Village in Shexian

Tángmó, a narrow village stretching along a central canal, is usually uncrowded, though it's by no means uninteresting. According to village lore, the original Tang dynasty settlers planted two ginkgo trees: only one grew, and that became the site of the village. The tree (银杏; yínxìng), in the centre of the village, up a small path, is thick and full of leaves, still bearing fruit 1300-plus years later.

At the east gate (东门; dōng mén) is Tán’gàn Garden (檀干园; Tán’gàn Yuán), a miniature model of Hángzhōu’s West Lake. It was constructed in the early Qing dynasty by a wealthy merchant as a gift to his mother, who was too weak to visit the real thing.

Shui Jie (水街) runs along the length of the canal, past Qing residences and the covered Gāoyáng Bridge (高阳桥; Gāoyáng Qiáo), built in 1733 and home to a small teahouse. At the west end of town is the Shàngyì Ancestor Hall (尚义堂; Shàngyì Táng), with 199 peony blossoms carved into the entrance beam. Next door, in Jìshàn Hall (继善堂; Jìshàn Táng), Huīzhōu opera and folk music are performed most days at 9.30am and 3pm.

The main entrance is at the east gate but the public bus may drop you off at the west gate.