Zhenyuan Ancient Town – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

zhenyuan ancient town

Zhenyuan Ancient Town (镇远古镇), with a history dating back over 2200 years since its establishment in the fifth year of Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty, stands as one of the oldest historical cities on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Located in the southeastern part of Guizhou Province, Zhenyuan County is nestled along the banks of the Wuyang River. The river meanders through the town in an “S”-shaped pattern, creating a layout resembling the Tai Chi Bagua symbol, earning the town the nickname of the “Bagua Ancient Town.”

The southern bank of the river was the old government city, where administrative institutions and businesses flourished. On the northern bank lies the old guard city, historically used as a military barracks. Both city structures were constructed during the Ming Dynasty, and remnants of the city walls and gates can still be found today. Notable attractions within and around the town include the Zhusheng Bridge, Shiping Mountain, and the ancient architectural complex of Qinglong Cave. Zhenyuan Ancient Town charms visitors with its rich historical ambiance and unique urban layout influenced by the meandering river.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 days
Ticket PriceAdmission: Free
Qinglong Cave: 60 RMB
Shiping Mountain: 35 RMB
Boat Cruise: 60 RMB (daytime); 80 RMB (Nighttime)
Opening Hours24 hours a day throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0855-5722898

Location and Transportation

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is located in the central part of Zhenyuan County, Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, Guizhou Province, China. For travelers coming from Guiyang, you can take a train to Zhenyuan, which takes approximately 4 hours and costs around 41.5 yuan. Upon arrival, you can either take a taxi or walk about 1.4 kilometers to reach Zhenyuan Ancient Town.

Highlights of Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Zhusheng Bridge

zhusheng bridge in zhenyuan ancient town

Zhusheng Bridge, initially built during the Ming Dynasty in the Hongwu era, was originally named “Xi Bridge.” It was later renamed “Zhusheng Bridge” to commemorate Emperor Kangxi’s birthday during the Qing Dynasty. The bridge piers date back to the Ming Dynasty, while the bridge body is a product of the Qing Dynasty. It is said that due to several instances of flash floods from the Yang River, the bridge was repeatedly destroyed. It wasn’t until the first year of Yongzheng (1723) that the bridge was finally completed. With a length of 135 meters, a width of 8.5 meters, and a height of 14 meters, the bridge features a three-story pavilion. Zhusheng Bridge was a vital passage connecting Hunan and Guizhou provinces and has been referred to as the “throat of Hunan and Guizhou.” The bridge is particularly stunning at night when the lights illuminate the surroundings, creating a picturesque scene perfect for strolling or photography.

Qinglong Cave Ancient Architectural Complex

qinglong cave in zhenyuan ancient town

Situated on Zhonghe Mountain to the east of Zhenyuan Ancient Town, the Qinglong Cave Ancient Architectural Complex stands atop a steep and towering cliff. This complex represents a rare example of the integration of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. Initially constructed in the 21st year of the Ming Hongwu era (1388), it expanded during the Jiajing period with the addition of numerous temples, palaces, and academies. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred during the Yongzheng and Qianlong periods, introducing commercial guild buildings like the Wanshou Palace and a theater.

Shiping Mountain

shiping mountain in zhenyuan ancient town

Located on the east side of Wuyang River in Zhenyuan County, Shiping Mountain is characterized by its towering cliffs and steep slopes. Spanning 2.2 kilometers from east to west, the main peak reaches an elevation of 668.1 meters, with a relative height difference of 204 meters compared to the Wuyang River. The Yuhuang Pavilion atop the mountain is the highest point in the Zhenyuan Ancient Town, offering a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding area.

The mountain bears traces of an ancient dilapidated Great Wall on its back, a historical site from the Ming Dynasty when the Great Wall was built to resist border residents. If you have the interest and physical stamina, exploring this historical section of Great Wall can offer a glimpse into its storied past. Admission tickets for the Miaojiang Great Wall and Shiping Mountain are often sold together, allowing visitors to enjoy both attractions in a single visit.

Ancient Alleys

ancient alleys in zhenyuan ancient town

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is composed of three interconnected streets – Xinzho Street, Xinglong Street, and Shuncheng Street. Lining these streets, like in many other ancient towns, are inns, restaurants, and shops. In addition to the main streets, the ancient town features intertwining alleys such as Sifangjing Alley, Fuxing Alley, and Renshou Alley, creating a network of winding pathways. The alleys showcase a unique blend of architectural styles, combining the charm of southern courtyards with the layout typical of mountain dwellings.

Wuyang River

wuyang river in zhenyuan ancient town

Wuyang River originates in the hinterlands of Miaoling in Weng’an and flows through the mountainous terrain of Qiandongnan before joining the Xinjiang River. The most picturesque stretch of the river is preserved in Zhenyuan. Covering a 95-kilometer stretch from the former Huangping Prefecture to the Moon Bay in the east of Zhenyuan, the Wuyang River Scenic Area encompasses eight famous canyons. These scenic areas boast numerous bays, challenging terrains, unique peaks, rocks, waterfalls, deep caves, and dense bamboo and woodlands. The Wuyang River provides a visual feast for visitors with its natural wonders and diverse landscapes, adding a touch to the historic ambiance of Zhenyuan Town.

Vlog about Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Accommodation: Choose accommodations along the banks of the Wuyang River, preferably with a balcony. Waking up to the beautiful scenery of the riverbanks will rejuvenate your spirits.

Take a Boat Ride: Experience the charm of Zhenyuan by taking a boat ride on the Wuyang River. You’ll traverse the entire ancient town, passing through two iconic wind-and-rain bridges along the emerald-green river.

Visit Zhenyuan Museum: Explore Zhenyuan Museum to learn about local embroidery, participate in traditional drum dances, and savor authentic local cuisine. It’s an engaging way to delve into the town’s cultural heritage.

Hike to Shipin Mountain: Venture to Shipin Mountain, the highest point in the ancient town. Witness breathtaking sunrises or sunsets while overlooking the entire town, creating unforgettable memories.

Try Local Cuisine: Zhenyuan offers a wide array of culinary delights. One highly recommended eatery is Yuanjia Tofu (袁家豆腐), known for its tender tofu pudding priced at 5 yuan per bowl. Don’t miss the opportunity to taste their ice sweet wine, fried bracken cake, and fried glutinous rice cake.

Attractions near Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *