Hailongtun Tusi Fortress – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

hailongtun tusi fortress

Hailongtun Tusi Fortress (海龙屯土司遗址), constructed in the fifth year of the Bao You era of the Southern Song Dynasty (1257 AD) and destroyed during the Ping Hua Campaign in the twenty-eighth year of the Wanli era of the Ming Dynasty (1600 AD), stands as a unique relic in Guizhou Province. It is the only large-scale military and palace complex in the region, representing a well-preserved medieval castle site in China and even Asia, earning it the nickname “China’s Machu Picchu” by archaeologists.

Surrounded by mountains and solitary peaks, Hailongtun resembles a slender-necked gourd, with its northern, eastern, and southern sides facing the main source of the Xiang River, the “Baisha River,” all of which are sheer cliffs. The fortress features multiple layers of walls, including the Moon City and Earth City, with three layers of walls encircling the reservoir, presenting a winding and majestic appearance akin to the Great Wall of China.

Hailongtun witnesses the evolution of China’s minority policies from the Tusi system to the “change soil into rivers” policy. It is renowned as the main battlefield of the famous “Ping Hua Campaign,” witnessing both the glory and downfall of the Yang family’s rule over Bizhou.


Table of Contents


Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourHalf a day
Ticket Price65 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.00 (1st November – 31st March)
8.30 – 18.00; Last admission: 16.30 (1st April – 31st October)
Telephone Number0086-0851-23270077

Location and Transportation

Hailongtun Tusi Fortress is located in Hailongtun Village, Gaoping Town, Huichuan District, Zunyi, Guizhou Province, atop the Longyanshan Mountain, approximately 28 kilometers northwest of Zunyi City.

To get there, visitors can reach Zunyi City by high-speed train or bus first. From there, they can take the Tourism Bus Route 2 from Zunyi People’s Congress (Zhuhai Road) or the direct shuttle bus from Maocaopu Bus Station near the gas station to Hailongtun Scenic Area.


Highlights of Hailongtun Tusi Fortress

Copper Pillar Pass

copper pillar pass in hailongtun tusi fortress

Copper Pillar Pass, situated on the southern slope of the eastern mountainside of Hailongtun, serves as the first line of defense for those entering from the southeast. Originally built during the Southern Song Dynasty and reinforced during the Ming Dynasty, it is constructed with blue stones and lime mortar, featuring a single-channel semi-circular vaulted top. Despite its partial destruction, remnants stand at 6.68 meters tall, with a width of 10 meters and a depth of 5.75 meters, preserving one column top stone and one paved stone.


Iron Pillar Pass

iron pillar pass in hailongtun tusi fortress

Iron Pillar Pass, located on the northern slope of the eastern mountainside of Hailongtun and facing south, serves as the counterpart to the Copper Pillar Pass, forming a strategic position to control access from the northeast. Positioned above a valley and equipped with a drawbridge, it secures the northern gateway to the fortress. Similar to its counterpart, it was originally built during the Southern Song Dynasty and reinforced during the Ming Dynasty. Constructed with blue stones and lime mortar, it employs a vertical interlocking vault method, featuring a single-channel semi-circular vaulted top designed for a drawbridge. Despite some collapse, remnants reach a height of 5.2 meters, with a width of 6.3 meters and a depth of 4.2 meters.


Dragon-Tiger Avenue

dragon-tiger avenue in hailongtun tusi fortress

Dragon-Tiger Avenue, also known as Longhu Avenue, serves as a crucial military thoroughfare linking Feilong Pass and Feihu Pass. Carved out of cliffs, this 292-meter-long passage, with a width ranging from 1.5 to 4 meters, likely served as a hidding place for soldiers. The avenue, flanked by cliffs on one side and a ravine on the other, features a parapet wall on the outer edge and drainage ditches along the inner side. Its construction not only facilitated transportation but also provided materials for building walls and passes. Submerged underground after the Battle of Pingxi, it resurfaced in 1999, offering a glimpse into its historical significance.


New Palace

new palace in hailongtun tusi fortress

The New Palace, functioning as the political center during wartime, resembles the layout of government offices, featuring halls, pavilions, ponds, warehouses, and barracks spread across an area exceeding 20,000 square meters. Its architecture centers around a multi-tiered stepped pathway, flanked by structures arranged in a symmetrical layout. The grand stone foundations of the preserved buildings, with the largest platform spanning 50 meters, showcase sturdy construction. The main building interiors are paved with plain blue bricks, while the courtyards feature stone slabs. Enclosed by a stone wall measuring 504 meters in length, the New Palace encompasses an area of 18,000 square meters, divided into three main sections: the central area for handling administrative affairs, and the western and eastern sections for additional functions.


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