Guanlu is not far from the much more touristy Hongcun and Xidi and is known for it's "eight family houses" which were built during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) by the eight Hui merchant brothers by the name of Wang. What is unusual about the architecture of these eight large houses are their physical connection. Each building has its own living rooms, garden, and courtyard, but each also has a doored hallway that connects through the next building, forming a single structure. The entrance fee to this village includes a Mandarin speaking guide and takes you inside the eight homes - still occupied by the current generation of the Wang clan. My Mandarin is very basic but having read about them and their structure I managed to make sense of our guides descriptions. I can't remember the fee - was no more than 60Rmb I think. Perhaps what increased the enjoyment of exploring this village was the total absence of tourists.
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