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The most beautiful Guangdong villages
Latest Updated by 2006-03-27 10:14:42
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Despite the crushing speed of urbanization, Guangdong has a rich collection of traditional villages. From coastal fishing villages to aboriginal villages in deep mountains, from Hakka communities to Cantonese and Chaozhou cultures, these gems await the city dweller seeking a break from the concrete jungle.

Yangchi Village

Location: Luodong Township, Fengkai County

In brief: A village with a rich heritage of Ming and Qing dynasties buildings

Hidden in Yuanzhu Mountain in northwestern Guangdong, the 400-year-old Yangchi Village is one of the oldest villages in Guangdong.

Built along a hill, the village extends in a hierarchy, with houses at different levels all facing south. It is said to have originally been built by Ye Hanbiao, a top official in the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), to escape the wars in North China. More than 300 offspring of the Ye family still live here.

The village features more than 60 old building compounds in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) styles, each having two or three houses of at least two stories with outhanging eaves and tilted corners. The old banking house is a must-see both for itself and its many items indicative of the social transition. A wooden plate is an old "money checker" measuring the thickness of coins.

And don't forget the food. The local chicken, lamb, chestnuts and lotus roots are fresh delicacies.

Jinlin Village

Location: Deqing County, West Guangdong

In brief: A mountain village crisscrossed by rivers and ponds

Surrounded by a series of mountains, Jinlin Village bears many similarities to the regions in Southeast China where rivers and ponds zigzag around the houses.

The village is located between two rivers, the Jigang River and the Jinlin River. Dozens of ponds, lakes and wells dot the land, forming a watery network. Take a walk on the stone and brick roads, visit the many pavilions built along the water, or sit beside the rivers or ponds to fish. Staying in the village for the night, the sound of the water can enter your dreams.

Jinlin Village is the site of numerous ancestral temples. Many villagers belong to the Kong family, who consider themselves to be descendants of Confucius.

Along the streets, you'll find unwatched bamboo baskets, each with some vegetables or fruit, hanging on the walls or placed in front of stores. In the basket a bamboo tube displays a red paper indicating the price. The buyer can just put money into the tube and take away the goods. This is the traditional way of trading in Jinlin.

In June, the village celebrates its unique festival dedicated to ancient hero Guan Yu. The villagers perform dragon and lion dances, sing local songs, and play traditional games.

Baishui Village

Location: Paitan Township, Zengcheng City, near Guangzhou

In brief: Hakka and Cantonese cultures coexisting with a grand waterfall

Only a one-and-a-half-hour car ride from Shenzhen, Baishui Village is an ideal weekend destination.

The small village boasts a mighty waterfall, which descends from an 828-meter-high mountain spanning 428.5 meters, like a silver strap against the green mountain. It's an unforgettable experience to stand in the rising mist beside the waterfall surrounded by the splashing water and deafening sound. Stairs near the waterfall lead to the top of the mountain, with two natural lakes, giant stones, and a splendid view of the surrounding area.

Baishui Village has a combination of Hakka and Cantonese cultures, seen in the houses and the food. The Cantonese houses form a comb, arrayed in straight lines with alleys in between. The Hakka houses, built for protection, feature tall and windowless walls with ponds in front of each house. Food combines the two cultures, with tofu and chicken the most famous delicacies.

Editor: Wing

By: Tang Li Source: Szdaily web edition
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