China trip – Southern Anhui Province – Hongcun

first view of Hongcun across the lake

first view of Hongcun across the lake

After lunch we hopped on a bus and went to another world heritage site village called Hongcun. The first view of the village across the small lake was stunning even in the rain!

view from home-stay

view from home-stay

We had booked a home stay for the night so first thing to do was find it and stow our packs. Much more enjoyable visiting the town with less on our backs. The room was simple but the setting just amazing.

in the alleys of Hongcun - the water flows towards the village centre

in the alleys of Hongcun – the water flows towards the village centre

At first the village seemed a confusing maze but it was true that the flow of the water was a constant reference to find the way.

entry court

entry court

This extensive house had a series of courtyards and interesting interiors.

larger courtyard

larger courtyard

What a pleasure to step from a small dark interior into a large courtyard… bright and open while still feeling private and intimate.

courtyard with elaborate carving

courtyard with elaborate carving

The intricate carving in the structural members would have been indicative that the family was particularly wealthy at the time the home was built.

romantic bridge

romantic bridge

This bridge was the backdrop for the opening scene of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon… so beautiful.

about to cross the bridge

about to cross the bridge

So I had to cross it too!

from the top of the bridge

from the top of the bridge

And over the top of the tiny bridge… lotus blossoms ahead!

lovely lotus

lovely lotus

The lotus is not just a beautiful flower but also a cultural and Buddhist symbol – while it grows out of the mud, it floats above it untouched and undisturbed…

photos (cc) 2013 Hilary Farmer

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6 Responses to “China trip – Southern Anhui Province – Hongcun”

  1. This is an enchanting setting. I think the grey sky makes it seem even more magical and out-of-this-worldly.

    Did you notice the house in the view from the top of the bridge? Two orange eyes, a nose, a round mouth, cat ears. I can’t un-see it now :o)

  2. Hahahaha … A Ming dynasty building with lantern eyes and a moon gate mouth… That’s pretty funny!

  3. More gorgeous images! Question: what do the villagers use for heat and power? Gas? Wood? Coal? I noticed the lack of power lines mucking up the views but don’t know anything about the state of Chinese rural electrification!

    • Oh, there is complete electrification as far as I could tell! There were power lines to be seen – you can see some in the view through the gate to the wate garden in Xidi – but I usually tried to select photos with less noticable modern intrusions if possible. If you look closely, you can see cables and wires tight to the outside walls of buildings. Our lunch was prepared on a gas stove… Also, most buildings have what appears to be a solar hot water heater on the roof.

      • Cool! Thanks for the info, and excellent job of keeping the power lines out of the photos, which I know can be incredibly difficult!

      • I expect that there is some effort on the part of the villages to keep at least some of this stuff out of view though otherwise it wouldn’t be possible to avoid it in photos…

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