Tired of crowded tourists when traveling and of line up for a long time waiting to visit an attraction? Then go to Heping Town, an old town with beautiful landscape but less tourists. It is definitely a good place for you!
Heping is a quaint little town in the border of Fujian and Jiangxi, and a place you would never miss if you travel in Shaowu. Perhaps an ordinary old town is not so attractive for you, after all, in the south there are many such town featuring green walls and black tiles. Yet Heping Town in Shaowu is definitely worth of a visit.
Green bricks and glazed tiles, painted beams and carved pillars, and halls and courtyards – the commonly found luxury civilian houses of Ming and Qing Dynasties have become rarities nowadays. However, there still is a place retaining nearly 200 architectures of such style- that is Heping Town, Shaowu.
Heping old town, built in the Tang Dynasty, is one of the oldest towns in Fujian Province as well as a rare castle-style town across the country. Many of its ancient buildings are of special characteristics among other ancient residential buildings reserved so far.
After years of wind and rain, its old streets are still kept intact. You have to say it is really a miracle. There are a lot of authentic ancestral buildings, temples and residential building constructions, so known as "Fujian’s First Street."
Ancestral buildings and temples of green bricks and glazed tiles in a considerable number are one of the features of Heping Town. The reserved ancient buildings including Qishan Ancestral Hall, Zhao Clan Ancestral Hall, Liao Clan Ancestral Hall and Ding Clan Temple.
A tranquil small town without interruption by outsiders
Heping Town is an old town with great cultural heritage including the cultures related to Zhang Sanfeng, the Tai-Chi Master, Li Gang, a minister of South Song Dynasty and Zhu Xi, a great philosopher of Song Dynasty. In the Song Dynasty, the famous scholars Zhu Xi and Yang Shi both had been here to give lectures. Today's Heping Academy retains the four characters of He Ping Shu Yuan written by Zhu Xi. It seems the once scent of ink is still floating in the air now.
The north gate of Heping Academy is very sophisticated in design. The top of the gate takes a shape of an official hat, reflecting the idea that a good scholar will make an official. Three doors form the character of Pin (like three-rectangle structure), meaning the wish to be a senior official.
SuijJinshi, the students with the qualification to enjoy subsidies from the government in Ming and Qing Dynasties. It was said that there were as many as 132 Jinshi (successful candidate in the highest imperial examinations). So Heping is also called Jinshi Village.
In addition, Heping still retains the traditional cultures and ancient folklore. The original exorcism dance, wedding customs, rice field fish farming as well as the introduction of ancient folk customs by the tour guide are all a great pleasure. The farmhouse watery wine, Heping carp, Heping tofu, Heping rice noodle and Guanyin tea will allow you to appreciate the leisure, comfort and warmth of the old town.
Taking bus first to Shaowu and then to Heping Town
Heping old town’s food belongs to no luxury cuisine and has no delicate appearance, but their raw materials include eco vegetables, stream fish and meat, wild game and handmade Heping tofu free of any pollution, coloring matters, additives and preservatives.
Heping tofu is free of any gypsum and brine, a kind of pure green food. There are further "loaches bolted in tofu", "smoked dried carp", "Heping rice dumplings", "Heping pond snail" and "Heping rice noodle" and so on.