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With picturesque scenery and amazing ancient architecture, Nanping Village is a place that has impressed people for centuries. From movie makers who come here to shoot scenes for famous movies to history lovers and tourists, Nanping always has a constant stream of visitors that come to admire its past and present.
Nanping is located at the foot of Nanping Mountain, 4 kilometers southwest of Yi County. It is one of the ancient villages near the famous Yellow Mountains. With a history of over 1,000 years, it is an old village featuring in many historical and cultural sites.
Originally built in the Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) by the Ye family, it developed into a famous village with wealthy merchants. The rich architecture reflects the thriving lifestyle and glory of its past. There still remain over 300 old houses, 36 wells, and 72 alleys which were mainly built in the Ming Dynasty and Tang dynasties. Today, Nanping Village is inhabited by over 1000 people of Ye, Cheng, Li and several other families today.
Nanping is now a 4A scenic spot, a national cultural relic protection site, and a famous historical and cultural village. It is a good destination to explore the history, culture and patriarchal system of ancient Huizhou.
From enjoying the natural beauty of Nanping to admiring the ancient architecture, there are many things that you will enjoy in this ancient city.
Nanping village has stunning scenery with green mountains overlooking stretches of agricultural fields that change color with changing seasons.
In spring, the fields are grown with rapeseed. A visit in March or early April will be rewarded with an amazing view of a sea of yellow flowers in full bloom.
In Summer the paddies have a lush green appearance. The color changes to golden as the rice is ready for harvest in September.
Also known as 'a Museum of China’s Ancient Ancestral Halls’, Nanping village is made of interesting antique buildings with a labyrinth of crisscrossing alleys. Stroll along the ancient buildings and go back centuries in time to have a feel of the past. Eight ancestral halls are well maintained till today and speak of the culture of the ancient feudal societies. Each family had to set up its own temple, called ancestral hall, to worship ancestors.
Following are the main areas that are worth a visit:
Clan Ye’s Ancestral Hall, also called Xu Zhi Hall (叙秩堂), is the main place where Ye’s Family used to hold family celebrations, sacrifice and worship their ancestors, and implement family law. This ancestral hall is the main site where Zhang Yimou directed the film Ju Dou. 80% of the scenes in the film were shot there.
Clan Ye’s Branch Ancestral Hall is also a beautiful building worth visiting. Some scenes from the Oscar-winning movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon directed by Ang Lee were taken in this hall.
The Woodcarving Hall was built in the Qing Dynasty and has a history of over 100 years. It is full of refined woodcarvings including three-dimensional carvings which illustrate the highest level of Huizhou craftsmanship.
Bingling pavilion is a small residence built in the mid-Qing dynasty with a history of more than 200 years. It has a characteristic gateway with Chinese figure 八, and carvings of various animals believed to bring prosperity to the owners.
Sanyuan Well, with three openings, is the most famous among the 36 surviving wells of the village.
You can have the real rural experience by indulging hands-on in the village activities. You can do farm work with a family and get the experience of handling a peculiar-shaped wheelbarrow, go to a mulberry garden to pick leaves, lift water from ancient wells, pick vegetables and cook them on wood- fire.
There is a workshop near Wansong Bridge where, under the instruction of a teacher, you can design a pattern and go through all the process of dyeing. It can make a valuable souvenir of your Nanping trip and batik experience.
Biking to the nearby village of Guanlu can be an interesting way to experience the rural scenery. Guanlu is 8 kilometers away, but you can go as far as you comfortably can. The ancient alleys along the way are charming and you will often find yourself stopping to admire a carving and take photos.
Late March to June & September to early November would be the best time to visit Huangshan city when it is neither too hot nor too cold and the views are beautiful. However, it can be visited all year round if you pack appropriately.
Nanping (南屏村) is about 60 km from Huangshan city, slightly more than an hour’s drive. The highway is good and one can conveniently drive there. Huangshan is a popular destination which can be reached by flight, high-speed train and long-distance bus from several cities. See Huangshan Transportation.
If you want to travel by public transport, you will have to go to Yixian county from Huangshan city first, and then take a bus to Nanping.
There is a ticket of about 50 RMB for entry to the village.
Plan your tour to Nanping and other ancient villages and celebrated peaks of Huangshan with our experts. It is easy to get lost in the labyrinth of alleys in the village so it would be advisable to have a guide to show you around and tell you the history of every important spot.
Check the following Nanping tour for more details:
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