China: Open-air Village and Town Museums

List for Vernacular Architecture Atlas



As the lengthy below suggests, ‘open-air museums’ come in various forms in China.

(Hot-links will be added to this list in the future)


In addition to sites where all of the structures have been preserved by moving them to a single new location or where all the buildings are reconstructed structures in a park-like setting—as exist in abundance also in the US, Japan, and Europe—there are now many ‘olde’ villages and towns—many of them quite spectacular—that have been tidied up (sometimes with foreign funds) and clearly demarcated as ‘open-air museums’. Within most of these villages and towns, a great deal of conservation work is being carried out. In some respects, they have become ‘living villages’ or ‘living towns’ in which visitors can experience ‘authentic’ life from the past. Those listed below are all places that today charge admission to outsiders, with significant areas given over to open-air presentations of old buildings/lanes/activities/entertainment, etc. Most have their own websites and countless books have appeared that appeal to Chinese tourists who are looking for ‘the authentic past’.


Throughout China now there are also theme parks that emphasize the buildings and cultures found elsewhere in the world, such as Window of the World (Shijie zhi chuang) in Shenzhen as well as American Dream Park and Global Paradise outside Shanghai. Some 2000 ‘theme parks’ have opened in China in the past decade! I have not listed any of this last group.


Domestic tourism, which is booming in China, is fueling most of these developments.


Open-air Village-like Museums (structures moved from other places)


Huizhou District, Huangshan City, Anhui:

Qiankou Folk House Museum


Xiuning County, Anhui:

Guchengyan “Old City Ridge”  (two sections showing Ming & Qing structures)


Open-air Village-like Museums (structures are mostly reconstructions):


Shenzhen, Guangdong:

China Folk Cultural Village (Zhongguo Minsu Wenhua Cun)

(24 ‘village’ sections that emphasize minority nationalities)

Splendid China (Zhenxiu Zhonghua) (84 replicas of buildings and sites throughout China)


Beijing municipality:

China Ethnic Cultural Park (Zhonghua minzu yuan)

Grand View Garden (Daguanyuan)

(replica of the magnificent garden and buildings of an imperial family described in the well-known Chinese novel "A Dream of Red Mansions")


Hainan province:

Village of Li Minority in the Ethnic Museum of Hainan


Kunming, Yunnan: Yunnan Ethnic Villages (covers 26 different minority groups)


Open-air Museums in Villages and Towns (structures are original)


Anhui province:

Hongcun Village

Nanping Village

Tangmo Village

Xidi Village


Beijing municipality:

Chuandixia Mountain Village


Chongqing municipality:

Ciqikou Village


Fujian province:

Gulangyu Island Town, Xiamen

Hekeng Village

Peitian Village

Xiamei Village

Zhaojiabao Village


Gansu province:

Xiahe Monastery Town


Guangxi province:

Baimian Yao Village

Kaili Miao Village Open-air Museum

Yinshui Dong Village


Guizhou province:

Huashishao Bouyei Village

Heitu and Changlinggang Miao Villages

Langde Miao Open-air Village


Hainan province:

Fankong and Fanmao Miao Villages

Tushuihe Miao Ethnic Village


Henan province:

Kangbaiwan Manor


Hong Kong:

Pingshan Village Heritage Trail


Jiangsu province:

Luzhi Old Town

Mudu Old Town

Tongli Old Town

Xitang Old Town

Zhouzhuang Old Town


Jiangxi province:

Likeng Village

Lukeng Village

Qingyuan Village

Sixi Village

Xiaoqi Village

Yantian Village

Zhifeng Village


Shandong province:

Mu Family Manor

Qufu Mansion of Confucius


Shanxi province:

Cao Family Manor

Chang Family Manor

Chen Family Manor

Dingcun Historic Village

Pingyao Ancient Town

Qiao Family Manor

Qu Family Manor

Wang Family Manor


Yunnan province:

Bai Ethnic Villages

Blang Ethnic Minority Park

Dali Old Town

Jianshui Old Town

Lijiang Naxi Ethnic Villages

Lijiang Old Town

Tengchong Old Town

Xishuangbanna Dai Ethnic Villages


Zhejiang province:

Cangpo Village

Furong Village

Nanxun Old Town
Wuzhen Old Town

Zhuge Village