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Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

In Brief: Report and photos from our August 2015 overnighter in the Ming Village.

All wet, all smiles! - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Sheltering from the rain, in the Dragon Gate Gorge.

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 - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The whole Ming Village seen from the hills opposite.

It was a hot day! - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

It was a hot day!

The little village Cuandixia has the same shape as a dumpling - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Some say the village has the same shape as a dumpling.

We hired an expert guide for a full tour of Ming Village. Jun translated - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We hired an expert guide for a full tour of the Ming Village. Jun translated.

Views in the village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Views in the village.

An alley in the village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

An alley in the village.

We explored the stairs and lanes in the village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We explored the stairs and lanes in the village.

A new door for this courtyard - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

A new door for this courtyard.

Lanterns above the complicated 'Cuan' character of Cuandixia Village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Lanterns above the complicated 'Cuan' character of Cuandixia Village.

We followed stone steps up through the village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We followed stone steps up through the village.

“Renew your minds by the Mao Tse Dong thought!”, a Cultural Revolution-era slogan - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

“Renew your minds by the Mao Tse Dong thought!”, a Cultural Revolution-era slogan.

Jun is pointing out some features of the village - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Jun is pointing out some features of the village.

Real old paintings on the wall of a village courtyard - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Real old paintings on the wall of a village courtyard.

More decoration inside the courtyard - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

More decoration inside the courtyard.

We had beautiful weather on the first day of the weekend - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We had beautiful weather on the first day of the weekend.

A local lady posing on the steps - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

A local lady posing on the steps.

The road behind the village passes through a natural feature called 'One Ribbon of Sky' - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The road behind the village passes through a natural feature called 'One Ribbon of Sky'.

We walked through instead of driving - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We walked through instead of driving.

We hiked up into the hills - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We hiked up into the hills.

This overgrown area used to be the courtyard of a village house - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

This overgrown area used to be the courtyard of a village house.

The door is still locked, but not much of a door anymore - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The door is still locked, but not much of a door anymore.

Inside an abandoned house - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Inside an abandoned house.

In a previous photo we saw a modern kang bed. Here's an old one - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

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 - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Newspapers were used as wallpaper.

Looking down from the hiking trail - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Looking down from the hiking trail.

We hiked up to some caves for a look - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We hiked up to some caves for a look.

Small caves - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Small caves.

The rails are a good idea on such a narrow path - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

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! - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Louise usually works in the office for Beijing Hikers. Happy to be outside for a change!

The group all gathered in the big cave - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The group all gathered in the big cave.

Looking out from the cave - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Looking out from the cave.

Down again, on an overgrown trail - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Down again, on an overgrown trail.

Even more overgrown here! - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Even more overgrown here!

Near sundown at Cuandixia - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Near sundown at Cuandixia.

The sun is about to disappear behind the hills - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The sun is about to disappear behind the hills.

Story-time by the bonfire at night - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Story time by the bonfire at night.

'Kang' beds, that type you’ll typically find in a typical countryside courtyard - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

'Kang' beds, that type you’ll typically find in a typical countryside courtyard.

Interior decoration in one of the rooms at the guesthouse - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Interior decoration in one of the rooms at the guesthouse.

We hiked up into Dragon Gate Gorge - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

We hiked up into Dragon Gate Gorge.

A little bit rainy - no problem! - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

A little bit rainy - no problem!

Heading up into the gorge - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Heading up into the gorge.

The further we went into the gorge, the wilder it got - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

The further we went into the gorge, the wilder it got.

A dry spot that could fit everyone - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

A dry spot that could fit everyone.

Hiking below the tall cliffs - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

Hiking below the tall cliffs.

A narrow gully - Ming Village overnight, 2015/08

A narrow gully.

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