Baidicheng – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights


Baidicheng, also known as White Emperor City (白帝城), is a captivating historical and scenic attraction nestled atop Baidi Mountain in Fengjie County, Chongqing, China. Situated on the northern bank of the majestic Yangtze River, it marks the inception of the awe-inspiring Three Gorges region. With a rich history dating back centuries, Baidicheng is not merely a picturesque spot but also a testament to China’s military past.

This ancient city once stood as a formidable military fortress and has witnessed pivotal moments in China’s history, playing crucial roles in battles during the Sui, Song, and Ming dynasties. Today, visitors are drawn to Baidicheng for its stunning natural beauty, with lush landscapes, the meandering Yangtze River, and the breathtaking Three Gorges as its backdrop. The city’s historical significance, combined with its scenic splendor, makes Baidicheng a must-visit destination for those seeking a glimpse into China’s rich heritage and natural wonders.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourAbout 3 hours
Ticket Price100 RMB (1st March – 31st October)
60 RMB (1st November – 28th February the next year)
Opening Hours8.30 – 19.00; Last admission: 17.30
Telephone Number0086-023-85991001

Location and Transportation

Baidicheng, also known as “White Emperor City” in English, is a historically significant location in China. It is situated on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, specifically within the Fengjie County of Chongqing Municipality. Baidicheng is perched on a hill overlooking the Yangtze, providing a commanding view of the river and the surrounding landscape. To get to Baidicheng from Chongqing, you can choose the following ways:

High-Speed Trains: Tourists can take high-speed trains at Chongqing North Railway Station to Fengjie County, and then transfer to an express coach or taxi at the station to cover the reaming 28 kilometers. There are numerous commuting between Chongqing and Fengjie, which takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes and costs 144 RMB.

Ferry: If you are not in a hurry, you can also take a ferry at Chaotianmen Dock in Chongqing to Baidicheng. This option allows you to enjoy the beautiful views of the Yangtze River, but takes 7 -8 hours and costs 150 – 300 RMB.

Coach: There are express coaches to Baidicheng in all major bus stations in Chongqing. The journey generally takes about 5 hours and costs 100 – 150 RMB.

Origin of Baidicheng

Baidicheng traces its origin back to the late Western Han Dynasty, approximately 2,000 years ago, when Gongsun Shu, a notable figure of that era, established a city atop the mountain in what is now Sichuan Province, China. Legend has it that a peculiar phenomenon occurred in this city – a thread of mist, resembling a white dragon, frequently emerged from one of its wells. Fascinated by this mystical occurrence, Gongsun Shu adopted the title of “Baidi” or “White Emperor” and, in honor of this enigmatic phenomenon, he christened the city “Baidicheng.”

Following Gongsun Shu’s passing, the local inhabitants held him in high regard and erected the Baidi Temple to venerate his memory. This historical and mythical association between Gongsun Shu, the White Emperor, and the ethereal white dragon mist imbues Baidicheng with a unique and captivating backstory, making it a place of historical significance and cultural intrigue.

Highlights of Baidicheng

Baidi Temple

baidi temple

Baidi Temple, with a history spanning two millennia, stands as a venerable testament to Chinese culture and history in Baidicheng. Initially built to honor Gongsun Shu, it has evolved over time to pay homage to prominent figures from the Three Kingdoms period, including Liu Bei, Zhuge Liang, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei. This sacred sanctuary offers a window into ancient Chinese spirituality and reverence.

In front of the temple, the Star Observation Pavilion adds another layer of fascination. It was here that Zhuge Liang, the brilliant strategist, once gazed at the heavens, studying the stars to predict enemy movements and guide the destiny of his dynasty. Baidi Temple encapsulates the intertwined threads of history, legend, and celestial wisdom, making it a cherished cultural gem.

Historical Stories

historical stories in baidicheng

Baidicheng bears witness to poignant historical tales, notably the solemn moment in 221 BC when Liu Bei, facing defeat and impending death, entrusted his state and son to the wise Zhuge Liang. Liu Bei’s heartfelt wish was that if his son, Liu Chan, proved incapable of ruling, Zhuge Liang could assume the throne. Remarkably, Zhuge Liang, renowned for his integrity, never succumbed to the allure of power. Instead, he dedicated himself selflessly to supporting Liu Chan until his own demise, demonstrating unwavering loyalty and a profound commitment to the welfare of the state. These touching events etch Baidicheng into the annals of Chinese history.

Stone Steles

stone steles in baidicheng

Baidicheng is adorned with an array of stone steles, representing diverse dynasties and encapsulating a broad spectrum of subjects. These ancient tablets serve as historical records and artistic expressions. Some intricately detail the enchanting landscapes of Baidicheng, capturing its natural splendor. Others feature inscribed paintings, poetic verses, and profound wisdom, offering a multifaceted glimpse into the region’s cultural and intellectual heritage. These stone steles, dispersed throughout Baidicheng, narrate the stories of dynasties, celebrate the allure of the city’s surroundings, and impart the wisdom of the ages, collectively enriching the cultural tapestry of this venerable locale.

Kuimen Observatory

kuimen observatory in baidicheng

The Kuimen Observatory, nestled within Baidicheng, offers an unrivaled vantage point to behold the awe-inspiring inception of the Three Gorges. This panoramic vista not only serves as an emblematic representation of the region but also graces the reverse side of the 10 yuan banknote, underscoring its cultural significance. From this elevated perch, visitors can immerse themselves in the mesmerizing scenery as the mighty Yangtze River embarks on its journey through the majestic gorges. Kuimen Observatory stands as a testament to the natural grandeur of the Three Gorges, making it an essential destination for those seeking to connect with the iconic beauty of the area.

Suspended Coffin Display

suspended coffin display in baidicheng

The Suspended Coffin Display in Baidicheng unveils a fascinating and distinctive practice found in some parts of southern China. Rather than traditional burials or cremations, deceased individuals are honored in a unique way: their coffins are placed within the crevices of remote cliffs. This centuries-old tradition, prevalent during the late Zhanguo era and early West Han era, approximately 2,000 years ago, is a testament to ancient Chinese customs and beliefs surrounding the afterlife. The display showcases a mesmerizing array of artifacts, offering a glimpse into the cultural and historical significance of this intriguing practice, which continues to captivate and mystify visitors to Baidicheng.

Vlog about Baidicheng

Food Recommendations in Fengjie

Tower Noodles at Old City Three Turnings (老城三道拐塔塔面):

Located behind the overpass staircase, these noodles are a local specialty. They consist of noodles served with egg flower soup and topped with minced meat. The noodles are smooth and go well with the crispy and slightly sweet fried dough. Open from 6:30 AM to 2:00 PM.

Willow Buns (柳包子) (3 minutes walk from Tower Noodles):

These buns are made from old dough and served with a special dipping sauce made of secret chili and garlic water. They are refreshing and appetizing. The shop closes once they sell out in the afternoon.

Big Foot Bread (大脚板) (5 minutes walk from Willow Buns):

Freshly baked flatbreads brushed with chili oil and various types of sausages (customizable). The bread has a chewy exterior and a soft interior, offering a unique and delicious taste experience, although the service attitude of the owner might not be satisfactory.

Li’s Braised Meat (黎烧腊) (13 minutes walk from Big Foot Bread):

A simple shop selling braised meat and beef served with pancakes. The freshly sliced braised meat or beef, combined with the pancakes, offers a unique and satisfying eating experience.

Liao’s Dumplings (廖包面) (1 minute walk from Li’s Braised Meat):

These dumplings have exceptionally thin skin and are slightly smaller than traditional dumplings. They are definitely worth trying for their unique texture and flavor.

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Snacks and Supplies: Ensure you bring enough snacks as the town is relatively small, and shopping options may be limited.

Monkey Watching: If you wish to see monkeys, avoid visiting the cultural museum initially. Instead, take the right-hand road and head straight to Chijia Tower. Monkeys are typically visible around Chijia Tower and the battery from 9 AM to 12 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM. You can purchase peanuts or melon seeds in advance to feed them. The monkeys at Baidicheng are of the white-browed gibbons species, known for being gentle compared to the more aggressive monkeys found in Emei Mountain.

Historical Stairs: Baidicheng once had thousands of steps, but due to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, two-thirds of them are submerged underwater. Currently, only around 300 steps remain.

Boat Tour of Qutang Gorge: Take a boat tour of Qutang Gorge for a deeper exploration. The tour lasts for about 40 minutes and costs 50 yuan per ticket. There are three trips per day at 10:30 AM, 12:30 PM, and 2:30 PM. Board the boat at Zhongyi Ferry Terminal. The boat will stop at Jiangxia Ferry Terminal, where you can disembark and climb to Chijia Tower. Chijia Tower offers the best panoramic view of Qutang Gorge and costs 10 yuan per person for admission.

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