The Dragon Villages

Dragon Villages ... features rural China and village life barely changed by time. The areas of Fujian Province with their circular ‘tulous’ and East China near Huangshan have so little changed in character that China’s historic films can be shot without the need to build scenery. This is even more true for the courtyard homes near the city of Pingyao . International protection of these sites assure them to be a unique experience which is very much focused for the 2nd time to China traveler. You will see life as it was... today, and experience it yourself in canal towns, mountain villages with an overnight in a tulou and traditional sections of modern cities. The character of these experiences provide you a very special China memory!



Highlights from the VILLAGES TOUR

ZHUJIAJIAO, a canal town in Shanghai ’s suburbs, has well preserved houses and bridges on the edge of one of the largest cities in the world.

HUIZHOU, an area of many unchanged Qing and Ming dynasty villages which are now being preserved as significant examples of Chinese rural architecture. A complete house of this area and historical period will open in 2003 as a new display in at the Peabody Museum in Salem , Massachusetts . The actual villages in this area of China have gained contemporary fame as film site locations for movies such as “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.”

HUANGSHAN, the Yellow Mountains , as on the cover photo of this brochure are the inspiration for many landscape paintings. Sunrise or sunset over the famous sea of clouds is truly breathtaking. A walk among the peaks is a series of views at every turn.

ZHANGQI, is a village which has been able to preserve much of its Ming Dynasty heritage in its layout and architecture.

PINGYAO, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, has its original city wall built in the 11th Century and expanded in 1370. Qing-Ming Street is a paradise for shoppers and photographers. Motor vehicles are restricted and the overnight is in a Qing Dynasty inn. Much of the city is Ming dynasty preserved from development.

FUJIAN PROVINCE , is the location of most of the tulous in China . These unique circular buildings housed family clans in their own self contained ‘village’.


a unique experience for the 2nd time China traveler !

DAY 1 Monday depart USA
Connect from a gateway city to a flight across the Pacific and the International Dateline to Asia .

DAY 2 Tuesday arrive SHANGHAI
Arrive in the evening and transfer to the Bund Hotel.

This morning visit the ‘old town’ area of one of the largest cities in the ‘global village’. Then take an excursion to Zhujiajiao, a small preserved canal village in suburban Shanghai . Later fly to Xiamen [formerly known as Amoy ] and overnight at the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Harbour View.

Drive to the mountain area of Yongding County which is known for the tulou, a circular or square structure which was build of earth and reinforced with stone, brick and steel to protect and house family based villages in this area. Spend the night in a restored tulou or the Golden Leaf Hotel.

Explore the rural tulou villages, visiting schools, homes and local clinics. On return to Xiamen , take the ferry to Gulangyu, the island which housed foreign communities starting in 1842. The 19th century Sino-Colonial buildings include the Koxinga Museum . Later, fly to Tunxi and stay at the International Hotel.

DAY 6 Saturday HUANGSHAN (B, L, D)
Tour including 7 Memorial Archways in Tangyi Village and Old Street area of Tunxi. Drive to Nanping Village , where the Zhang Yimou film, “Ju Dou” was made. Then continue on to Hongcun village where the opening scene of ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” was filmed. After lunch drive on to Xidi village. Stay overnight at the foot of Huangshan in the Taoyuan Hotel.

DAY 7 Sunday HUANGSHAN (B, L, D)
Climb or cable car to the top of Huangshan. Explore the many trails with spectacular scenery. Stay at the Xihai Hotel.

See the sunrise on a Sea of Clouds then cable car or hike down the mountain. (The cover photo of the CHINASMITH brochure is a sample of this morning view.) Drive to Hangzhou . On the way stop at Zhanqi, a village that flourished in the Ming dynasty. In Hangzhou , stay at the Sofitel West Lake Hotel.

Visit small villages in rural Zhejiang . Here there is silkworm breeding, primitive paper making, and bamboo weaving. Return to Hangzhou for an evening flight to Taiyuan . In Taiyuan stay at the Shanxi Grand Hotel.

DAY 10 Wednesday TAIYUAN/PINGYAO (B, L, D)
Visit Taiyuan ’s ancient temples. The largest is Jinci Temple in the countryside about 15 miles from city. Set among bubbling springs in a grove of cypress, it dates from the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534). On the outskirts of Taiyuan you may see Jindaifu Temple , Gugangdi Miao, Yongzuo and Chongshan Temples . Drive to Pingyao in the afternoon stopping to visit the Qiao Family Manor Home used as the setting of the contemporary film. “Raise the Red Lantern”. In Pingyao stay at Tai Yuan Kui, a guesthouse dating from the Qing Dynasty.

Spend the full day in Pingyao, a small city designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Pingyao features a still intact walled city with numerous ancient courtyard homes dating from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Return to Taiyuan for dinner.

In the morning fly to Beijing . Transfer to the Jianguo Gardens Hotel. This afternoon tour a ‘hutong’ area of North China courtyard homes. This traditional Beijing neighborhood is like a village within China ’s throbbing capital city.

DAY 13 Saturday BEIJING (B, L, D)
Take a rural excursion to the Great Wall at Huangyaguan, a section of the wall with multiple towers that is far more dramatic than most visited areas. On return to the city, stop at the Olympic Park to see the Bird’s Nest Stadium and the Water Cube. A farewell dinner tonight features Peking Duck.

Transfer to the airport for a return flight arriving back in the States on the same day.


2016 Suggested Departures


Code Depart/Return

DV1 • April 11-24
DV2 • May 23-June 5
DV3 • June 20-July 4
DV4 • August 15-28
DV5 • September 12-25
DV6 • October 10-23


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