Meet your guide at your central Beijing hotel, and travel by private, air-conditioned vehicle into the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Admire the mountain scenery of the Mentougou District, and after about 2.5 hours’ travel, arrive at Cuandixia, a mountainside village whose name translates as ‘stove.’ Dating to between 1403 and 1424 during China’s Ming era, this well-preserved village centers on around 70 courtyard homes housing about 30 families.
On arrival, stroll around the timeworn streets to experience Cuandixia’s old-time charm and folk architecture. View the quadrangle dwellings, many with ornate gate piers, screen walls, and carvings, and hear about the village’s past from your guide. Learn, too, how Cuandixia is a favored location of Chinese movie producers, including Zhang Yimou, the mastermind behind Beijing’s 2008 Olympics ceremonies.
Following a typical Chinese farmhouse lunch at one of Cuandixia’s best restaurants, return to Beijing and visit Liulichang Street, famous for its Qing-style stone houses and antique shops.
Admire the elaborate architecture and discover shops selling antiquarian books, paintings, ink stones, and calligraphy. Along the way, watch demonstrations of calligraphy and painting, and perhaps purchase some souvenirs (own expense).
Your tour concludes with a drop-off back at your hotel.