Sights

Top ChoiceVillage in Anhui

Xidi

Typical of the elegant Huizhou style, Xidi’s 124 surviving buildings reflect the wealth and prestige of the prosperous merchants who settled here. Its Unesco World Heritage Site status means Xidi enjoys a...

Top ChoiceMountain in Anhui

Huangshan

When its granite peaks and twisted pines are wreathed in spectral folds of mist, the idyllic views of Huangshan (黄山; Huángshān) easily nudge it into the select company of China’s top 10, nay, top five, sights....

Top ChoiceVillage in Tunxi

Chengkan

Designed around the bāguà, the eight trigrams of the I Ching, which match up with eight surrounding hills, Chengkan is a highly photogenic village that hasn't yet been completely restored, with arched bridges...

Top ChoiceMountain in Anhui

Jiuhua Shan

The Tang-dynasty Buddhists who determined Jiuhua Shan to be the earthly abode of the Bodhisattva Dizang (Ksitigarbha), Lord of the Underworld, chose well. Often shrouded in a fog that pours in through the windows...

Viewpoint in Huangshan

Huangshan Summit

The summit's huge network of connecting trails and walks meander up, down and across several different peaks. More than a few visitors spend several nights on the peak, and the North Sea (北海, Běihǎi) sunrise is a...

Village in Tunxi

Zhaji

Stuffed with old stone bridges and creaking, white-washed ancient buildings, the charming, very pretty and large village of Zhaji dates originally back to the Sui and Tang dynasties, though most of the structures...

Monument in Shexian

Tangyue Memorial Archways

Over generations, the Bao (鲍) family constructed these seven carved stone páifāng (牌坊, memorial arches), stretching east to west in the fields outside their village, to consecrate their ancestors for feats of...

Historic Building in Pingshan

Yixian Xiuli Cinema Village

Xiuli, which opened in 2007, is a collection of 100-plus historic structures from around Yixian County that were left in ruins because their owners couldn't afford to maintain them. Here they've been restored and...

Village in Xidi

Nanping

Labyrinthine Nanping has a history of more than 1100 years. However, it's relatively recent history that draws most visitors, particularly film fans: much of Zhang Yimou’s 1989 tragedy Judou was filmed inside the...

Historic Site in Hongcun

Chengzhi Hall

Flung up by a salt merchant, the Chengzhi Hall dates from 1855 and has 28 rooms, adorned with fabulous woodcarvings, 2nd-floor balconies and light wells. Peepholes on top-floor railings are for girls to peek at...

Viewpoint in Huangshan

Refreshing Terrace

The vantage point for watching the Huangshan sunrise, five minutes’ walk from Beihai Hotel. Lucky visitors are rewarded with the luminous spectacle of yúnhǎi (literally ‘sea of clouds’): idyllic pools of mist...

Mountain in Tunxi

Qiyun Shan

Qiyun Shan means 'mountain as high as the clouds' and it's an apt description: though not actually that high (just 585m) its peaks do pierce the low-lying, ghostly puffs of mist that regularly envelop the region....

Village in Shexian

Tangmo

A narrow village stretching along a central canal, Tangmo is usually uncrowded, though it's by no means uninteresting. According to village lore, the original Tang dynasty settlers planted two ginkgo trees: only...

Village in Shexian

Huizhou Old Town

The entrance to the old town is marked by Yanghe Gate (阳和门, Yánghé Mén), a double-eaved, wooden gate tower that dates from the Song dynasty. To the left are two stone xièzhì (獬豸, a legendary beast) and straight...

Village in Xidi

Guanlu

This small village’s drawcard sights are the extravagant households (八大家, bādàjiā) of eight rich brothers. Each Qing-dynasty residence shares similar elegant Huizhou features, with interior courtyards, carved...

Village in Shexian

Yuliang

Little-visited Yulang is a historic riverine port village on the Lian River (练江, Liàn Jiāng). The cobbled and picturesque alley of Yuliang Jie (渔梁街) houses former transfer stations for the wood, salt and tea that...

Buddhist Temple in Jiuhua Shan

Baisui Gong

A 30-minute hike up the ridge behind Zhiyuan Temple leads you to Baisui Gong, an active temple built into the cliff in 1630 to consecrate the Buddhist monk Wu Xia, whose shrunken, embalmed body is coated in gold...

Village in Anhui

Pingshan

First settled in the Tang dynasty, Pingshan was once the largest village in the county, with 38 ancestral halls and 13 archways. Its stature made it a target during the Cultural Revolution and only a handful of...

Museum in Hefei

Anhui New Provincial Museum

To get to grips with Anhui, it's well worth taking a half-day to explore this four-floor museum. Exhibits begin with Palaeolithic artefacts (some are replicas) mined from the earliest known settlements in...

Village in Hongcun

Tachuan

Tachuan is a favourite with photographers, especially in the early spring, when the rapeseed blooms, and in the autumn, when the leaves of the old-growth trees turn vivid colours. Year-round you can stroll the...