Top 8 Ancient Villages in Huangshan

Written by Ruru Zhou Updated Jul. 5, 2021

There are many original Huizhou-style villages scattered near the base of the Yellow Mountains in southern Anhui. If the Yellow Mountains were likened to a banquet, then these nearby ancient villages would be its appetizers or desserts. Descending from the breathtaking mountains and taking a walk around the ancient villages is a good way to explore Huangshan.

Most of the well-preserved ancient villages are located in Yi County (黟县 Yī Xiàn) and She County (歙县 Shè Xiàn). Listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2000, Hongcun Village and Xidi Village are the most famous. Besides these two villages, we have compiled a list of the top eight ancient villages in Huangshan.

Hongcun Spring

1. Hongcun Village

With a history of more than 800 years, Hongcun Village is a peculiar ox-shaped ancient village surrounded by lakes and mountains. It looks like a beautiful village from a Chinese painting. If you are a fan of the well-known international blockbuster Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, directed by Ang Lee, you can try identifying some of the film locations in Hongcun.

Hongcun Village

2. Xidi Village

First built in the Song Dynasty, Xidi Village is located in an idyllic valley full of clear streams, goldfish ponds, and paddy fields. Hosting the most complete group of Huizhou-style buildings, Xidi Village still has about 200 well-preserved old houses from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644–1912). It is a hidden land of peach blossoms and is probably the most prosperous ancient village in Huangshan.

Xidi Village

3. Nanping Village

Most buildings in Nanping Village date back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is a museum of Chinese ancestral halls. Houses have white walls and gray tiled roofs in the traditional Huizhou style. Mid-March to mid-April is a beautiful time to visit, as, during spring, rapeseed flowers will be in full bloom. The area attracts many photographers every year.

Nanping Village

4. Tunxi Ancient Street

  • Location: Downtown area; 60 km (37 mi) from Mount Huangshan
  • Open: 24/7 (shops remain open until late at night)
  • Ticket price: free
  • Highlights: Huizhou-style buildings, souvenir shopping, local food and tea

Built in the Song Dynasty, Tunxi Ancient Street is the best-preserved ancient business street in China. Along with Guozijian Street in Beijing and Pingjiang Road in Suzhou, it is considered one of the most famous historical and cultural ancient streets in the country.

Souvenir shops and popular restaurants dot the street. While strolling down the street, you can appreciate traditional Huizhou-style buildings, taste delicious street food, sip on maofeng — the special local tea — and purchase interesting mementos.

Tunxi Ancient street

5. Chengkan Village

  • Location: Huizhou District (part of She County before); 44 km (27 mi) from Mount Huangshan
  • Open: 07:30–17:00
  • Ticket price: CN¥107 (US$15)
  • Highlights: folk dwellings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties, feng shui (风水 fēngshuǐ)

Chengkan Village was constructed based on the eight-diagram theory that comes from The Book of Changes (Yi Jing 易经), a foundational text of feng shui. The diagrams are related to Taiji philosophy and the theory explains how to channel energy to live harmoniously with the natural environment and with each other. With its special and complex community layout, Chengkan Village is a mysterious place in which visitors can learn about Chinese culture and feng shui.

Chengkan Village

6. Tachuan Village

  • Location: Yi County; 28 km (17 mi) from Mount Huangshan
  • Open: 07:30–17:00
  • Ticket price: CN¥40 (US$7)
  • Highlights: colorful fall scenery

Located at the foot of the Yellow Mountains and only 2 km (1 mi) from Hongcun Village, Tachuan is a charming intermontane village. It is one of the top four scenic spots of the region with the most beautiful fall scenery in China; the other three are Fragrant Hill in Beijing, Jiuzhaigou Valley in Sichuan, and Kanas in Xinjiang.

If you are a photography fan and you visit Huangshan in the fall, Tachuan Village is a must-see location. The mountains, covered with trees, are ablaze with fall colors — from yellow to fiery red.

Tachuan Village

7. Bishan Village

  • Location: Yi County; 48 km (29 mi) from Mount Huangshan
  • Open: 24/7
  • Ticket price: free
  • Highlights: pastoral beauty, countryside bookstore

Bishan Village is near Hongcun and Xidi, and it takes only about 20 minutes to get there by car from Huangshan. Compared with Hongcun and Xidi, Bishan is less popular and more rustic. It is a hidden rural utopia for people who want to get away from crowds of tourists. As it doesn’t have an enclosed scenic area, Bishan Village does not require an entrance ticket.

Besides its charming rural landscape, the village is known for Pig’s Inn, Bishan Bookstore, and organic farms. If you favor Chinese-style hotels, boutique bookstores, or local life, Bishan is definitely worth a visit.

Bishan Village

8. Tangyue Memorial Archway Group

  • Location: She County; 44 km (27 mi) from Mount Huangshan
  • Open: 07:30–17:30
  • Ticket Price: CN¥100 (US$14)
  • Highlights: Chinese-style stone gateway and roof structures

Representing “loyalty, filial piety, women’s chastity, and charity,” the Tangyue Memorial Archway Group consists of seven arches. Made without any nails or rivets, the Tangyue Memorial Archway Group, which has been standing for hundreds of years, was put together entirely with high-quality local bluestone. These arches are arranged from the two ends in semi-arc shapes, which were then connected. The skillful arrangement of stones is astonishing, and frankly, hardly short of miraculous.

Tangyue Village

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