Without its homestay program, the few visitors to the miniscule village of Siping would miss out on its collection of brick and wood carvings. Siping lies 30km west of Jinhua and is out of the way enough to stay uncommercial, preserving Qing dynasty ancestral halls arranged in the shape of the Big Dipper for those willing to make the trek to this 700-year-plus town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Zhejiang attractions

1. Chonghou Hall

0.06 MILES

This historic hall's brick carving, 'Nine Lions Scrambling for a Ball', is remarkable as much for its detail as for its seemingly impudent use of five…

2. Liben Hall

0.06 MILES

Libn Hall is an early Qing dynasty structure with some wood carvings that remain impressively vivid; keep an eye out for the bats (carvings of, that is)…

3. Wǔjiān Huāxuān

0.07 MILES

Wǔjiān Huāxuān is the birthplace of Dai Yinniang, Siping's most famous historical resident, who became an imperial concubine. Flowery brick carvings hang…

4. Zhong Pond

15.92 MILES

Eight (the number mirroring the eight trigrams of the bāguà) lanes radiate from this pond at the heart of the village. The feng shui symbol of the Zhuge,…

5. Dagong Hall

15.93 MILES

This splendid memorial hall overlooking the tàijí diagram pond at the centre of the village is a huge, airy space with a pairing of huge black Chinese…

7. Tianyi Hall

16.01 MILES

Tianyi Hall is a pretty structure to begin with but what is more fascinating is the garden in the back, with hundreds of potted plants all used for…

8. Zhuge

16.06 MILES

Traditional Chinese village architecture and feng shui planning have created a village laid out according to the bāguà (八卦, eight trigrams) of the I Ching…