Cuandixia Village is located in Zhaitang Town, Mentougou District, about 90 kilometers (31.3 miles) from downtown Beijing. It has a history of about 400 years and preserves more than 70 courtyards with approximately 500 rooms which were built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This ancient mountain village, the best preserved in China, covers an area of about 10,000 square meters (2.5 acres) and is renowned as the 'Potala Palace' of the Beijing area.
The village, surrounded by mountains, stands on the northern gentle slope of the hills and, having being built in harmony with the terrain of the mountains, it looks like a castle or a mountain city. A winding and rugged lane built from many oddly-shaped stones, winds its way from east to west and divides the village into two groups. There are mainly quadrangle dwellings and a few courtyards with houses on three sides. The houses, which are in good order, have delicate gate piers as well as distinctive screen walls and, along with the stone, wood and brick carvings, reflect our ancient Chinese culture.
Until now, only the Han family lived here. It is said that the ancestors of the village migrated from Shanxi Province during the Yongle period of the Ming Dynasty. The character 'cuan' has the meaning of a stove and the villagers named it 'cuandixia' with the implication being, of a shelter to keep away the severe cold as well as the scourge of war. In the Qing Dynasty, it was a distributing center for businessmen and goods, so it was very prosperous during that time. Moreover, on the walls, remain the maxims of managing family, inscriptions of the Ming and Qing Dynasties as well as the slogans of Anti-Japanese War period.
The village belongs to the Qingshui River Valley, thus, the grass is lush and trees are luxuriant. Walking in the village, visitors will feel they have entered an ideal world. It is also a natural place to make films and TV plays. The farmers of Cuandixia Village keep in step with the times and they exploit the idea of folk-custom tourism to welcome tourists home and abroad. At evening, there are varied amusements, such as outdoor movies and campfire parties.
Admission Fee:CNY 40Bus Route:About 150 meters west of Pingguoyuan Subway Station (地铁苹果园西), take Bus No. 929 Zhi (929 支) to Cuandixiacun Lukou (爨底下村路口) at 7:30, or 12:40, then you could arrive at the Cuandixia Village (爨底下村).