Brief Impression about Luodai Ancient Town
Luodai Ancient Town, is the main scenic spot of "two lakes & one mountain" (a exogenous tourists zone for leisure and vocation planned by Sichuan Government and aims to focus on Sancha River, Longquan River, Longquan Mountain and western Sichuan folk culture). Luodai is referred to as National Key Town, National 4A Scenic Spot, Chengdu Key Protection Town, and Provincial Historic & Cultural Town in that it enjoys abundant tourist culture resources. With a large amount of Hakka, it is praised as “World’s Luodai and Eternal Hakka” and The Hakka Town in West China.
Origin of “Luodai”
Luodai Ancient Town was called “Wanjing Street” in Han Dynasty, and renamed “Wanfu Street” by Zhuge Liang, the prime minister of Shu. There are two legends about the origin of “Luodai”. It is said that, Liu Shan (the son of the emperor Liu Bei in Shu of Three Kingdom Period) dropped his jade band into the octagon well while trying to catching a fish, so the town was named "洛带", same pronunciation to "落带" which means “dropped band”. Another legend is that the town is called Luodai for it is surrounded by a lake which looks like a winding jade band.
Top Attractions in Luodai Ancient Town
Entering Luodai Ancient Town is like opening an interesting book with antique flavor. It is a never ending stretch of cobbled roadway, old buildings and traditional snacks and street food. There are four Guild Hall situated in Luodai, which represent Guangdong, Jiangxi, Hunan and Hubei provinces, Northern Sichuan respectively.
As a landmark, Guangdong Guild Hall is the best preserved and largest Guild hall. You can see some couplets hanging over the stone pillar, and all of them create an atmosphere of Nostalgia. In contrast to grey or back tiles of other buildings, the golden roof of Guangdong Guild Hall depicts a distinctive status.
Jiangxi Guild Hall was built in the late Qing Dynasty. Covering about 10 square meters, it shows a style of delicate and warm southern Yangtze River Delta. In the small stage of Jiangxi Guild Hall, there are many seats arranged for audience who could watch the performance in the old times. Sometimes the audience got involved and performed on the stages, so it is the earliest KTV in China.
Faced south, Huguang Guild Hall (Guild Hall of Hunan and Hubei) consists stage, Er tower, Music tower，front hall and back hall along with an axis. Great Yu who is renowned for taming floods is enshrined here, thus Huguang Guild Hall is also described as “Palace of Yu”. Local people are convinced that Luodai Town is far away from floods because Great Yu is guarding them. In Huguang Guild Hall builds a free Hakka Museum where you can explore the history of Hakka.
The Guild Hall of North Sichuan Province was moved here from Wolongqiao Street in Chengdu. It witnessed that how culture was developed by immigrants of north Sichuan province. Current North Sichuan Guild Hall is not open for visitor because it’s a cultural relic protection site.
Water-dragon Festival & Fire-dragon Festival
Most noted Dragon Dances are performed by “Liu’s Dragon”, because all the dancers are the descendants of Liu from Jiangxi. Liu’s family has been Luodai for more than 300 years and their dragon dance skills are uninterruptedly inherited by their children.
Water-dragon Festival is the most momentous festival for Hakka. It is said that Luodai enjoys a favorable weather because Hakka has an intimate relationship with the Dragon King who is in charge of rainfall. In order to show their thanks to Dragon King, they perform Dragon Dance in the summer. All the dancers dressed with only shorts dance delightfully while the visitors using squirt gun to shot at them and other people.
Fire-dragon Festival always takes place on the twelfth day on lunar January. Before the dragon dance, Hakka will have a ritual. Then the head dancer leads other dancers to have a New Year visit to local family. The enthusiasm of audience is highlighted by the climax when the dancers kindle the firecrackers and throw at each other. The burn marks on Dancers’ body not only means a brand of courage but also means a booming new year. When the Fire-dragon Festival ends, the dancers will burn out the dragon.
Having Local Snacks in Luodai Ancient Town
Shangxin Bean Jelly is the most famous snacks in Luodai. In the ancient times, Hakka was forced to leave their hometown to Sichuan. Whenever they ate bean jelly made by their traditional techniques, they felt into deep homesickness, and became quite sorrowful. As a result, they named this kind of bean jelly “Shangxin Bean Jelly” (Shangxin means sad in Chinese). However, many other visitors will come into tears while eating Shangxin Bean Jelly. Why? Will everyone be homesick if they eat Shangxin Bean Jelly? Of course not, their tears come out just because this snack is too spicy. So it’s a good option to have one bowl of Kaixin (means happy) Bean Jelly which is sweet tasty after Shangxin Bean Jelly.
Swan Egg in Luodai Ancient Town is not genuine swan egg but flour-made snack which looks like swan egg. It is crisp outside and soft sandwich inside and even one bite will make you come back for more.
Attractions Near Luodai Ancient Town
Jinlong Great Wall is the longest simulated Great Wall in China. It is 1680 meter in length, 4 meter in height and 3 meter in width with 5 beacon towers. At the entrance stands a memorial archway inscribed with many lifelike dragons. A horizon board hanging over the archway is inscribed with four Chinese Characters “Jin Long Great Wall” in masterful calligraphy. Buying a ticket in 10 RMB, you can hike along the great wall and enjoy the luxuriant and green trees with wild fruits. Reaching to the summit, you can make pilgrimage in Jinlong Temple. It is said that Jinlong Great Wall is a dragon and Jinlong Temple is the head.
How to Get to Luodai Ancient Town
Luodai Ancient Town is a great Hakka town in Longquanyi district, the east suburb of Chengdu, about 30 km away from Tianfu Square.
- about 25km/30 minutes by car from Chengdu East Railway Station
- about 45km/1 hour by car from Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- about 30km/40 minutes by car from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding
By City Bus: It's not recommended to take the city bus, because you need extra transfer and the total ride takes nearly 2 hours.
By Tourist Bus: You can take direct bus from Xinnanmen Bus Station to get to Luodai Ancient Town. More than 20 buses are scheduled every day.
Get to Luodai Ancient Town by Private Tour (Top Recommended)
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation, troublesome navigation and language communication, you can book a private tour package from China Discovery which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Luodai Ancient Town and other tourist attractions in Chengdu with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
Warm Tips for Visiting Luodai Ancient Town
- Luodai Ancient Town is located far way from downtown, without much things to see around, so it is more suitable for tourists who interesting in Hakka culture.
- Best time to go – All seasons. You can watch exciting fire dragon dance after Chinse New Year Festival and water dragon dance in summer.
- Luodai Ancient Town is sat near the lake, so the temperature is lower than daytime. Keeping warm is important if you stay overnight in Luodai.
- There is one main street (divided into up street and down street) in Luodai Ancient town, so you can walk go-as-you-please.
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How to Plan a Chengdu Trip with Luodai Ancient Town
Chengdu is most known as "the Land of Abundance" in China, with three most representative brands: Giant Panda, leisure life and delicious food. Actually, there are more charm hidden in and around Chengdu, including the "Three Kingdom Culture", Sanxingdui civilization, brilliant UNESCO World Herigates. Once you come to Chengdu, you don't want to leave after you really into it.
During your Chengdu city tour, you can visit the Chengdu Panda Base in the morning to see the cute pandas, and visit other attractions in downtown, such as Renmin Park, Jinli Old Street, Kuanzhai Alley, Jinsha Site Museum, Chunxi Road, etc. Like local experience? Try a afternoon tea time in Renmin Park, or watch a Sichuan Opera Show in Shufeng Yayun Opera House, enjoy a cooking class in Sichuan Cuisine Museum. Your Chengdu tour can be interesting and relaxing.
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With more time, travel beyond the city center to nearby Leshan to watch Leshan Giant Buddha and hike the Mount Emei, even you can go further to northwestern Sichuan to Jiuzhaigou Valley and western Sichuan for less-tourist but amazing beautiful scenery. China is vast and rich land, which offers a great variety of great destinations to travel with Chengdu. Therefore, you can expand your trip to Beijing - capital of China, Shanghai - modern metropolis, and Xian - time-honored ancient capital to have a deeper understanding of China.
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