Sichuan has a long history and incorporates numerous ancient towns, among which, Huanglongxi, Pingle, Shangli, and Luodai are the best known. The buildings in these towns are chara... >>
Huanglongxi Ancient Town
Located in southwest Shuangliu County in Chengdu, this town has a long history and many cultural relics have been unearthed here. It was previously the last military stronghold of the ancient Shu Kingdom, the last king of which launched the final decisive battle in the town in 316 BC.
The town offers yet another opportunity to sample the delectable Sichuan fare, with two of the best-known being longevity noodles and spicy bean jelly.
Chengdu New Nanmen Tourist Center operates a shuttle service to and from the ancient town.
Luodai Ancient Town
Located in Longquanyi District, Chengdu Luodai Ancient Town is a key scenic attraction in the plan of Sichuan Province to nurture the two-lake and one-mountain tourism area. There are more than 20,000 Hakka people here, representing 90% of the town’s population. The people in the town and neighboring villages are mostly descendants of the Cantonese. Experience the rich Hakka tradition in this, the No.1 Town of Hakka people in western China.
When it comes to food, there are well-known Hakka specialty dishes, such as fried and smoked goose, available at the Luodai Supply and Marketing Cooperatives restaurant, wild fungus banquet at the Xinmin Hotel, and quick-boiled fried meat balls and dumpling wrappers served with egg and vegetable soup from the Hakka restaurant.
After hundreds of years of development, the unique Hakka customs and culture come into being in Luodai Ancient Town which is divided into Old Street and New Street. The Old Street, about 10m wide, is inlaid with 1m stone slabs. The uneven slabs have seen the long history and turbulent past of the ancient town. On the Old Street, there are many well-preserved ancient Hakka dwellings with roofs covered by Chinese-style tiles. Most of the dwellings are in single-threshold quadrangle courtyard structure, meaning the main hall is in the center part and the ridges are always decorated with "engraving flowers" and "tilting eave tips". The style of Old Street is mainly the architecture style of the Qing Dynasty.
Chengdu’s New Nanmen Station operates a shuttle service to and from Luodai. Also, bus numbers 58, 71, and 81 go to Wuguiqiao Bus Station, and then bus No. 219 to the town.
Jiezi Ancient Town
Located in Chongzhou City, and once ranked first among Sichuan's Top 10 Ancient Towns, the houses in Jiezi are mostly relics from the Ming and Qing dynasties. The town abounds with legends, and people here subscribe to the belief that cherishing paper with characters is a blessing – they consider it all but nefarious to casually discard paper or idly pollute it with meaningless characters. In that event, sullied paper must be placed in special wastebaskets and burned in a controlled manner.
Herbal cuisine is a specialty here, and includes the likes of stewed silkie with Chinese yams and stewed pig shank with Chinese yams.
Jiezi Ancient Town is a place of many legends. According to the General History of China, Zhu Yunwen, grandson of Zhu Yuanzhang (founder of the Ming Dynasty), was missing mysteriously. After many investigations, some experts believe that Zhu Yunwen lived in seclusion near Shanggu Temple of Jiezi Town, and he lived in the mountain for over 10 years since 1401. People in Jiezi then believed that "cherishing characters blesses" and considered discarding or polluting paper with characters as virtueless deed. They thought that waste paper with characters shall be collected in a special basket and incinerated together, so they built two Ziku Towers to burn papers at both ends of the street respectively. Built in the reign of Emperor Daoguang in the Qing Dynasty with stone slabs, stone mounds and black bricks, Ziku Towers are 150m tall with five floors. On the outer wall of the fourth floor, there are "Madam White Snake" and other wall carvings. The tower at the upper end of street has been destroyed, but the other one is well preserved. The tower top fell down in Wenchuan Earthquake but it has been restored now.
Chengdu Jinsha Bus Station operates a shuttle service to and from Jiezi Ancient Town. The trip takes about 40 minutes.
Pingle Ancient Town
Located 19km southwest of Qionglai, Pingle Ancient Town has a history of over 2,000 years. Mt Jinhua sits in the town, where there are to be found beautifully carved stone inscriptions from the Tang Dynasty and a rare relief sculpture entitled Heavenly Steed Soaring Across the Skies. The town has 74 well-preserved paper-making workshop sites, and Lingguan Path, the first Chinese Silk Road recognized by archaeologists - the Southern Silk Road which starts in Chengdu - runs through Pingle Town, Linqiong County (now Qionglai County), and continues to extend southward.
For the highly-recommended food stop, Sunxuewang restaurant has on offer boiled duck/pig blood tofu, braised bean curd, pot-stewed meat or poultry, and other local delicacies.
Built in the 1st year of the reign of Emperor Tongzhi in the Qing Dynasty (1862), the north-south Leshan Bridge is a stone bridge with seven openings and a history of more than 100 years, and is honored as the "No. 1 Bridge in Southern Qionglai". The bridge openings are in a rare peach shape and the seven tapered piers look like seven boats lining up, unique and interesting. In addition, on Jinhua Mountain, Pingle Town, there are delicate stone carvings of the Tang Dynasty and the precious "Painting of Flying Horses". There are 74 well-preserved paper-making workshop sites in the town. And over 10km away, in Lugou Town, there are ancient paper-making workshops with most paper-making tools used in the Southern Song Dynasty. All tools, including stone pots, stone jars, stone rollers (used to grind bamboo), ponds (used to soak bamboo) and stone cylinders (used to reel paper) are well kept by the lake and in bamboo groves.
Chengdu's New Nanmen Tourist Center operates a shuttle service to and from Pingle Ancient Town. It takes about 1 hour and 40 minutes.