Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun, China

Xidi and Hongcun are two traditional villages in the southern part of Anhui Province, China. They are two rare examples of non-urban settlements that have largely disappeared or have been transformed by urban development of the last century. The well-preserved villages with their street plan, architecture and decoration provide a glimpse into the feudal period of Chinese society, a reflection of the socio-economic structure of a long-lived settled period of Chinese history.

Xidi and Hongcun were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 24th session of the World Heritage Committee when it met in Cairns, Australia, from 27 November to 2 December, 2000. In recognising the value of Xidi and Hongcun, the World Heritage Committee also recommends that the Chinese Government take steps to nominate other historic villages in Southern Anhui to extend the inscribed site.

Photos of Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

Archway in Xidi, China
Archway in Xidi, China
Author: Rolf Müller (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Old houses in Hongcun, China
Old houses in Hongcun, China
Author: Jma (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Hongcun village, China
Hongcun village, China
Author: Udo Schoene (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 29 54 16 E 117 59 15 in Yi County, Huangshan City, Anhui Province, China
Inscription Year: 2000
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: III, IV, V

Location Map of Xidi and Hongcun

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Visiting Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui - Xidi and Hongcun

The best time to visit Anhui is during the fall/autumn, between September to November, and spring, between April and June. Your base for visiting Xidi and Hongcun is the city of Yixian. Hongcun is 11 km to the northeast of Yixian while Xidi is 5 km to the north of Yixian. You will need to take a minibus from Yixian to Xidi and Hongcun.

To reach Yixian, there are minibuses from the next big city, Tunxi. There arfe flights to Tunxi from main cities in China.

Local Tours of China

At times, it is faster, safer and cheaper to join a local tour than to go there yourself. This is especially true for many places in China. However, you need to be wary of the tour operators, especially those in China.

Here are a few local tours of China that you may wish to add to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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