We are very fortunate at the Embassy to have CLO (the Community Liaison Office). CLO arranges trips to various places throughout the year, and we intend to take advantage of those tours. It’s a great way to meet other folks from the Embassy, as well as see important sites around China.
On August 6th, we joined CLO for a trip to Cuandixia. According to the CLO, Cuandixia, the Ming Village has a rich history — it was established more than 500 hundred years ago at the time of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) – and there are still many traditional Quadrangles existing in the village.
The village stands along a vital communication line, with convenient transportation to Hebei province and Inner-Mongolia, so the incessant stream of horses and carriages made it a busy place during the Ming and Qing dynasties. With the Economic Opening Reform in 1978, the village opened up to the world with the development of the railway, express way, and advanced mountainous road, and the village has lost its strategic significance and is not as busy as it once was. The young villagers have flooded into the city and moved out of the village. But the village was maintained very well and frozen in its history. It has become a “living museum” in Beijing, considered as a great treasure in terms of historical antique, architecture, art and social study.
Originally all four of us were planning to go on the Ming Tour, but we got information that CLO was putting on a trip for Teens. The group of teens visited 798, the arts district, had lunch and went to an Escape room. Poor Linnea was too young to participate, so Aidan went on the Teen tour while Linnea came with us. Aidan had a blast.
It was a three hour bus ride from the Embassy to the village, and during most of it, I was sleeping. Two days before we went on the tour, I was horribly sick. I have to say not feeling well made it difficult to get the most out of the trip.
About thirty of us exited the bus to explore this little village.
This is along the main road of the village. I think this is where they can make fresh bread.
Not sure if this is the pop up travel office or just a picture they wanted to display.
Winding our way up the hill. The public bathroom is not far from where I took this photo. When I went to use the toilet, they had three doors to choose from. When I chose the door on the left, I opened it to find a squat toilet (no surprise),another squat toilet, and a Western toilet. All three doors opened to the same space, and there were no dividers between the toilet facilities.
We were a big crowd from the Embassy.
The doors shown here are up several steps, indicating the wealth of those who lived there.
Family photos of the owners.
Making our way to the viewpoint.
A good pic of the village and its roofs.
View from the top
It was an extremely hot day. Our cool towels definitely came in handy, but Linnea and I were suffering from heat exhaustion.