Zhenyuan Ancient Town
Located on eastern part of Guizhou Province, Zhenyuan has long been an ancient town of the Miao people. Time-honored history endows Zhenyuan Ancient Town with many rich and generous cultural relics, making it much like a historic garden. The town covers only an area of 3.1 square kilometers (about 1.2 square miles) but greets you with more than 160 scenic spots including caves, palaces, pavilions, temples and rivers with their unique architecture, exquisite engravings and marvelous natural landscape. Among them are the famous Wuyang River Scenic Area and elegant ancient complex in the the Black Dragon Cave (Qinglong Cave) - beckoning sights not to be missed by any visitor to eastern Guizhou.
As an historic cultural city, Zhenyuan is rich in tourist resources. With sub-tropical humid climate, annual temperature in Zhenyuan averages 16.4 degree with four distinct seasons. It is therefore an ideal tourist destination all year round.
The Dragon Boat Festival, held on May 25th of every year, is the most ceremonious celebration in Zhenyuan.
Black Dragon Cave (Qinglong Cave)
The Black Dragon Cave is in fact an ancient temple complex located on Zhonghe Mountain to the east of Zhenyuan Ancient Town and covers an area of some 21,000 square meters (approximately 226,050 square feet), and is the centerpiece of the all ancient monuments in Zhenyuan. The the Black Dragon Cave Temple as it is also known includes single and multi-storied pavilions, temples, shrines, palaces and so on. Surviving a couple of wars, the Black Dragon Cave was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and its current shape is the result of several renovations.
With many separate buildings, the Black Dragon Cave encompasses Zhusheng Bridge, Zhongyuan Temple, Ziyang Shuyuan (academy of classical learning), Yuhuang Ge (Jade Emperor Pavilion), Longevity Palace, Xianglu Yan. Among the ancient complexes of Zhenyuan, the Black Dragon Cave though very close to Zhenyuan Ancient Town has retained its natural flavor.
All of the buildings there were constructed in accordance with the natural features of Zhonghe Mountain which is precipitous. The architectural sculptures and adornments there are simple and unsophisticated and yet quietly elegant, and are quite unlike those of other temples which are ornately decorated. The way in which these Confucianist, Taoist and Buddhist temples are arranged together embodies the combination of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism in a way. One renowned architect once remarked that the Black Dragon Cave won the upper hand over the famous Hanging Monastery in Shanxi Province in terms of architectural art.
Against the green backdrop, the Black Dragon Cave seems to cling to the mountainside in an orderly tiered way due to the precipitous cliff, which makes it blend the characteristics of a garden with the style of a temple.
In 1988, the Black Dragon Cave was listed as a key cultural relic under state protection.
Wuyang River Scenic Area
Flowing through the Miaoling Mountains, the charming and lively Wuyang River runs 95 kilometers (about 59 miles) from Huangping to Zhenyuan, finally into Yuanjiang River in Hunan Province. Its scenic spots in Zhenyuan, Shibing and Huangping, three counties of Kaili, combine beautifully to form the National Wuyang Scenic Area. Famous for its beautiful landscape, historic sites and dense minority ethnic customs, Wuyang River Scenic Area, covering 625 square kilometers (about 241 square miles), is geographically divided into Upper (Shang) Wuyang between Huangping and Shibing and Down (Xia) Wuyang from Shibing to Zhenyuan. Within these two sections, the most sightworthy and impressive scenery could be enjoyed in Zhenyuan Ancient Town.
Whether you walk along or take a cruise on the Wuyang River, it will bring you one surprise after another. Grotesque gorges, perilous peaks and crystal-like waters present a wonderful picture before you, as if you were entering a wonderland.
|Adminssion Fee||Free for the town |
CNY 60 for the Qinglong Cave
CNY 100 for the pleasure-boat on the Wuyang River
Thank you for every reply.
I want the shortest time travelling down rather than spending my time on a slow train or bus ride. Also it was mentioned above that there will be a Dragon boat festival on 25th May, does this mean accommodation will be booked out or town will be crowd? As i'll be travelling around that date. Thank you.
You need to take a normal train to Guiyang and it takes about 4h.
Then, take a taxi to Guiyang North within 20mins.
At last, take a bullet train to Guangzhou and it takes about 5.5h.
As for the dragon boat festival, yes, it will be crowded and the hotels may be hard to find, so you are suggested to book one in advance.
You are suggested to take a train to Huaihua first, which takes about 2h 40 minutes and CNY82.5 for a hard sleeper, CNY28.5 for a hard seat.
After that, you can take a train to Zhangjiajie, which takes about 3 h 30 minutes and CNY91.5 for a hard sleeper, CNY37.5 for a hard seat.
I will be visiting Qiandongnan in Dec, but only have time to visit 1 or 2 destinations.
I am torn between visiting 'Zhenyuan Ancient Town' and 'Xijiang Qianhu Miao Village'.
On one hand I have heard that Xijiang Qianhu is now heavily commercialized as a tourist spot but does sprout some amazing views based on the photos I've seen.
On the other hand, the old town is able to give a more authentic ethnic Miao experience because it is less touristy, but probably cannot compare Xijian Qianhu in terms of view.
Anyone who has went to both places able to recommend which one of the two is worth visiting?