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Why Visit Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is a famous “Mountain Cliff Architectures Museum” in China. Ancient lanes and paths wind in the city, stone bridges and city walls strewn at random, plus emerald river and multifarious mist surrounding the city, making visitors can’t help but think of the scenery in the poem.

Besides the accomplishment in architecture, Zhenyuan Ancient Town is a diversified fusion of the Han, the Dong and more than 20 ethnic minorities. The integration of Central Plain Culture, Jing-Chu Culture, Ba-Shu Culture, Wu-Yue Culture, Min-Yue Culture, Indigenous Culture and more other cultures has made Zhenyuan a multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-social museum, praised by experts as the "World Cultural Protection Circle".

The ornamental value and the scientific value in Zhenyuan Ancient Town are both high. There is not only a famous and magnificent Qinglong Cave Architecture complex, but also more than 160 ancient folk houses, lanes, wharfs from the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty with their old looks unchanged.

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is a "traditional culture maze" which is completely integrated by places of interest and historical sites. Architectural style there are blue bricks tiles with high fire walls, angled cornices with carved beams and painted rafters. Every piece of blue slate and brick records the historical relics and tells the vicissitudes of the ancient town for thousands of years. There are military fortresses such as temple of war, city wall, beacon tower, fort totten, etc. in the ancient city wall.

Recommended Hot Tours to Zhenyuan Ancient Town:

5 Days Southeast Guizhou Ethnic Tour with Amazing Cultural & Hiking Experience (Kaili / Zhenyuan / Zhaoxing / Congjiang)

6 Days Guizhou In-depth Ethnic Tour with Jiabang Rice Terraces (Congjiang / Zhaoxing / Kaili / Zhenyuan)

Attractions & What to See in Zhenyuan Ancient Town

Zhenyuan Ancient Town (镇远古城)

Zhenyuan has a history of more than 2,200 years since it was established as a county in the fifth year of the Emperor Gaozu of the Han Dynasty (202 BC). It is the most time-honored city on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. Since the town is located at the intersection of Xiang-Guizhou Post Road and Yuanjiang Waterway, it has been the communications hub of water and land transportation since ancient times. The ancient post road from Huguang via Guizhou to Yunnan, Burma, Laos, Thailand even India passed here. Wuyang River, the mother river of Zhenyuan Ancient Town, winds its way through the city, intoxicating with its green waters. Compared with popular ancient towns in Yangshuo, Lijiang and Fenghuang, Zhenyuan Ancient Town is much quieter. Most of the shop owners are locals. Without much nightlife, the streets gradually become quiet when the sun goes down. Tourists can choose to enjoy the splendid night scenery on the balcony.

Traditional Folk Houses (古民居)

Traditional folk houses in Zhenyuan have not only the style of the courtyard in Gangnam, but also the layout of the mountainous architecture. This perfect combination of Gangnam and the mountains makes residences in Zhenyuan Ancient Town a miracle in the history of Chinese architecture. among which the “crooked door and skew path” is the unique feature of the residential buildings in Zhenyuan.

Ancient Lanes (古巷道)

Lanes in Zhengyuan Ancient Town are long and narrow, deep and serene. With an intricate structure, there is Stone Archway Lane, Square Wells Lane, Fuxing Lane, Renshou Lane, Chongzi Lane, Mi Wharf Lane, Jingbao Tower Lane, Jing Family Lane, etc. These lanes interact well and link up with one another, constitute the blood of zhenyuan ancient city. Ancient wells can be found everywhere which are of various shapes, round and square. Some wells shape like a pig trough, there are also limpid natural shallow Wells and bottomless hanging deep Wells. Famous wells are Sifang Well, Pig Trough Well, Lute Well, Chen Family Well, Yuanjue Well, etc. All Wells in Zhenyuan Ancient Town are full of water and never dry all year around.

5 Days Southeast Guizhou Ethnic Tour with Amazing Cultural & Hiking Experience (Kaili / Zhenyuan / Zhaoxing / Congjiang)

Zhenyuan Ancient Town Zhenyuan Ancient Town
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Traditional Folk Houses & Fuxing Lane
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Sifang Well

Attractions near & around Zhenyuan Anicent Town

Qinglong Cave (青龙洞)

Qinglong Cave was built on the green mountain, facing the blue water, sticking to the cliff and hanging above the sky. At each five step there stood a storeyed building, and at each ten steps, there stood a hall, with corridors winding like waving silk, and the projecting eaves turning high up like birds’ bills. Hillside ancient architectures integrate with cliffs, old trees, rattans, rock banks and karst caves naturally, what a miracle of nature!

Qinglong Cave is a real collection of mountains, waters, towers and pavilions. Overlooking from the river bank, there are typical stilted buildings, tranquil Buddhist temples, charming Students' Courtyards and the Stage where gongs and drums are played. It is a model of the integration of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism.

Zhusheng Bridge & Kuixing Pavilion (祝圣桥 / 魁星阁)

Zhusheng Bridge is a seven-hole blue stone arch bridge built in the Hongwu period in the Ming Dynasty, located in the east of Zhenyuan city. It is said that when the river was built, the thick mud could not be dug to the ground, and stonemasons had no good plans to deal with this situation so construction of the bridge was shut down for days. Till master Zhang Sanfeng spilled out tofu in the river and turned it into a bluestone base, and the bridge was completed.

In Guangxu Year of the Qing Dynasty, Wang Bingao, the magistrate of Zhenyuan, proposed to build Kuixing Pavilion on the Zhusheng Bridge, which was the must go through place for students from Yunnan and Guizhou to go to Beijing to take the imperial examination. He hoped that Kuixing Pavilion could bring luck to local examinees and help them to win the No.1 Scholar in the exam. Therefore, people also called it the Champion tower. It is said that ten years after the pavilion was built, there were two No.1 Scholars in Guizhou.

Shiping Mountain (石屏山)

Shiping Mountain is the barrier to the north of Zhenyuan ancient city, on the opposite side of Qinglong Cave across Wuyang river. It’s the high point of the ancient city. Climb on the top of Shiping mountain, tourists can have a panoramic view of narrow and deep lanes, the shape of the eight diagrams of Zhenyuan Ancient Town. Mellifluous Wuyang river winds through the city, the Great Wall of Miaojiang entrenched on the mountain, Building complex in Qinglong Cave varies in architecture styles. There are two mountain paths connecting Shiping Mountain from east to west. One is that the hiking path starts from the head of Zhusheng Bridge. Take this road and enter Yuping Mountain before 8 o 'clock in the morning or after 5 or 6 o 'clock in the afternoon is free of charge. The second path is to walk through the pedestrian streets in the ancient town, "Sifangjing Lane" and "Fuxing Lane" and get to the hiking path to the top of Shiping Mountain. This is also the way that most locals go up the mountain.

Wuyang River (舞阳河)

Boat pick-up point of Wuyang River is 17km away from Zhenyuan Ancient Town. Generally, most travelers would choose to take a private car to get there. The length of the section of Wuyang River which flows through Zhenyuan Town is 44km in total. The most gorgeous scenery is concentrated in downstream Zhuge Gorge, Longwang Gorge and Xixia gorge, collectively referred to as "Wuyang Three Gorges". Depending on the depth, topography, temperature and illumination, the water of Wuyang River presents various colors such as light green, emerald green, verdant green and blackish green. The beauty of the water exceeds the mountain scenery. During boat rafting, there is a lone village hidden behind mountains on the bank of The Wuyang River, which can only be reached by boats. Only 23 households, 139 people live in that Village with a few centenarians, therefore it can also be called “the longevity village”. Green water, perilous peaks, fantastic reflections are the main characteristics of Wuyang River, the scenic spot “Peacock Spreading the Tail” is the symbol of the Wuyang River.

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Zhenyuan Ancient Town Qinglong Cave - Wanshou Palace
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Qinglong Cave - Guanyin Temple
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Zhusheng Bridge & Kuixing Pavilion
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Overlook Zhenyuan Anicent Town from Shiping Mountain
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Cruising on Wuyang River

Zhenyuan Ancient Town Location, Map & How to Get to

Zhenyuan Ancient Town is located on the northeast side of Southeast Guizhou Miao-Dong Autonomous Prefecture, about 97km from Kaili and about 265km from Guiyang - the capital of Guizhou Province.

Guiyang to Zhenyuan Ancient Town

By Private Car with China Discovery: Take a private tour with China Discovery and you will no longer need to worry about how to travel from Guiyang to Zhenyuan Ancient Town, and our experienced private car driver will pick you up from airport, train stations or any other places in Guiyang and then send you to Zhenyuan Ancient Town. Along the trip, our local guide and driver would well arrange every step to provide you with a comfortable trip. If interested, you can take a visit to some other attractions along the way, such as Xijiang Miao Villages, Upper Langde Miao Village, Feiyun Cliff, etc. It takes about 3.5 hours by car. Learn more about Top Minority Villages in Guizhou >>

By Train: There are about 6-7 daily schedules running from Guiyang Railway Station to Zhenyuan Railway Station. It starts in the early morning around 09:30 and ends at night around 22:00. The whole journey takes about 4 hours. Check the real-time high speed train schedules from Guiyang to Zhenyuan >>

▶ Learn more about: How to Get to & around Guiyang

Kaili to Zhenyuan Ancient Town

By Private Car with China Discovery: It is highly recommended to use a private car service from China Discovery. If by car, it takes about 2 hours to reach Zhenyuan Ancient Town directly. Feel free to contact us if you need any help!

By Train: There are about 6 daily schedules running from Kaili Railway Station to Zhenyuan Railway Station. It starts around 00:40 and ends at around 17:30 in the afternoon. The whole journey takes about 1-2 hours. Check the real-time high speed train schedules from Kaili to Zhenyuan >>

By Coach: Independent travelers can take direct buses (about 7 runs a day) from Kaili Bus Station (凯里客运站) to Zhenyuan Bus Station (镇远汽车站). The whole journey takes 2-3 hours.

▶ Learn more about: How to Get to & around Kaili

Private Car Service Private Car Service by China Discovery
Guiyang to Zhenyuan Ancient Town Transportation Map Zhenyuan Ancient Town Transportation Map
Zhenyuan Ancient Town Attraction Map Zhenyuan Ancient Town Tourist Map

Useful Travel Tips of Zhenyuan Ancient Town

1. Best Time to Visit

Generally speaking, spring, summer and autumn are all suitable for traveling around the town. More than 80% of the rainfall occurs during May and October. If you plan a tour during these months, don't forget to bring an umbrella with you. Thermal conditions in Zhenyuan Ancient Town are not that good, therefore traveling in winter will be a little cold. But winter is the off-season for tourism in this old town, which means there will be more opportunities to blend into local life and have a more original experience. During the Spring Festival, there will be a variety of celebrations and folk activities held in Zhenyuan Ancient Town.

More information, please visit Kaili Weather & Seasons >>

2. Accommodation

There is only one main street in Zhenyuan Ancient Town. There are many inns and hotels on both sides of the street. One the one side lean on the hill, the other side is alongside the river. Walking up the hill there are many inns for visitors to choose, staying one night on the mountain side will be relatively quiet. On the river side, the night view is better, but the bar's singing might be louder than the mountain side at night.

More information, please visit Kaili Hotels & Where to Stay | Hotels in Rongjiang and Congjiang >>

3. Famous Festivals in Shidong Town

Shidong Town is located in Taijiang County, about 36km south from Zhenyuan Ancient Town, which takes about 1hr by car. Shidong is best known for the Dragon Canoe Festival on the 25th to 27th of the 5th lunar month and the Taijiang Sisters’ Festival on the 15th of the 3rd lunar month. The Sisters’ Festival has a long local history. It is not only a grand gathering for married women to return to their parents' home, but also a good day for young men and women to date and sing in an antiphonal style. During that time, the females of the Miao minority will wear their most beautiful national costumes and put on solemn silver decorations, spare no effort to be gorgeous and eye-catching. The Dragon Boat Festival is held on the Qingshui Rive. At that time, several adjacent villages take turns to race rowing, a bustling scene.

More information about minority villages & highlights, please visit Top 10 Ethnic Minority Villages in Guizhou >>

Zhenyuan Ancient Town Accommodation Zhenyuan Ancient Town in Night
Festivals in Shidong Town Dragon Canoe Festival in Shidong
Festivals in Shidong The Sisters’ Festival in Shidong

How to Plan a Tour to Zhenyuan Ancient Town

With so many attractions and scenic spots to visit and admire, such as Qinglong Cave, Wuyang River and Shiping Mountain, etc. Zhenyuan Ancient Town needs 1 - 2 days to explore. However, in order to explore the culture and customs of Miao and Dong minority deeper, most travelers would spend 1 - 2 days in and around Kaili City before or after their pay a visit to Zhenyuan Ancient Town. There are Xijiang Miao Village, Upper Langde Miao Village, Matang Gejia Village, Qingman Miao Village, etc. waiting for visitors to explore. Each village has their own characteristics.

5 Days Guizhou Miao & Dong Minority Tour

Since Kaili is located in the east of Guizhou, between Guiyang City and Rongjiang/Congjiang. It is a good idea to extend your Kaili trip longer so that you can add 2 - 3 days for visiting Guiyang, Congjiang, Rongjiang. No matter if you come from Guiyang or from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, you won’t miss the most highlighted Miao and Dong ethnic villages in Southeast Guizhou.

5 Days Southeast Guizhou Ethnic Tour with Amazing Cultural & Hiking Experience

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For another part of travelers would like to do an overall Guizhou trip for more sightseeing in the hot destinations. They usually put Kaili in the middle of the trip and cover Huangguoshu Waterfall in Anshun City for one day, Mount Fanjing in Tongren City for one or two days... Just tell us your likes and interests. China Discovery is here ready to help customize your own Guizhou tour with the best prices! Contact Us now.

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Travel to Zhenyuan Ancient Town with China Discovery

Since Zhenyuan Ancient Town is located in Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture and there are some recommended minority villages and tourist attractions to explore nearby, it is a good idea to travel with China Discovery and let us take care of everything for you! Our local drivers will escort you to Zhenyuan Ancient Town and other spots with comfortable licensed private car. As well, if you want to extend to other destinations in Guizhou, you can add them before or after Zhenyuan tour. And our English-speaking tour guide will accompany you all the way, showing you the best travelling route and telling you beautiful stories of Guizhou Province.

The tour can be tailor-made according to your group size, time, physical condition, plan, interest, budget and every special need. Please feel free to contact us if you need any help! Or, Customize your tour with free quotation now!

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Top 3 Kaili tours chosen by most customers to explore Kaili in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

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Start planning your tailor-made holiday to China by contacting one of our specialists. Once inquired, you’ll get a response within 0.5~23.5 hours.

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