Ayi River, Chongqing – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Transportation, and Highlights

ayi river in chongqing

The Ayi River (阿依河) is a scenic river located in Pengshui County, Chongqing, China. Its name is derived from the Miao people’s tradition of referring to kind, beautiful, and intelligent women as “jiao Ayi,” which translates to “Charming Ayi.” The river is a captivating destination that seamlessly combines the elements of mountains, water, forests, springs, and canyons, offering a unique blend of grandeur, wonder, excitement, beauty, and serenity.

Stretching over 36.6 kilometers, the Ayi River carves a typical box-shaped river valley with canyons plunging 80 to 200 meters deep and a narrow riverbed that spans only 10 to 30 meters during the dry season, adorned with numerous rocky outcrops. This river is fed by the tributaries of the Mother and Son Creeks and Langxi River, ensuring clear and refreshing water throughout the area.

Due to its ancient geological history, the Ayi River boasts a wealth of unique flora and fauna. It is home to 16 rare and endangered plant species, including the Chinese moso bamboo, redwood, and ginkgo trees. The Ayi River area hosts a diverse array of wildlife, with 298 species of animals, including the black-leaf monkey, leopard, Chinese giant salamander (commonly known as the “baby fish”), and golden snub-nosed monkey.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket PriceAdmission: 90 RMB
Admission + Elevator (Single Way): 125 RMB
Admission + Elevator (Round): 140 RMB
Admission + Blue Dragon Cave: 110 RMB
Admission + Raft Drifting: 170 RMB
Shuttle Bus: 40 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 17.00
Telephone Number0086-023-67507918

Location and Transportation

The Ayi River is located in the Shaoqing Street area of Pengshui County, Chongqing, China. Specifically, it is situated in the Ayi River Community, which is approximately 18 kilometers southwest of the town center of Pengshui County.

To get to Ayi River from Chongqing, you have a couple of transportation options:

  1. By Bus: You can take a tourist shuttle bus from the Sigongli Junction Transportation Hub (四公里交通换乘枢纽) to Ayi Mountain. The ticket price is approximately 100 yuan per ticket. There are two round trips available every day. Departure times from Sigongli Junction are at 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM, while departures from the Ayi River Scenic Area are at 2:30 PM and 4:30 PM. Additionally, there is an extra Friday service departing at 4:30 PM.
  2. By Train: Alternatively, you can take a train to Pengshui Railway Station from Chongqing North Station. The ticket price is around 32.5 yuan per ticket. Once you arrive at Pengshui Railway Station, you can take a taxi to Ayi River Scenic Area for your convenience.

Highlights of Ayi River

Niujiao Zhai (Bull Horn Village)

niujiao zhai in ayi river

NiuJiao Zhai, often referred to as “Bull Horn Village,” serves as a transfer station for the Ayi River’s drifting section. Situated in the middle of the Ayi River scenic area, the village gets its name from the striking ox-horn patterns carved into the rock walls, which create an atmosphere of awe and wonder. Covering an area of 3,300 square meters, this cliffside Miao village is surrounded on three sides by mountains and on one side by the river. It has a rich history, with records dating back to the Ming Dynasty, when it provided accommodations for travelers and laborers. The village is characterized by its stilted houses, a wind and rain bridge, a love corridor, and other attractions. Tucked away deep in a valley and beside the river, the village is incredibly serene and often visited by macaque monkeys.

Qinglong Valley (Blue Dragon Valley)

qinglong valley in ayi river chongqing

Qinglong Valley, located on the banks of the Ayi River, is a picturesque canyon with a height of 300 meters and a length of 1,600 meters, winding and twisting like a massive blue dragon. At the entrance of the gorge, you can find two sculptures of blue dragons known as “Double Dragons Welcoming Guests.” One is a bas-relief on a rock wall, depicting dancing dragon bodies and outstretched claws, while the other is a soaring dragon in the form of a seated statue. The two sides of the valley are adorned with lush bamboo and abundant green trees, creating a soothing and refreshing environment.

Qinglong Cave (Blue Dragon Cave)

qinglong cave in ayi river

Qinglong Cave is a karst cave with a total length of 1,590 meters, featuring upper and lower chambers. The cave maintains a comfortable year-round temperature of 16 degrees Celsius. Qinglong Cave has been formed over hundreds of thousands of years through the erosion of limestone by underground water. The cave is known for its rich mineral deposits, such as stalactites, stone flowers, draperies, stalagmites, stone curtains, and rimstone dams. At the end of the cave, there is a magnificent 200-meter-high silver-white waterfall known as the “Cave Heaven Flying Waterfall.” The walls of the waterfall form a cone shape, pointing towards the high dome, and the sound of the water resembles thunder, creating a majestic spectacle.

Yi Xian Tian (A Thin Stripe of Sky)

yi xian tian in ayi river

The “Yi Xian Tian,” or “A Thin Stripe of Sky,” is the narrowest point within the Ayi River Scenic Area. It is named so because when you look up from this spot, a clear sky appears as a single white line, as if woven by the legendary weaver girl, Zhinu. According to local folklore, the ancestors of the Miao people in Pengshui took refuge in the Ayi River after losing to the Yellow Emperor in a battle. In their time of hardship, the earth trembled, and the mountain god split open his mouth, allowing the midday sun to shine into the valley, aiding the wounded hero, Chiyou.

Zhubanqiao Papermaking

zhubanqiao papermaking in ayi river

Zhubanqiao Papermaking is a traditional papermaking technique using bamboo, located on the right bank of the Ayi River at the Zhubanqiao Pier. The nearby village, Tianwan Village in Langxi Township, houses 18 households, each with its own workshop, where they employ traditional methods to make paper from bamboo found in the river valley. The traditional technique is a recognized intangible cultural heritage of Chongqing. Below the Zhubanqiao Pier, remnants of papermaking from the Qing Dynasty can still be found.

River Drifting

river drifting in ayi river

Ayi River drifting offers an unforgettable adventure, divided into two sections: the upper and lower halves, each with its own unique characteristics and challenges. The upper section features calm waters without strong currents, while the lower section offers a more turbulent experience with exciting rapids and treacherous stretches.

Vlog about Ayi River

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Bamboo Rafting Experience: The bamboo rafting experience typically costs around 80 yuan per person. During the ride, there are opportunities for singing, storytelling, and listening to local mountain songs provided by the boatmen and tour guides. The duration of the ride is approximately 20-30 minutes.

Choose Your Route: The upper section of the river is relatively calm, while the lower section offers more thrilling rapids. It’s recommended to opt for rafting only in the lower section, which can take around 4-5 hours to complete. Rafting the entire length of the river can be exhausting, so focusing on the lower portion ensures an enjoyable experience without getting too tired.

Essential Equipment: Make sure to bring essential gear such as a high-quality waterproof phone case, quick-drying long-sleeved pants, a well-made paddle to scoop out water from the boat (as the boat may take in water), a change of clothes, and a towel. At the end of the rafting trip, there are facilities available for bathing.

Food and Refreshments: Along the route, there are small vendors selling snacks like fried potatoes, grilled sausages, instant noodles, and more. Additionally, there are dining options available at the halfway point for those rafting the upper section.

Sun Protection: Given the extended duration of the rafting trip and the outdoor nature of the activity, it’s crucial to protect yourself from the sun. Apply sunscreen liberally, preferably a physical sunscreen, to safeguard your skin from harmful UV rays.

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