The most attracting characteristics of Xidi are her perfectly well preserved 124 civilian houses, which were built one after another in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. All the houses are covered by grey tiles with white-washed walls around the courtyards. The 99 winding alleys or lanes, paved with large pieces of stone slabs, connect all the households together. Two crystal-clear brooks pass through the village, and provide endless streams for the housewives' frequent washing. The whole village is just hugged by small green hills, whose slopes are covered by bamboo or tea bushes and young pine forest.
Inside the village you will find that all the houses were built with one common feature: the wood-bricked structures with two storeys, elaborately carved beams, and colorfully painted pillars. The designs of the wood carvings are all originated from Chinese legendary stories and ancient routine practice.
Huizhou is populated with merchants. The richly ornamented residences of the wealthy merchants were also used for displaying the power and wealth of the owners. In fact, residences in Huizhou are well known for their wood, brick and stone carving. In order to prevent fire from spreading into their own compounds, or vice versa, the people in Huizhou built high wall in their compounds for the purpose of blocking fire. From this practice, the art of decorating the walls is being derived. The undulating walls of the houses in Huizhou exemplify the uniqueness of the residences themselves. The ornaments with superb workmanship can be seen everywhere in the houses, which really reflect the prosperous period of the former dwellers whose business covered salt trade, pawnshop, etc. The representatives of such houses are several ancient clan halls and merchants' residences, the Hall of Kindness, the Hall of Auspices, etc. to name a few. Just as Hongcun Village, it was also accepted by UNESCO as the World Cultural Heritage Site in 2000.
Admission Fee: CNY 80