Autumn around Beijing is a beautiful time of year. It is not difficult to find somewhere to enjoy the autumn scenery peacefully since there are various traditional ancient villages away from the modern city. Tourists can enjoy both the natural landscape and the folk culture of the area. Below we recommend to you the six "must-visit" ancient villages of the Beijing area.
Located in the northeast of Huangsongyu Town (黄松峪乡), surrounded on three sides by the mountains and on the fourth by the river, Diaowo Village has beautiful and pleasing scenery. There are over 100 villagers living here, and the residents are enthusiastic and earnest. Visitors are often able to spend nights with the residents in their farmhouses and enjoy home-cooked meals. The famous "baked whole sheep" is strongly recommended, and the taste of each family’s dish is quite different.
Besides the beautiful scenery and delicious food, which will also be found in other villages around Beijing, the artistic atmosphere here is unique, and many famous writers and artists come to experience life in the village. There are seven art academies in the village, and so the village is also known as the "Village of Art" in the east-Beijing area. You will find collections of works by famous artists preserved in almost every family, indicating an optimistic view of life. There are three main attractions near the village: Hudongshui Lake (湖洞水), Shilin Valley and Feilong Valley.
This village is located in Jiuxian Town of Yanqing County (延庆县旧县镇), and it has a long history dating back to the Western Han Dynasty. Thanks to its blessed geography and the natural landscape of Longqing Valley (龙庆峡), the tourism industry here has been vigorously developed. Now there are over 100 families, and the village can accommodate over 1,500 tourists at the same time. Tourists can choose to pick fruits or harvest vegetables, fish, go horse-riding experience other agricultural activities such as rice-milling, or just leisurely experience the local folk culture.
In the village, Agritainment (古城农家乐) is a hotel for rest and entertainment, and you will enjoy the heated kangs, a heated bed common in the countryside, here in the winter. The delicious corn cakes, potato cakes and corn noodles are popular among tourists. Outside the Agritainment is an open space for campfires, with an area of 2,000 square meters. Sitting by the campfire with a cup of milky tea, you will be sure to enjoy being in nature. There is also a 3,000-square-meter orchard nearby for you to pick fresh fruit.
With the ancient style and features of this village well preserved, and the buildings divided into two neat rows, Cuandixia Village is known as the "Potala Palace in Beijing."
This quaint little village is more attractive than you can imagine. The quadrangle courtyards built in the Ming and Qing dynasties are perfectly proportioned, and most of the houses are built with stones from the mountains outside town. Lattice windows, kang beds, fire-red hot peppers, golden corn -- everything combines to produce a jubilant atmosphere. In the village, you will also have the chance to taste many delicious dishes, such as braised pork with vermicelli, deep-fried fish, braised tofu, wild-vegetable salad, steamed pumpkin and red bean rice.
Located in the southeast of Yanqing County, Liugou Folk Village is surrounded by mountains on three sides. There are willow trees and ravines formed by floods all over the village, which is where the name "Liugou" (willows and ravines) comes from. The people here are simple and honest. In winter, with steaming hot Liugou Tofu in the casserole and hot drinks, a trip to Liugou Village is extremely enjoyable. Do not miss the "Tofu Feast" on your visit.
Near the village there are several famous attractions such as the Badaling Great Wall (八达岭长城), Longqing Valley, the Kangxi Grasslands (康西草原), and the Guanting Reservoir (官厅水库).
Near the Xiangshui Lake (响水湖) in Huairou District (怀柔区) there is a folk village named Zhuanghu Village. The village is on the west side of Bohai County in Huairou district, 80 kilometers away from Beijing. It is surrounded by mountains. At present there are 48 families and 120 people living in the village. With its picturesque scenery, elegant environment, earnest residents and the ancient Great Wall and Xiangshui Lake nearby, the village has made a great effort to develop its tourism industry recently.
There are currently 32 host families capable of accommodating 200 tourists at one time. The apples and Chinese chestnuts here are famous, and as the seasons change you can try more than 100 kinds of wild vegetables and other foods. Sitting on the second floor of the village leader’s house, you can see the Great Wall stretching off into the distance, barely visible in the rain and quite beautiful. The leader channeled the mountain spring into his house to create an artificial fountain, and you shouldn’t miss the tasty roast fish that he cooks!
Located at the foot of the Mutianyu Great Wall (慕田峪长城), Beigou Village is only two kilometers away from the Great Wall. There are Chinese chestnuts in the village and all over the mountain. Beyond the mountain stands the ancient Great Wall, which is the most attractive sight in the village.
The houses in Beigou Village are built into the terrain, and the rooms are well proportioned and tidy. The roads are very clean and you will never find cigarette butts or other rubbish strewn about. In the village you will truly be able to relax and return to nature. For dining, there are three little restaurants selling both Chinese and Western food opened up by the American Sayang and his wife from California. You can enjoy both well-brewed American coffee and traditional Chinese meals in company with the great landscape of the Great Wall.
Check out our best selling tour: Four-Day Essence Tour Of Beijing
Thanks for your question. We did not arrange overnight staying at Cuandixia Village because the condition of guest house near Cuandixia Village is not good. It is no easy to get there by public transport, especially for foreign travelers. As a travel agency, we glad to arrange one day trip to Cuandixia Village from and back to Beijing. Please check you mail box about the detail quotation of this one day trip and feel free contact me if you need to book it.
Have a nice day.
Hi Stephanie, Cuandixia Village (爨底下村) is great for visiting, but the accommodation there is a bit rough, so not suggested.
The Simatai section of the Great Wall has been closed for major renovation, so I recommend the Gubeikou to Jinshanling section instead. It is similar to the route from Jinshanling to Simatai, about 15km in total, needs around 3 hours to complete.
The Gubeikou to Simatai section is almost opposite the direction of Cuandixia Village. So one day is not possible to cover both of them. One day for each would be perfect.
The transportation is not convenient from downtown to these places, so private car is suggested, especially to a group with kids.
We can offer private van with driver and English speaking tour guide, if you need it, please feel free to let me know. Have a nice day!Whitney Liao replied on 2013-02-26
Hi Sam, you can take a trip to these villages first. Then decide weather you will live there or not. You can apply for the "D" visa. I don't know if you can purchase property in these areas or not, please consult the local government.Whitney Liao replied on 2012-12-13