Saturday, October 31, 2009

Small Village Detox: Cuandixia

After a wild night out with my great roommates and some fun new Chinese friends I luckily found an awesome way to kill a hangover. Get myself out of town, into the mountains to an ancient Ming village and hike! Gotta sweat it out!

Cuandixia is a 2-1/2 hour bus ride west of Beijing. The village is a well preserved vernacular mountain town, dating from the Ming Dynasty 500 years ago. The buildings were in the traditional Chinese courtyard style, all built out of stone from the surrounding mountains.

My favorite part: Every part of the landscape that wasn't at a high pitch was terraced with exquisite stone wall's. It was so hard for me to comprehend that these walls were all bit by hand in the course of the past 500 years.

Unintentionally, while trying to kill my hangover I had to make sure I wasn't going to kill myself! While hiking and getting lost I found myself on top of this rocky ridge. With steep drop off's on either side. A bunch of hiker's spotted me and after a language clarification, said "You are lost, come down here, very dangerous." They were really impressed by a foreigner hearing and visiting Cuandixia and liked talking to me and taking pictures. Here's the ridge and the buddies.

From the top you can hear all the noise from the village and if you yell you can hear your voice bounce off the mountains and dissolve through the valley.

The pace of life in the village was relaxing. I walked through the village and hiked around all day, at around 5 o'clock the sun was already far behind the mountains and the berry pickers and sweet potato roasters started to pick up shop. By 7:30 it's pitch black. And walking around the town at night is just as entertaining. Walking around is great in the dark and you settle in the courtyard where you are staying and talk with the other visitors, with a bottle of Tsing Tao

As Jono says "you gotta detox before you retox."
Haha- but nothing too crazy this time I was in bed by 10:30 and up hiking at 7:o0 the next day! I highly recommend visiting here one day if you are hungover. Its worth the trip.