The village's main draw is the beautiful lake that reflects the ancient buildings in the foreground and the mountains behind. Like the sunrise and sunset on Huanghan, at different times of the day, I found myself taking pictures of the lake and the reflections, thinking that specific time could not be beaten in terms of its beauty. I was proven wrong again and again as I returned to the lake at various times throughout the day.
The evenings are cold through the late spring. The streets are illuminated with red lanterns. The locals sell snacks such as spicy homemade jam, cotton candy, egg crepes and roasted nuts. I bought a cup of ginger tea to warm my hands and wound up drinking the whole thing before my hands had a chance to thaw.
Hongcun's narrow stone paths wind around the village. It is easy to get lost, which I did the next morning. I ventured out into the peaceful village that had yet to awaken. All paths do not lead to the lake, but I found my way after about an hour of wandering. I was in no rush. During my time lost in Hongcun, I passed by round doorways, red posters on stucco walls, horses carrying rocks in their saddle bags and people breakfasting on stools in tiny restaurants. I highly recommend getting lost in Hongcun. You'll eventually find your way too.
If you get a chance to visit an ancient Chinese village like Hongcun, seize the opportunity.