Location: Hongcun Village, Huangshan City, South of Anhui Province, China [MAP]
Designer: A Feng Shui master, Keda He in the 15th century
Project Type: Courtyard, Residential
Completion Date: Finished around 1855
Access: By public bus from coach station in Tangkou town or Huangshan City to Hongcun Village. Entry fee is 104 yuan. Opening hours are from 07:30 to 17:30. If you decide to stay in a hostel for a night, the locals will take you through the back side of the village which will be free of charge.
The history of Hongcun Village dates back to the 12th century. Today the village is a world heritage site and famous for the Feng Shui arrangement of the village structure with the particular architecture style. Dark grayish tiled roofs contrast with the light walls, as if they are straight from a traditional Chinese painting. The decay adds many layers of gray color onto the walls and a sense of beauty and elegance. The green of various trees around the site kept inside the garden courtyards make the painting alive and vivid. These small peeks of green make you wonder what these courtyards and gardens look like.
The window may gives us a hint at what is inside, but for a proper look, we chance a glance through the doors.
One huge pot holds rocks and fish, of which the fish and water symbolize the wealth in China. The water also represents the river, and the rocks represent the mountain. They easily create a typical mini-nature scene which is highly prized in traditional courtyards throughout the Southeast region of China.
Although the scale of the gardens is very small, the plants occupy almost every possible space, showing us its own charm. The potted plants on the bench, at the corner and in the air reveal how much the locals are fond of the green vegetation.
At the back of the village, a small river runs around the village. Even in the dry season, the beauty of it tells you where the inspiration of the courtyard gardens come from.