Xidi is another charming ancient village of Yixian County of Anhui Province, which is only 20 kilometers apart from its cousin Hongcun Ancient village and 40 kilometers away from Yellow Mountain (Mt. Huangshan). On November 30th of 2000 when the UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) held its meeting in Australia, both Xidi Ancient Village and Hongcun Ancient Village were approved to be put on the List of World Cultural Heritage.
Xidi Village is located at the south foot of Mt. Huangshan. Its original name is Xichuan. It can also be called Xixi. This name is given because there are three brooks which run from east to west. But because there is a relay station in the west of the village, so the name was changed into Xidi. Xidi was built in the Huangyou period of the Northern Song dynasty, developed in the middle of the Jingtai period of the Ming dynasty, and was prosperous at the beginning of the Qing dynasty. It has a history of nearly 1000 years. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the businessmen reached the period of highest development. They carried out an extensive building program, such as building houses and ancestral temples, making roads, building bridges and so on. Nowadays, more than 100 old folk houses in Xidi maintain the basic appearance and feature they used to be.
Xidi is an old village which accepts the blood relationship of the clan as tie and where most of Hu families live. There is a green stone memorial archway which has three rooms, four pillars and five floors. It was built in the Wanli time of the Ming dynasty. The structure is very exquisite. It's tall and erect, which stands for the eminent station of Hu family. There are nearly 300 buildings of the Ming and Qing dynasties in Hui style. Exquisite bricks, wood and stone carving decorate every building. The Lingyun Pavilon, the Cishi (an official title in ancient time of China) House, the Ruiyu Pavilon, the Taoli Garden, the East Garden, the West Garden, the Daifu(an official title in ancient time of China) House, the Jing'ai Hall, the Lvfu Hall, the Qingyun House, the Yinfu Hall, etc have been exploited into scenic spots. In addition, beautiful and imposing folk houses and exquisite gardens are worth visiting.
From that moment when visitors step into this village they feel that every inch of it was designed by artists. On the marble doorframes, flowers, birds and beasts can be found carved on them. The carved bricks feature: pavilions, human figures, and scenes from local operas. Many villagers have kept many of these arts alive, and visitors can visit them and see their woodcarvings, murals, and gardens exhibition by the local villagers. In Xidi Village, the arrangements of the antique furniture, and the lay of the paintings in the houses are as they were during the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368—1911AD).
Xidi Village appears like a page in a fairy tale. Embraced by mountains, with clear streams flowing through it and goldfish ponds scattered throughout it, and with paddy fields placed in front of it, Xidi Village looks to picturesque to be real. In 2,000, this very quiet and peaceful village was listed on UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage List with Hongcun Village, and ever since, architects, planners, sculptors, industrial artists, and painters have been heading to Xidi as it provides them with abundant sources of inspiration.
Best time to visit Xidi Ancient Village 1. Late March – early April: the blossom time of rape flower (rape flower sea). 2. November: It is Auntunm and the black-and-white ancient village was contrasted by red autumnal leaves paving all over the mountains.
How to get to Xidi Ancient Village? 1. Shanghai Bus Station - Xidi
If you depart from the Shanghai Bus Station, it will cost about 7 hours to get to Tunxi (downtown ofHuangshan City). After arriving in Tunxi, take the bus to Yixian County at the Huangshan Bus Station. The buses to Yixian County depart every 30 minutes and the latest bus leave at 17:30. After arriving in Yixian County, take the bus to Xidi which depart every 20 minutes. The latest one leaves at 17:30.
2. Shanghai South Bus Station - Xidi
There are 2 buses departing from the Shanghai South Bus Station at 07:40 and 09:40 respectively, which cost about 7 hours to get to Yixian County. After arriving in Yixian County, take the bus to Xidi which depart every 20 minutes. The latest one leaves at 17:30.