The 1000-year-old village of Jiāngtóuzhōu is tucked away among farmland 32km north of Guìlín. There’s an unmistakable rustic charm, with cobblestone alleyways and weathered homes from the Ming and Qing dynasties, 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.
Jiāngtóuzhōu is a two- to three-hour bike ride from Guìlín. Alternatively, take an orange minibus on the stretch of Zhongshan Beilu near Guìlín North Train Station to Língchuān (灵川; ¥3, 40 minutes). Get off at Tánxià Lùkǒu (潭下路口), zip across the road and change to a bus to Jiǔwū (九屋; ¥4, 45 minutes), from where it’s a 15-minute walk to the village. Buses stop running around 5.30pm.