The layout of Chengkan is in the special Chinese “Bagua” style (the Eight Trigrams). The Yin part is represented by the fields whilst the Yang part is represented by the residential buildings. A river divides these two parts.
In ancient times this village was named Longxi. At the end of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Luo brothers moved there with their big family and changed Longxi’s name to Chengkan. The Luo brothers believed in Feng Shui theory (an old philosophical and somewhat superstitious system which followed the belief that you could create a better life for your family by managing the surrounding environment). They felt that Longxi’s location was particularly auspicious and thus believed that settling there promised their family potential prosperity, according to Feng Shui theory. During the establishment of the whole village they continued to follow this theory. So this village is considered one of the best, if not the best, examples of Feng Shui theory in practice.
Originally there were ninety-nine lanes in Chengkan that made the village seem like a maze. Of those ninety-nine lanes, there are now still ninety lanes left. Most of the buildings in Chengkan were established during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), among them there are fourteen mansions in particular which exemplify the Hui style of architecture beautifully.
Chengkan is one of the many wonderful stops on our travel: Discover the Ancient Chinese Villages in the Huizhou Region