The Ancient Village of Cuandixia

Cuandixia is an ancient village that time forgot.

Bored for making myself a prisoner this week due to my dry cough, I set out on a day trip outside Beijing. Together with a bicultural gay male couple, we hired a taxi from Pingguoyuan subway to the ancient village of Cuandixia. After haggling so hard, we successfully got the price we wanted: RMB 160, from the original quoted price of RMB 400. That’s roundtrip. We felt proud of this achievement. 🙂

The Ancient Village of Cuandixia Beijing China
The Ancient Village of Cuandixia

The Countryside

As soon as we were outside Beijing, the countryside view is a refreshing relief from the hustling and bustling city that is notorious for polluted air.

We passed along dry riverbanks and majestic cordilleras that are absolutely green and stunning to view at. The curvy and narrow highway was quite dangerous but when you look down at the scenery, the fear subsides. The rock formations were amazing that some of them look like spires of Gothic-styled churches and towers. They stood there since Gondwanaland.

Though the blue sky was nowhere, it is a new way to appreciate the earth’s elevated landmass bathed in fogs. The thin silhouettes of cordilleras look like a different world on its own. You really can’t believe it’s just outside Beijing. Poor city souls who have never discovered this cyclorama of a landscape that is waiting to be re-discovered.

The Ancient Village of Cuandixia
The Ancient Village of Cuandixia

The Ancient Village of Cuandixia

Touted as an old Chinese village with a rich history, Cuandixia is an ancient berth built by a single-family and extended family living in 79 traditional Chinese courtyard houses. It was built in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It’s amazing how it stood up against harsh weather in the past 600 years.

Of these courtyards, most of them are open for tourists and some, as expected, are converted into small restaurants and souvenir shops. Few newly-built courtyards offer a bed for a night stay if you want to feel and experience rural living. Pray, that at night, while you are laying down in a bush, there are stars to light up the night sky. It would be a perfect setting to dream of anything!

While walking along narrow alleyways, touch the stone bricks and walls and feel its ancientness.

In some lonely alleys, you breathe the past and smell it, too. Imagine, you were one of those comrades who walked these paths in your past life. It’s like revisiting an old and familiar trail albeit at a different time.

Be curious about the past.

Take a peek at every window and enter doors open to visitors. Touch old furniture, woods, jars, sticks, and everything that is inside, if permitted. Some houses are restyled into small, dusty museums.

Follow the threadlike footpaths until they lead you up to the highest elevation where you can see the sweeping bird’s eye view of the whole village. Stay there for minutes and take in the fresh air that you were deprived of living in the city hellhole.

Delight yourself in nature’s way of saying, “See, I’m more fabulous than you are!” Don’t envy her.

Look out to the lush green mountains, the flowers you’ve never seen before, and dare yourself to stand near the cliff to find out how brave you are or can be.

If you’re into religious stuff, there’s a temple nearby. Pray that your wishes for good men to come to your life be granted.

My visit to this place today is a respite from the city’s drudgery and from the four-walled classroom. Tourist cars are beginning to jostle the place and soon, I surmise, Cuandixia will lose its ancient touch in months to come.

Sooner than I imagine.

The Ancient Village of Cuandixia
The Ancient Village of Cuandixia

KeepCalmAndWander

A wanderer. A frustrated photographer. Hiker. Lover. Half extrovert, half introvert. Solo traveler.

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KEEP CALM and WANDER