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A University trip to Anhui Province

by Karipanova Assem   - Aug 21, 2015

China is a country with a booming economy. Usually foreign people associate it with its busy life-style, a full day of constructing, studying and just noisy life. Of course when we talk about cities such as: Shanghai, Beijing, Honk Kong, Guangzhou or Shenzhen we can say that, but still China has a lot of places where you can find totally opposite life- style and enjoy the peace of nature. Sometimes this kind of atmosphere can be so helpful for you, especially when you feel tired of everyday working and studying, you just have to take a few days off and take a breath. You can find a lot of places where to go, since China is a large country, but I would like to recommend for you to go to Anhui Province…
Anhui (Chinese: 安徽) is a province of the People's Republic of China, and is part of the East China region. Located across the basins of the Yangtze River and the Huai River, it borders Jiangsu to the east, Zhejiang to the southeast, Jiangxi to the south, Hubei to the southwest, Henan to the northwest, and Shandong for a tiny section in the north. The provincial capital is Hefei.

Anhui province on the Map of China

It was the end of the March, a few of my university teachers, some international students from Mauritius, Bangladesh, Nepal, India, a few African countries and I were preparing to our early morning “A University Anhui Province trip”.

Before that in one week, our University International Students College was choosing among all international students, who deserves to go for free trip. In the end their choice stopped on students, who has Chinese Government Scholarships and Social active students and I think it was very fair choice, very thankful for this opportunity.

Around 7 o’clock in the morning on the north gate of our university all of us gathered and went to the trip by specially rented bus, also we had our own guide. The guide was a Chinese man and unfortunately he could not speak any English, except Chinese. In the beginning he was trying to explain where we were going and what we would see, but after several times of trying, he saw that not all the students were understanding Chinese and he stopped his useless explanations. So we had a chance to discover the place by ourselves. It took us around 3-4 hours from Nanjing to Anhui Province by bus. When entering Anhui Province’s land, you can totally see and feel the different. Differences such as: air pollution condition, around are all green trees with different kind of flowers and speechless beautiful mountains. I loved the first expression about the place and it was what I need, after every day hard-working studying. 

When we arrived at the place, firstly after exhausted trip (it was hot), all of us went to already ready and waiting for us lunch. It was typically Chinese cuisine dishes with super tasty fish. Since there were more than 10 people, we had two tables in separate rooms.

A lunch time

After delicious lunch we went to discover the places. Some of our teachers who were there before told us, that it is a really nice and an ancient place. During our whole trip we were moving from place to place by bus, so it was very comfortable and helped to us to save the time, which we did not have too much. The bus was stopping at each historical place for 2-3 hours which was enough to see all what we need.

•The first place we went was “a Xidi ancient village”.

Xidi (Chinese: 西递; pinyin: Xīdì; literally: "West Post") is a village in Yi County of the historical Huizhou region of Anhui province, China. It was declared a part of the "Ancient Villages in Southern Anhui" World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. It was first built during the Huangyou era (1049–1053) of Song Dynasty Emperor Renzong, the village was originally called Xichuan (West River), owing to the various water courses flowing through it.
The rise of the village was closely tied to the fortunes of the Hu family. By 1465 CE, during the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644), family members had started in business as merchants, leading to construction of major private buildings and a public infrastructure. By the middle of the 17th century, the influence wielded by members of the Hu family expanded from commerce into politics. The prosperity of Xidi peaked in the 18th and 19th centuries, at which time the village comprised about 600 residences.

The street pattern of Xidi is dominated by a main road which runs in an east-west direction and is flanked by two parallel streets. These major streets are joint by many narrow alleyways. Small open spaces are confined to areas immediately in front of the main public buildings, such as the "Hall of Respect", the "Hall of Reminiscence", and the "Memorial Archway of the Governor".

Today, 124 well preserved wooden residences from the Ming and Qing dynasties with beautiful carvings form the major attractions. Many of these residences are open to the public.

The welcoming Xidi village stone, the picture made by me.

Xidi village, before entering…

When we entered to the village inside, the feeling was like I am somewhere far away in another old time world. Around everything was so natural: houses, people over there where living still like many years ago, no computers, no mobile phones, you can find everywhere interesting cultural shops and small places to have a meal.

Some pictures from the streets of the village

•Then we went to Hongcun Village
Hongcun (Chinese: 宏村; pinyin: Hóngcūn, lit. "Hong village") is a village in Yi County in the historical Huizhou region of southern Anhui Province, China, near the southwest slope of Mount Huangshan.The village is arranged in the shape of an ox with the nearby hill (Leigang Hill) interpreted as the head, and two trees standing on it as the horns. Four bridges across the Jiyin stream can be seen as the legs whilst the houses of the village form the body. Inside the “body”, the Jiyin stream represents the intestines and various lakes such as the “South Lake” (Nanhu) form the other internal organs.The architecture and carvings of the approximately 150 residences dating back to the Ming and Qing Dynasties are said to be among the best of their kind in China.One of the biggest of the residences open to visitors, Chenzhi Hall, also contains a small museum.Together with Xidi, the village became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Scenes from the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were filmed on location in Hongcun. The village reminds me Xidi village a lot, but of course still has differences….


Pictures were taken by me around the village

The sunset

A beautiful View   

•Anhui province also, very famous with it’s the Yellow mountains. Before going there some of my friends were telling me how wonderful is this mountains and that I have to visit it, but unfortunately our trip was coming to the end, because we had lessons on Monday ,so that we had to come back. I hope next time I will get this chance again…

The Yellow Mountains in Anhui province

In the end I just want to say Thanks to my University – Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics to give to me this opportunity and to my respectful teachers to believe in me. We really had an awesome trip with some different feelings and we really enjoyed the trip.


About Writer   

8.jpgKaripanova Assem, a citizen of Kazakhstan, but blood mix of Russian (dad is) and Kazakh. Was living and studying Chinese language in Qingdao during 2012-2013. Right now doing her bachelor’s degree of International Business in Nanjing. Now she is in Monaco (Europe), currently working as a manager of International Sport (Olympic Games, Expos and World Championships) at UIPM Federation. She loves traveling around the world, speaks several languages, such as English, Russian, Kazakh, Chinese and Arabic.   



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