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Published: December 1st 2010
Every once in a while on this trip we have a couple of days where everything goes just right. Tunxi (Huangshan City) was one of those places. After a pleasant 3 hour bus ride from Hangzhou, we found our way to our hotel with relative ease and soon after had our onward train tickets booked. The city of Tunxi brought us back to that small city feel that we've been missing the last little while where we could eat in small corner restaurants with big portions, cheap beer and awesome home-style chinese food.
The reason that most people stay in Tunxi is to use it as a base to climb Mount Huangshan which is one of the most sacred Taoist peaks. Having already climbed Hua Shan near Xian, we opted instead to spend a day exploring one of the unique Huizhou villages around the area. Hongcun is one of the more famous Huizhou villages and despite the 80 yuan price tag to get in, it was totally worth it. We lucked out and enjoyed a nice, calm, sunny day that made for great reflections on the Moon Pond which is the centrepiece of the village. We wandered the narrow alleys
for a while looking at the white-washed houses, then we just sat on a bench alongside the pond and people-watched. We arrived early enough in the morning before the tour groups started arriving, so in the afternoon it was amusing to watch them all posing in the same spots taking photos of each other. Also, the village was packed with art students who were sketching and painting on every corner.
We also used our time in Tunxi to stock up on supplies for our monster 21-hour overnight train to Xiamen. Since hot water is so readily available on the trains, we purchased tea mugs and a sample of the local Anhui tea.
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