Cuandixia Ming Village | The complicated ’cuan’ character, seen on a wall of a courtyard house in the village.
The complicated ’cuan’ character, seen on a wall of a courtyard house in the village.

Cuandixia ‘Ming Village’ day trip

Spend the day out in Cuandixia, a Ming Dynasty-era village in the mountains west of Beijing – first a walk in the hills near the village, then a good look about the old courtyards, temples, and narrow lanes of the village itself. Lunch included.

Level 2+
3–4 hours of walking and hiking over approx. 8km. (Can I do it?)
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Bookings close August 14

Booking info

Thursday, August 15

¥450 / ¥405 for members / ¥200 for kids

  1. 7:15am departure from the Liangmaqiao subway area
  2. 7:45am departure from the Lido Metropark Hotel Starbucks
Includes a meal in the village.
Payment in advance required for this hike. More about payments

Cuandixia had been closed after damage from the Summer 2023 floods, and re-opened in May 2024.

The name of this village – ‘Cuandixia’ – translates roughly as ‘Below the cooking-stove’, which could be interpreted as meaning a good safe spot that’s hard to find. You’ll also find it on maps as ‘Chuandixia,’ as the character for Chuan () is much less complicated than that of Cuan ().

We’ll start our day out with a walk in the hills around the village, making a loop that will bring us back to the starting point for a big lunch.

Then we’ll take a tour of the alleys, lanes, paved stairs, and courtyard houses. It will be quite a long day, but well worth it!

The drive out to the village is long and scenic, following a national road through mountains and along the bottom of deep canyons, passing through small townships in the mining country of west Mentougou district.

Hike in the hills opposite the village for a view from above
A view of Cuandixia from the hills opposite. (Click for larger image)

The village lies on the side of a hill on the old road between Beijing and Xi’an, and is made up of many well-preserved stone buildings, including about 70 courtyards. The majority of these courtyards are now guesthouses, and the owners are usually happy enough to let people explore. In the village we’ll find much history, with old Cultural Revolution slogans slowly fading on some of the walls, and art, stone, and wood work from the Qing and Ming Dynasties. Cuandixia was lucky to escape destruction during the war, while some other villages in the area were destroyed almost completely.

Outline of itinerary

  • Arrive at Cuandixia
  • Climb up to viewing point opposite the village
  • Walk up main street of village and out to visit the narrow canyon in the hills behind the village; hike up to caves (optional, if trail is repaired)
  • Lunch at village restaurant
  • Explore the key sites inside the village
  • Drive back to Beijing

COVID-19 and participation precautions

The current precautions are minimal. Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Cuandixia ‘Ming Village’ day trip

  1. Cuandixia Village day trip, 2019/11/03

    Cuandixia Village day trip, 2019/11/03

    A lovely day in a mountain village, despite the rain—see 22 photos from the lanes and courtyards of the village, and the autumn colours in the surrounding hills.
  2. Ming Village day trip, 2018/07/15

    Ming Village day trip, 2018/07/15

    Take a look at 20 photos from our trip to the ancient village of Cuandixia—see shots of the old courtyards, temples, and narrow lanes of the village, plus pictures from a hike up into the hills above.

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