On my recent Jiangxi Villages Tour, after visiting Jiangling we headed to one of the small villages in the Jiangxi Province to walk around. The historic village of Xiaoqi is worth a look, it’s totally tranquil. By the way Xiaoqi is pronounced “Chjshau Quee” (that’s the best I can do!).
This village is split into two parts apparently and so we made two stops at it. If you read my post on Jiangling, you’ll know we hired a driver for this part of the tour – it’s just the easiest way to get around. There are full details on that in the Jiangling Viewpoint post. However our tour of Jiangxi continued as we drove into the village of Xiaoqi.
The first thing I noticed was a sign saying “Tourists no entry” (not kidding – it was on the entrance to the village!). I had a valid multi entry China Visa so I walked on in…
On arrival in Xiaoqi we are taken through the old fashioned pretty cobbled streets to an old building – the Ancestral Building. This is the most famous building in Xiaoqi.
What strikes me most is the fact that it really is China here. There is no commercial aspect to life here, not even a can of Coca Cola or a bottle of Tsingtao. The fact that this old building was the main attraction in the village said it all. Most travellers wouldn’t even bother coming to Xiaoqi and that my friends is why I love these off the beaten track places so much. There’s really not a lot to do here but walk around and admire, and that I did.
Also on our walk round the village we see a wishing well, which even has a plaque in English by it, reading “Moon reflected in double wells”.
I pop into a local shop and love the whole anti commercial aspect of it. This particular store was what Ikea wished they had.
Next up we head along the streets and come across a local guy who makes and sells his own peach wine. Obviously I was straight in there to try the Xiaoqi wine (yes I wrote about it on my Thirsty Thursdays feature recently).
Then we head through a small market area and up into a forest. Here there is a tree, which according to myth if you walk round it, you will live until the age of 100. I walked round. Whether or not I believe the theory is another thing.
We then walk along a path which is still up in the forest and offers a sombre and pretty view over the quiet village of Xiaoqi. It’s relaxed, quiet and peaceful.
We’ve done this part of the village in 45 minutes by the way and then our driver takes us to where the people in the village meet – some kind of square by the river. Here there are four main things to see:
1. A very dodgy bridge across a small river. I walk along the wooden bridge and am reminded to be careful. Not quite the Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge in Northern Ireland but still worth a trip across. I mean, what else is there to do?!
2. A building that overlooks the river and also acts as a bridge.
3. The river itself. Xiaoqi was naturally built by the river so they have ample water supply. Though staring in at it, you’d hope the water from the tap is slightly cleaner. Don’t expect much. We’re still in China don’t forget.
4. Finally there is a massive arch and a kind of square. We are there late afternoon and lots of locals have congregated to dance here in the square by this arch. So we watch that for a while and I make a video.
And that my friends is the second part of our Jiangxi Province tour, the small and quiet village of Xiaoqi. I’ll leave you with some videos from Xiaoqi…the next stop on the tour would be the village of Wangkou.
Walking Through Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Drinking peach wine in Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Forest Path with a view into Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Monument and tree in Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Evening dancing in Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Bridge and River in Xiaoqi Village, Jiangxi Province, China:
Getting a lift in the car from Xiaoqi onto Wangkou, Jiangxi Province, China: