Xidi & Hongcun - 12th July 2008 @ 11:48 am «   »

Location: Anhui Province, China : Xidi & Hongcun

Another day of busses, ferries, trains & taxis has brought us from Putuoshan to Tunxi. We arrived at 20:45 at what looked like a parking lot in the middle of now where. Everything was completely dark and there was no one around. We had no idea where we were and how far it would be to the hostel, so we took the only taxi in sight.

The hostel, Koala International Youth Hostel, is opposite the train station and perfect for our needs. We don’t usually take organised tours, but the hostel organised a bus with entrance tickets and lunch to 2 famous villages in the area at a very good price, so we booked it straight away. Usually tourists have to get a visitors permit for this area, but they cancelled it a few months ago. The only expense now is the extortionate entrance fee to each village. The tour bus picked us up at the hostel at 08:00 Saturday morning and we met a very nice Australian guy, Andrew, and Chinese girl, Ellen, on the bus.

The main reason for coming to Tunxi was to visit the 2 ancient villages, Xidi and Hongcun. As Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was filmed here, we had very high expectations.

Our first stop was Xidi – a beautiful village built between 960-1279 AD. Included in our tour was a Chinese guide, but we decided to wonder the streets and alleys at our own pace. It almost feels like stepping back in time in this picturesque little town with water ways which flow through the village and green beans drying in baskets outside houses.

From Xidi we took the bus again to Hongcun, only about 7km further. Before exploring the sites, we first stopped for lunch in a little restaurant at the entrance of the town. Our group was sat down at a large round table and we didn’t know what was going to happen next. But very soon the green tea started flowing and the food started arriving – one dish after another.

After stuffing ourselves with all sorts of Chinese delicasies (nothing too strange though), we headed for the streets of Hongcun. Another beautiful, old village with many stone bridges, girls washing clothes in the streams and wrinkled, old ladies baking ‘moon cakes’ (sweet, round pastry) on every corner.

After visiting these amazing villages, we definately want to watch Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon again to see if we recognise any of the locations.

Back at the hostel Andrew invited us to join him for dinner at a famous restaurant in town – there is no menu, instead you walk around a huge buffet where raw or plastic versions of all the dishes are on display, including all drinks and desserts. You then write down the numbers of the dishes you want, without actually knowing how they will prepare the food. The restaurant was absolutely packed and we had to wait a while for a table, but it was worth it. A few of the dishes we ordered were a bit of a lucky dip, but everything was very tasty. A perfect ending to a very nice day.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

If you can’t see the slideshow above click here.

One Response to “Xidi & Hongcun”  
Pa en Ma Deacon Says:

Hi julle twee
Dis jammer julle kon toe nou nie Skype gisteraand nie. Ons kyk maar weer later. Ek kan nie verstaan wat Sondag gebeur het met die baie opbreek terwyl ons ge-Skype het nie.
Met ons gaan dit baie goed. Die erge koue het darem weer ‘n bietjie gewyk, Maar dit sal seker weer terugkom.
Geniet alles verder en dan praat ons hopenlik weer een van die dae.
Baie liefde
Ons twee