Nestled in a valley 90km west of Běijīng and overlooked by towering peaks is Chuāndǐxià (admission Y20), a gorgeous cluster of historic courtyard homes and old-world charm. The backdrop is lovely: terraced orchards and fields, with ancient houses and alleyways rising up the hillside.
Chuāndǐxià is also a museum of Maoist graffiti and slogans, especially up the incline among the better-preserved houses. Despite their impressive revolutionary credentials, Chuāndǐxià’s residents have sensed the unmistakable whiff of the tourist dollar on the north-China breeze, and T-shirt vendors have appeared.
Two hours is more than enough to wander around the village as it’s not big. A number of houses also sell local produce, including fēngmì (honey) and hétao (walnuts).
Chuāndǐxià destination guides
Private Tour: Day Trip to Chuandixia
Take a day trip from Beijing to Chuandixia Village, a Ming Dynasty settlement famous for its well-preserved courtyard homes. Climb the steep stairs and walk through the stone-paved lanes to see the historic architecture that will take you back to ancient China. You’ll also get to see the rural countryside and enjoy a homemade meal prepared by locals.