There’s nothing more special than finding tidbits of the past in a country that seems to have already laid down its technologically-advanced future; acting like small, untouched memorabilia transporting the dreamer into an almost-forgotten era. Thankfully, a 20-minute car ride can do wonders: One second, you’re in the bustling city of Hangzhou; the next, you’re transported back to the Tang Dynasty in the 14-hectare property of Amanfayun.
The property is comprised of 47 stone courtyard dwellings. Some, which date back to the 7th-9th Century Tang Dynasty, were reconstructed using traditional Chinese methods in building (such as clay tile roofing, and combining brick and earth walls with wooden and metal elements). It is said that due to the structure of the village, no two courtyard dwellings, even those falling under the same accommodation category, are the same.
A former tea-planting village, Amanfayun, is now a beautifully-preserved sanctuary for guests and locals to relive the yesteryears.
The village’s cobblestone trail, known as the Fayun Trail leads directly to the Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺 or The Temple of Soul’s Retreat).
Buddhist monks, and worshippers wishing to pay their respects, as the temple is considered to be one of the most revered places in all of China, are still frequenting it.
Cradling the western hills of the Zhejiang region, and surrounded by tea-plantations, deciduous forests, and bamboo groves, there is no wonder Amanfayun is known to a lot of people for its serenity and tranquility.
Passport Out Tip
Calligraphy, the city’s predominant art form, has long been intertwined with the country’s intellectual and artistic heritage. Amanfayun holds lessons with one of the city’s master Calligraphy artists at certain times of the week at the Fayun Place.
As you revel into the quiet, you realize there’s nothing better than being at a place so near civilization, yet so far from the realities of everyday life.