If you are searching for a Beijing tour that provides an exclusive look into ancient Chinese living, then a trip to Cuandixia is just what you need. This is one of the treasured places in China travel where you can feel as if you have truly gone back in time. Only a short ride away from the downtown Beijing area, there is an ancient village named Cuandixia that appears visually untouched since its formation 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty. Nestled amongst a jagged mountain range, Cuandixia is a beautiful respite from the bustling, crowded scenes of Beijing city. The scenery of Cuandixia is filled with hilly landscapes, plush grass and luxurious trees. The charming village homes all consist of both stone and brick carvings, divided by small courtyard areas. With its screened walls and large Chinese character paintings at every corridor, the adored aspects of Chinese architecture from this era are on full display. The Chinese characters throughout the homes represent inscriptions from the Ming and Qing dynasty families that previously lived there.

The name of this site, primarily ‘Cuan,’ stands for “the stove.” This appellation gains its suitability in that it served as a shelter from the cold to its inhabitants, as well as safety from the bane of war. The preservation of this site is incredible, I felt like I was walking back in time as I perused the ancient courtyard homes. Spanning over an area of only 2.5 acres, this hillside mountain city is known to the people of Beijing as ‘Potala Palace.’ In this light, Cuandixia village is an idyllic site. Although only recently has this area gained tourist popularity, the attention continues to trickle in at a steady pace. The natural beauty of this area has made it an attractive place for filmmakers, painters, and photographers to visit and capture the splendor. Many who travel to Beijing already have a list of highly famous sites to see first on their list, but a visit to Cuandixia would be a great addition as you gain a present day look into a very real China past.

Jack Li

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