Shuangshipu (Fengxian) is the remote town where Rewi Alley first set up a Bailie School in the 1940s.
Fengxian is a small provincial town in the west of Shaanxi Province. It is located 80km west-south-west of Baoji City [itself about 150km west of Xi’an] on the border with Ningxia Province and the edge of the Qingling Mountains. Before being renamed Fengxian, the village was known as Shuangshipu. During the years of the second world war and China’s War of attrition with Japan, Shuangshipu was nothing more than a small farmers village, a collection of small houses, sheds and cave dwellings hidden away in a hollow in the mountains of Shaanxi.
For a zoomable Google Map of the location of Shuangshipu (Fengxian), click HERE
Rewi Alley locations:
- Cave houses of Rewi Alley’s former residence and Shuangshipu school
- Aili Road, and Aili Hotel
- Site of former Gung Ho School
- Statue of Rewi Alley
The town of Shuangshipu that Rewi lived in was renamed as FengXian. It is known by both names, but all transport and addresses will be to Fengxian.
Fengxian is on the Baoji-to-Chengdu trainline, and can be accessed by slow train from these cities.
It can also be accessed by long-distance bus. It is about 80km west-south west of Baoji.
From FengXian train station, Bus #1 or #9 will go to the city centre, about 2km upstream. From the city centre, all the Rewi Alley sites are within walking distance.
Anxi Hotel, on Baoji Road in the centre of Fengxian is one hotel that accepts foreigners, cost in 2016 was 100Y for a double room.
View of Fengxian from hilltop Buddhist temple.
When to visit:
Current weather in Baoji can be viewed on http://www.accuweather.com/en/cn/
As in all of China, it is preferable to avoid the peak holiday periods of Golden Week (1-7th October), Spring Festival/Chinese New Year (10days in January or February, exact date changes each year), and school holidays of July/August. If you are travelling at these times, you’ll need to book transport in advance, and possibly be flexible with your dates to get to the places you want.
Links to more information:
This article is based on a report by Jane Furkert of her worrk: ‘An Independent Travellers’ Guide to Rewi Alley Locations in China, 2016’, that was funded by the Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange (RAFE) Fund.