours to visit Hongcun Ancient Village. Travelers can follow this route to travel: Entrance – Two Old Trees - South Lake – South Lake Academy – Jingde Hall – Wang Dade’s Former Residence – Wuben Hall – Moon Pond – Lexu Hall – Jingxiu Hall – Chengzhi Hall – Deyi Hall – Taoyuan Hall – Entrance – Get Departure 

Best Time to Visit Hongcun 

Generally speaking, Hongcun, as a historical site, is suitable for visiting all year around. Because the main highlights are its ancient architectures, alleys, bridges, etc. But sometimes, the seasonal changes can make your travel different. It is much recommended to visit Hongcun during following two periods of time:

1) March and April - surrounding mountains get vibrant, and there are many flowers blooming in the village. At the same time, it is not as crowded as in summer and autumn. 

2) Late October to Early November – the super heat of domestic tourism start to drop, but the autumn scenery around Hongcun and nearby Tachuan is amazing. Besides, the weather is pretty pleasant.

Attractions around Hongcun Village 

Xidi Ancient Village 

Xidi Ancient Village, another ancient village in Yixian County, was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, along with Hongcun Ancient Village. There are still 00 ancient dwelling left from Ming and Qing Dynasties, among them, there are 124 well-preserved. Hence, it got a very beautiful name “Household in Peach Blossom Garden”. The main sights in Xidi include Hu Wenguang’s Memorial Archway, Lingyu Attic, East Garden, West Garden, Dafu Grand Hall, Shangde Hall, etc. 

Hongcun to Xidi Transportation>>

Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan)

Yellow Mountain, also called Mt. Huangshan or Huangshan Mountain, was listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. It is famous for the five wonders - odd-shaped pines, spectacular rocky peaks, sea of clouds, hot spring and winter snow. A visit to Yellow Mountain, you can also catch the best chance to watch sunrise, sunglow and sunset. Immerse yourselves in the fascinating scenery by exploring Beginning-to-believe Peak, Black Tiger Pine, Refreshing Terrace, Stone Monkey Watching the Sea, Lion Peak, Purple Cloud Peak, Flying over Rock, Bright Summit, Xihai Grand Canyon , etc.