China has many attractions to offer. Millions of tourists visit the country every year to enjoy the bustle of Shanghai, the bright lights of Beijing, and the nightlife in Shenzhen. But for travelers looking for a sense of what ancient China was like, there's no better place than Dongguan Nanshe Village.
Nanshe Village is considered the diamond of Dongguan because it has managed to preserve the old buildings, temples and architecture that represent the old ways of life that have largely been replaced elsewhere in China.
Visitors can visit ancient residential homes, admire the ancient sculpture and architecture or simply sit and soak up the history. Many visitors find that simply being around these ornate, historical buildings gives them a sense of the beauty and history that made China great.
Many visitors find it difficult to decide whether Dongguan is so prized because of its historical impact or its architectural beauty. This densely-packed ancient Chinese village abounds with delicately beautiful architecture that you won't find in Chinas metropolises.
The buildings at Nanshe Village are known for their beautiful cascading rooftops and the winding alleyways that break up the symmetrical city. Tourists enjoy walking under eaves and through tight passageways to get a sense of what life was like nearly 1,000 years ago.
Surrounding the small village is acres of farmland, preserved just the way it was during the Ming dynasty. The combination of buildings and farmland create a beautiful pastoral scene and the feeling that visitors have gone back in time.
Dongguan is just as historically important as it is architecturally beautiful. This well-preserved gem is best suited for tourists looking for a peaceful place to visit where they can experience the past first hand. There are historical and learning opportunities everywhere you look. But those looking for extraneous entertainment or bustling excitement would do well to look elsewhere.
However, for those that know a little about Chinese history, Dongguan Nanshe Village is an example of the ancient Pearl River Delta Water Villages that once dominated the area. Most of the buildings in Dongguan were built 300 to 800 years ago during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
The residents of Nanshe Village continued to live much the way they had historically until not so very long ago. Only in modern times was this ancient village abandoned. Recently, Dongguan went through the rapid industrializations that caused many villagers to leave areas like Nanshe village to go to more urbanized centers.
While the rest of Dongguan is rapidly industrializing, older villages like Nanshe are being preserved and quickly building reputations as cultural heritage sites. The local people's commitment to their traditional ways of life led to the careful preservation that makes Nanshe Village one of the best-preserved sites in the area.
As the heritage sites expand, more and more tourists flock to the area as older Chinese villages are taken over by industrialization. Currently, Nanshe village is in the process of applying to be a Chinese Historical and Cultural Village.
Thanks to those preservation efforts, visitors can walk in and experience the homes, traditions and architecture of this ancient place. Nanshe Village also features famous Chinese heritage buildings such as the Zizheng Di, Baisui Fang and Xie temples
Nanshe Village is located in Chashan Town, a district of Dongguan City. Roughly 5km north from Nanshe is Dongguan City center, a vibrant and thriving urban metropolis. With its world-class shopping opportunities, attractions and thriving nightlife, Dongguan is a great place to stay the night after a day's journey to Nanshe Village.
The best way to get to Nanshe on public transportation is via Dongguan. The Nanshe railway system regularly carries passengers from Dongguan to Nanshe at several intervals during the day. For a more direct route, take a cab or hired car on the short trip south to the historical site.
Nanshe Village is an informal tourist site that is open during daylight hours, from 8am to 5pm. Entrance to the Dongguan Nanshe Village is around $5 US per customer. The sightseeing at Dongguan takes about an hour to take in, longer if you take the time to soak up that special feeling that comes with visiting somewhere ancient.
However, visitors should be aware that visiting Nanshe Village is an ambulatory affair. There are many winding, climbing alleyways to traverse so it may not be suitable for visitors with physical limitations.
If you're planning a trip to Nanshe village, the best times to go are spring, winter or late fall. Nanshe village has a subtropical humid climate which means the weather is pleasant for most of the year. The weather outdoors is inviting and perfect for a sightseeing walk.
But in summer and early fall, there's lots of rain and storms. To avoid getting rained out, plan your trip around the months of May through October.