Sightseeing tour in ancient Huizhou Prefecture
Shexian County is under the jurisdiction of Huangshan City of Anhui Province. It is located in the southern area of Anhui with Mt. Huangshan on the north, Hangzhou City on the east, and the Qiandao Lake on the south. Shexian County is a part of “One Prefecture with Six Counties” in ancient Huizhou Prefecture and the location of the government office of ancient Huizhou Prefecture. It is the birthplace of Huizhou Culture, the source of Huizhou Culture and Peking Opera (the quintessence of Chinese culture), the principal cradle of Huizhou merchants, and the main place of origin of both Anhui Inkstick and Shexian Inkstone (both the inkstick and the inkstone are among the four treasures of a traditional Chinese study). It has the honorary titles of “the Metropolis of Anhui Inkstick in China”, “the Hometown of China Shexian Inkstone”, and “the Land of Anhui Opera (Anhui Opera troupe)”. As one of the birthplaces of “Anhui merchants” and “Anhui Culture”, Yixian County is also a provincial-level historic and cultural city in Anhui Province. It has a lot of folk dwellings, ancestral halls, memorial archways and gardens built in the dynasties of Ming (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D) and Qing (1644 A.D. – 1911 A.D.). Xidi and Hongcun, the two ancient villages in the list of the World Culture Heritage, are also here. Yixian County is known as “the Village in Chinese Paintings” and “the People in the FairyLand of Peach Blossoms”.
Description of the Itinerary
Day 1: Leave for Shenxian County, the location of the government office of ancient Huizhou Prefecture. Shexian is a famous national-level historic and cultural city. Located in the southern area of Anhui Province, it is one the six counties under ancient Huizhou Prefecture and one of the cradles of Huizhou Culture. As the site for the government office of ancient Huizhou Prefecture, Shexian County is the native place of Huizhou Culture, Peking Opera (the quintessence of Chinese culture), and Anhui merchants. Attractions for visit: the Ancestral Hall of the Zheng Family, groups of memorial archways in Tangyue, a mansion built by Anhui merchants, the Landscape Gallery along the Xin’an River, and Xiongcun Village. Near the mountains and by the rivers, Zheng Village has rich natural and humanistic landscapes. This well-endowed region has brought forward men of talents such as Zheng Shishan (or Zheng Yu, a well-known sage who was clean, upright and outspoken all of his life. He taught a lot of students), Tao Xingzhi (a great people’s educationist), Huang Binhong (the master of traditional Chinese painting), Wang Caibai (the vivlian painter), and Zheng Meijian (the highly-skilled doctor, a member in the School of Xin’an Medical Science, and a wonderful doctor in the medical field. His office was named as “Xiyuan Laryngology” because the name of his ancestor’s house was “Xiyuan”, or “the West Garden”). Inside the County, there are ancient folk dwellings, ancient memorial archways, ancient ancestral halls, Zhenbaili Memorial Archway --- the oldest archway built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.), and Heyitang --- the famous house in the regions south of the Yangtze River, which was erected in late Ming Dynasty (1368 A.D. – 1644 A.D.) and early Qing Dynasty (1644 A.D. – 1911 A.D.). Day 2: Climb Mt. Huangshan, which is honored as “the most spectacular mountain in China” and that “you won't want to visit any other mountains after seeing the five most prestigious mountains but you won't wish to see even these five mountains after returning from Mt. Huangshan” (The five most prestigious mountains are Mt. Taishan in Shandong Province, Mt. Huashan in Shaanxi Province, Mt. Hengshan in Shanxi Province, Mt. Songshan in Henan Province and Mt. Hengshan in Hunan Province.). Day 3: The places to visit are Mukeng Bamboo Forest, and the villages of Xiuli, Xidi, and Hongcun. Mukeng is famous for its bamboo forest. Mukeng Bamboo Forest is also known as “the Jadeite Dripping Valley”. This valley is about 6 km deep. The verdant bamboos are growing around it. Its shape looks like a funnel. Money will not drop at the bottom of a funnel after you put it in. So its geomancy is perfectly excellent. Tourists may look at the scenery after rain: There are white clouds and houses in the deep place of the green bamboos. Tourists may watch the sunrise when the weather is fine. The scene of the sunrise is like that in the sea of clouds in Mt. Huangshan. But the Sun rises over the waves of bamboos here. When enjoying the glorious full moon, you feel as if you were in the Heavens. Then the visitors will go to Xixian County, the place of ancient villages in southern Anhui which are inscribed in the World Cultural Heritage. You can appreciate different styles of ancient villages, and further understand the essence of Huizhou Culture and its buildings.