Jiuxian Village: our community
Jiuxian Village in Yangshuo County nestles between dramatic karst mountains and the beautiful Yulong River (a tributary of the Li River). Jiuxian is one of the few villages in Yangshuo County to still contain a reasonably large number of both Qing Dynasty grey brick houses and mud brick farm houses.
The name Jiuxian is comprised of two Chinese characters: 旧县 - meaning 'Ancient County'. The name itself thus indicates both the age and significance of this village to the region.
The first village was built here during the Tang Dynasty, with the current village begun during the 15th century. Some existing Qing Dynasty buildings from the late 19th century (such as those we are renovating) are built on top of stone terraces from this earlier period. These planted terraces (now buried underground) were built from huge stone blocks and stepped up the karst mountains.
During the Qing dynasty wealthy landlords built the impressive grey brick houses that can be seen today. The mud brick farmhouses were built at a later date. During the Japanese invasion in the build up to World war II wealthier landlords hid their valuables and moved into caves (bricking up the entrances) or built fortifications on top of the mountains. Then in the 1950's and 60's, during the Cultural Revolution, the larger houses were divided amongst several families.
Recently, with the development of tourism in the region, many people have moved to Yangshuo Town to seek employment. They either remain in Yangshuo or return to Jiuxian and build new houses. The village currently has over 1300 residents and is divided into 13 administrative sections - each with its own Leader. The older residents continue life much as they have for years: harvesting rice, growing fruit trees and raising water buffalos and goats. The younger family members usually work in nearby Baisha or Yangshuo.
The traditional old houses, ancestral hall and small lanes of the village are definitely worth exploring. There are plenty of pathways for short strolls or walking trails for those who enjoy longer hikes. You can also scramble up some of the surrounding mountains. The Yulong River is a stone's throw away and a popular spot for bamboo rafting, swimming and fishing. Although you will probably have more success fishing in one of the peaceful fish ponds. Click here for more detailed information on Things to see & do in Jiuxian.
There is an abundance of wild flowers around Jiuxian and many indigenous plants which are used locally in traditional medicines. As well as pine trees and bamboo there are many orchards filled with persimmon, orange, huangpi (a small yellow skinned fruit) and pomelo trees. Birdlife seems to be increasing and you should be able to spot egrets, kingfishers, pheasants and smaller birds, especially at the nearby spring. You are not likely to see any wild animals in the area, but will definitely encounter cows, water buffaloes or mountain goats being lead out to graze on the mountainsides. Click here for more information and pictures on Jiuxian's Flora & Fauna.
If you want to know where Jiuxian is please see our page Where is Jiuxian?