The 1000-year-old village of Jiangtouzhou is tucked away among farmland 32km north of Guilin. The mostly abandoned village has layers of old-world charm, with its labyrinth of cobblestone alleyways lined with stone houses dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties, and where blocks of tofu are laid out to set in the courtyards. Its residents are descendants of the philosopher Zhou Dunyi (周敦颐), who is famed for his essay on virtue, 'Love of the Water-Lily'.
The flower is a decorative motif throughout the village and inside the ancestral hall. A short walk across from the village is a picturesque lotus flower garden, which offers a wonderful photo op with karst peaks looming in the background; entry is ¥10, but views from outside are equally lovely.
Jiangtouzhou is a two- to three-hour bike ride from Guilin. Alternatively, take an orange minibus on the stretch of Zhongshan Beilu near Guilin North Train Station to Lingchuan (灵川; ¥3, 40 minutes). Get off at Tanxia Lukou (潭下路口), zip across the road and change to bus 309 for Jiuwu (九屋; ¥3, 45 minutes). Arriving in Jiuwu, it’s a 15-minute walk to Jiangtouzhou. Buses stop running around 5.30pm. Otherwise a return taxi from Guilin will set you back ¥200.
While there is no food available in Jiangtouzhou itself, you'll find small restaurants and shops in nearby Jiuwu.