The Spirit of Huizhou

A journey of many facets. Explore deep into the culture of the Huizhou people, an important group who played a central role since their rise during the Southern Song Dynasty. On this expedition, we visit some of the most remote villages in Jiangxi and Anhui to witness the spirit of Huizhou. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Stay in boutique charming lodges in medieval villages

Encounters with artisans and locals ethnic villagers

Marvel at some of the finest collection of beautiful villages in China

Savour the best of Hui cuisine

ITINERARY

DAY 1: NANJING / ZHAJI VILLAGE

The journey begins as we drive 3hrs from Nanjing to Anhui Province where we arrive at the rustic and relatively untouched ancient village of Zhaji, built during the Sui and Tang dynasties (581AD - 907AD) with a long history of over 1380 years. Being a town with the largest number of existing ancient civil houses in China, Zhaji has more than 300 Hui-style ancient structures from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, covering a total area of 26414 square kilometres. Arrive at the intimate and charming boutique lodge, Chawu Tea Master House and be orientated to the village. Take a step back in time as you walk along the time-honored lanes and appreciate the quaint yet lively architecture of Anhui with its typical glazed-tile roofs, solemn ancestral halls, exquisite arch bridges and well-preserved temples. This evening, savour a wonderful Welcome Dinner passionately-prepared by locals with fresh ingredients and produce. 

Overnight: Chawu Tea Master House, Zhaji Village

Meals: Welcome Dinner

DAY 2: ZHAJI VILLAGE

Awake to a fresh day in beautiful surroundings as we take a hike of the area. Marvel at the beautiful rice fields, experience the slow life of the village and villagers at work, visit a local paintbrush artisan specializing in the art of exquisitely handmade Chinese paintbrushes and visit some local villagers houses. The experience of Zhaji Village is surreal, reminiscent in a time warp. 

Overnight: Chawu Tea Master House, Zhaji Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 3: ZHAJI VILLAGE / HONGCUN & XIDI VILLAGE

Today, we travel south as we have our first glimpse of the sacred Mount Huangshan "Yellow Mountain". We first visit the UNESCO-listed Hongcun Village (3hrs drive), with a history of more than 800 years and famed as the filming site of Oscar-winning film, "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon". We take a walk through the town admiring its many alleys, moats, bridges and ponds that enchant many travellers and artists throughout the centuries to this stunning area. After lunch, we continue to Xidi Village, also a UNESCO site, at the foot of Mount Huangshan with a history of more than 900 years where much of its original architectures are preserved as they are throughout the passage of time. We then check in at the charming and intimate Pig's Heaven Inn Xidi, a former Ming Dynasty house that has been beautifully restored and brought back to life by its Shanghai artist owner. This evening, savour up an exceptional Hui-style cuisine in the lodge, definitely a highlight and experience!

Overnight: Pig's Heaven Inn, Xidi Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 4: XIDI VILLAGE (EXCURSION TO MOUNT HUANGSHAN)

Embark on a full day excursion to the UNESCO-listed Mount Huangshan where you will take the cable car to the top of the mountain. Multiple hiking trails allow you to see infinite vistas and panoramic views of one of the world's most photographed mountains. Catch your breath enjoying jaw-dropping views of Brush Pen Peak, Lion Peak and Xihai Grand Canyon and more. 

Overnight: Pig's Heaven Inn, Xidi Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

 

DAY 5: XIDI VILLAGE / XIAOQI VILLAGE / HUANGLING VILLAGE

Our journey continues as we travel into eastern Jiangxi Province. Make our first stop at the beautiful Xiaoqi Village, built during the Song Dynasty with an idyllic and tranquil atmosphere. Admire the village's many beautiful Zhouzhuang-styled bridges, well-preserved ancient buildings and stunning tea gardens where Xiaoqi is "China's First Village of Tea Culture". Visit a local tea artisan to learn insights into its tea production, culture at the tea workshop. After lunch, we will continue to the foot of Huangling Village for cablecar ascend to the village known as the "Village Hanging on Cliff". Marvel at the stunning crop terraces, large fields of beautiful flowers on the cablecar as you arrive at the village entrance. In autumn of each year, villagers will dry crops to preserve their harvests, known as "Dry Crops in Autumn" which became a symbolic identity and local culture. Check in at the boutique Wuyuan Huangling Villa with spectacular views of the village and the crop terraces. 

Overnight: Wuyuan Huangling Villa, Huangling Village

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: HUANGLING VILLAGE 

Enjoy a day to soak in the picturesque and beautiful Huangling Village, which prides itself as the most beautiful village in China. Situated 500m above sea level and adorned with ancient Hui-style houses featuring black roof tiles and whitewashed walls, the detailed carvings on wood, bricks and walls make each house a timeless piece of art. Every autumn, locals will dry their crops such as corn, red chili, chrysanthemum flowers outside their windows. This tradition is known as "Shaijiu" which began due to limited space in the terraced fields. Take a walk through the village with a local villager explaining the town's origins, culture and customs, visit a woodcarving workshop and interact with the skilled craftsmen of their intricate Huizhou architectural style. Consider a hike to the terraced fields to capture stunning images of the village and spend a relaxing day in reflection of the Huizhou people. 

Overnight: Wuyuan Huangling Villa, Huangling Village

Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

DAY 7: DEPART HUANGLING VILLAGE  / TUNXI

Today, depart Huangling Village for Huangshan Tunxi Airport (1.5hrs drive) for your onward journey. 

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Chawu, the Tea Master House is the result of the dedicated efforts of Julien Minet. At the end of the 1990s, he made a mission for UNESCO as an ethnologist and discovered this miraculously-preserved region of China. Inspired and fell in love with the town, Julien bought over a Ming Dynasty ruin and fully restored the house into a perfect home of discovery of this exceptional Huizhou town. Chawu is prominently featured by columnist, Justin Bergman in the New York Times. 

Chawu Tea Master House, Zhaji Village

The Pig's Heaven Inn is an ancient house that used to be a pig sty. Dating from the Ming Dynasty, a Shanghai artist, Li Guoyu came to Xidi Village, fell in love with the beautiful surroundings and bought over the building and fully restore it to a charming and boutique lodge for discerning travellers. With just 5 guestrooms, the furnishings are a curious mix of antiques, contemporary rustic chic decor and is featured in the New York Times. 

Pig's Heaven Inn, Xidi Village

Located ideally in the Huangling scenic area, the Wuyuan Huangling Villa offers boutique accommodation with modern furnishings and fitted with flat-screen tv, air-condition. The balcony and terrace provides wonderful views of the village and the mountains. 

Wuyuan Huangling Villa, Huangling Village

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