I am often very emotional and overwhelmed when I visit "ancient" villages and towns in China. In fact I choke up with anything older than about 220 years - you see, Australia only has a short 220 years of European history. I have seen some historical sites of the Australian Aboriginals too - and I also get emotional with them as well. But it is the very old places that get to me. Like the Minghe Ancient town near Cixi, which I visited in February 2016.
We went at night - and it clearly is popular at that time, but I would love to have seen it during daylight hours too.
In the photo below two men with huge "hammers" take turns hammering a mixture of sugar, water and peanuts into a flat mass which is cut into little rectangles. Quite tasty too.
The Village was all lit up, and the lights reflected in the canals that ran through the town.
Sadly I didn't get my wish to return.
Later during my stay, a young man and his father took me to Ningbo. I had been to Ningbo several times previously but not to this ancient town.
It is called Cicheng, and despite the fact that it is not really an ancient town, as all of the buildings have been created in recent times, around 2012, it is very interesting. There is one building that is built over a pathway/road, as much to preserve the road as it is probably the only genuine part of the ancient town.
However, the history and stories are well documented, and very well displayed.
|My Tour Guide, Edward|
There were great displays in every building - lots of colour and quality garments.
There are many old towns in China, and it is impressive to see the way government entities encourage and support these great tourist attractions, and it is amazing to see how many people visit them.
You can read about the other Ningbo ancient towns here.
One could spend many months exploring the amazing Chinese history. I love the old buildings, the narrow lanes, and the fact that in some of the ancient towns, people actually live there. Mainly older folk though, but they seem to have a great community to take care of their fabulous history.