One of the highlights of a visit to southern Anhui is the chance to see Huizhou houses, whose plan of two floors of galleried rooms based around a courtyard became the template for urban domestic architecture in eastern China. Tunxi’s best two examples are hidden in the eastern backstreets, both threatenend by ever-encroaching modern buildings. The more easterly house is that of the mathematician Cheng Dawei (程大位居, chéngdàwèi jū; ¥30; 8am–5pm); the other, closer to the old town, is known as the Cheng Family House (程氏三宅, chéngshì sānzhái; ¥30; 8am–5pm). Further examples can be found at the new riverside park development of Hubian Gucun (湖边古村, húbiān gǔcūn), where some 40 original Huizhou houses and two paifang memorial arches have been relocated, and you’ll find plenty more at Shexian or Yixian.

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