We had a great weekend walking about in Mentougou District, staying overnight in the Cuandixia 'Ming' Village and exploring Dragon Gate Gorge.
In Cuandixia we stayed at an authentic, old guesthouse and enjoyed the hospitality of the locals.
On the first day of the trip we toured the village, getting interesting information and stories from a local guide who showed us the highlights of the area, including some rich men’s houses from the Ming Dynasty era. We also got in a bit of walking in the beautiful nature surrounding the village.
After a bonfire and a good sleep we settled in for the evening.
The next day we headed over to Dragon Gate Gorge, a scenic area in a massive canyon.
See all Louise's photos below!
The whole Ming Village seen from the hills opposite.
It was a hot day!
Some say the village has the same shape as a dumpling.
We hired an expert guide for a full tour of the Ming Village. Jun translated.
Views in the village.
An alley in the village.
We explored the stairs and lanes in the village.
A new door for this courtyard.
Lanterns above the complicated 'Cuan' character of Cuandixia Village.
We followed stone steps up through the village.
“Renew your minds by the Mao Tse Dong thought!”, a Cultural Revolution-era slogan.
Jun is pointing out some features of the village.
Real old paintings on the wall of a village courtyard.
More decoration inside the courtyard.
We had beautiful weather on the first day of the weekend.
A local lady posing on the steps.
The road behind the village passes through a natural feature called 'One Ribbon of Sky'.
We walked through instead of driving.
We hiked up into the hills.
This overgrown area used to be the courtyard of a village house.
The door is still locked, but not much of a door anymore.
Inside an abandoned house.
Here's an old one 'kang' bed, heated from below by fire in the winter. A few photos down you'll see the modern equivalent.
Newspapers were used as wallpaper.
Looking down from the hiking trail.
We hiked up to some caves for a look.
The rails are a good idea on such a narrow path.
Louise usually works in the office for Beijing Hikers. Happy to be outside for a change!
The group all gathered in the big cave.
Looking out from the cave.
Down again, on an overgrown trail.
Even more overgrown here!
Near sundown at Cuandixia.
The sun is about to disappear behind the hills.
Story time by the bonfire at night.
'Kang' beds, that type you’ll typically find in a typical countryside courtyard.
Interior decoration in one of the rooms at the guesthouse.
We hiked up into Dragon Gate Gorge.
A little bit rainy - no problem!
Heading up into the gorge.
The further we went into the gorge, the wilder it got.