Shexian County is located at the southern foot of Mt. Huangshan, in the upper reaches of the Xin'an River, surrounded by mountains and streams. Shexian has two nicknames: "Hometown of Archways" for the thousands of arches scattered in the county and "Hometown of Tea" for the production of high quality tea in large quantity.
Ever since Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Shexian has outgrown other areas in Southeast China in economic and cultural development, making it the birthplace of the unique Huizhou Culture, which is represented by the Xin'an painting, Huizhou architecture and Xin'an medicine. Indeed, Shexian County has produced many artists, philosophers and men of letters.
Shexian County has many well-preserved courtyards, gardens, pagodas and bridges, most of these were built during Ming and Qing Dynasties, and some were constructed as early as Song Dynasty. These historical sites are described as "Gems of Ancient Chinese architecture". In particular, the elegantly constructed ancient residential houses, ancestral temples and memorial archways are unique in China. The most famous ones are: Tangyue Archways, Xuguo Archway, Doushan Street and Yuliang Dam.
Maihuayu Village, located on the south bank of the Xin'an River, is known as the home of Huizhou potted horticulture. Most villagers here are expert gardeners specializing in raising pretty bonsai. That is why Shexian is regarded as one of the places where the art of miniature landscape originated.
Shexian also produces excellent ink slabs. The art of ink stone making has been famous for over 800 years. "The She Ink slab" is among the best in China.