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Introducing Wùyuán

The countryside around Wùyuán in the splendid northeast of Jiāngxī province is home to some of China’s most immaculate views. Parcelled away in this fertile and hilly pocket on the fringes of stunning southern Ānhuī and western Zhèjiāng is a scattered cluster of picturesque Huīzhōu villages where old China remains preserved in enticing panoramas of ancient bridges, glittering rivers, stone-flagged alleyways and the slow, meandering pace of traditional rural life.

Despite lending its name to the entire area, Wùyuán itself – also called Zǐyángzhèn () – is a far-from-graceful town where the old quarter is perplexingly being felled in mighty sweeps. The museum (bówùguǎn; Ruxueshan Lu; admission Y20; 8.30am-noon & 2.30-5pm) on the top of a hill above Xingjiang Lu () in the old area of town is worth a look but most travellers will need no excuses before immersing themselves in the region’s tantalising bucolic charms way out beyond the shabby suburbs.