Xidi + Hongcun (or, a chinese winter wonderland)

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CHINA 2016 Part 2: 黄山市 + 西递 + 宏村 | Huangshan City + Xidi + Hongcun

My actual travel part of China began with catching a bullet train from Beijing to Huangshan, i.e. the Yellow Mountains.

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We arrived quite late at night due to the bullet train being delayed by excessive snow, so I took these pictures the next morning. The entire city doesn’t look like this though, this is just ‘Ancient Town’.23

 

There’s a lot of street food, local specialty shops and inns in this area.

We had accidentally booked a really shitty motel/hostel thing for the first night… but at least it was in the city. Because, many people make the mistake of booking a hotel at the base of the mountains, rather than the city (which is around an hour drive away from the mountains). This works out during the day, but at night, particularly in winter, taxi drivers will charge a much higher rate, or if the road is icy, refuse to drive at all. So we weren’t in the worst case scenario, but far from the best.

Anyways, we booked a taxi for a day to take us to two traditional villages in the region, Xidi and Hongcun, both of which were declared part of the Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui World Heritage Sights by UNESCO in 2000.

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First was Xidi~

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Literally hundreds of years old.

Moments in this village made me love travelling in winter. We had arrived somewhat early so there was probably a total of 10-15 tourists spread out through the numerous alleyways and corners of the village. So most of the time, I could wander around surrounded by ancient structures, enjoy the fresh mountain air and relative winter silence in peace.

There was also a tour guide for group of around 5 tourists, which ended up being around 10 because a lot of people (including us) ‘tagged along’ to get a free guide lol.

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It had snowed heavily the night before, creating a quaint village fit for a cute childrens picture book or snow globe or something. These cool tones and limited colours, as well as the simple straight lines created by streets and fields was in a way just as beautiful as the overwhelmingly saturated detail of the Summer Palace.

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Panorama ~

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If the door to Narnia was in an ancient Chinese village in the middle of no where

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Heavily photoshopped but I wanted to make the cold winter air more dramatic~

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Moving on, the next destination was Hongcun, a very similar but significantly larger village.

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It was passed midday, and more sun/ blue sky had appeared.

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Good time and weather + larger village also meant that there were very noticeably more people than Xidi. It kind of ruined the vibe, and because the buildings were pretty much in the same (often less intricately detailed) style, we were somewhat disappointed at Hongcun. We were also slowly freezing to hypothermia in the negative 10 degree weather (although the worst was yet to come).

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And that’s about it for this day~

Nothing particularly special is happening in my present day life either so see you next entry hopefully ^ ^

 

 

 

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