Hengshui Travel Guide
Chinese Name: 衡水 (héng shuǐ)
Area: 8,815 square kilometers (1,332 square miles)
Location: in the southeast of Hebei Province, north China
Administrative Division: 2 districts (Taocheng, Jizhou); 8 counties (Zaoqiang Wuyi, Wuqiang, Raoyang, Anping, Guchen, Jingxian, Fucheng); 1 city-level county (Shenzhou)
Area Code: 0318
Zip Code: 053000
GDP (2019): CNY 150.49 billion (USD 27.81 billion)
Hometown of Chinese Woodblock New Year Pictures
Situated in the southeast of Hebei Province, Hengshui City neighbors Xingtai, Handan, Cangzhou and Baoding within the province and is bordered by Shandong Province to the southeast. It is about 119 kilometers (74 miles) away Shijiazhuang and 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Beijing. Hengshui is titled as the hometown of Chinese woodblock New Year pictures. The New Year picture is a kind of unique painting genre and one of the common folk crafts. It is mostly posted on the door for celebrating the Chinese New Year and blessing the good luck. New Year picture produced in Wuqiang County of Hengshui is regarded as one of the most outstanding pictures for the rich composition, rough lines, bright colors and exaggerated decoration. Many fine New Year pictures are displayed in Wuqiang New Year pictures Museum.
Hengshui Attractions - Things to Do
Hengshui Lake, the second largest freshwater lake in North China Plain, covers a total area of 75 square kilometers (29 square miles) in the outskirt 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) south of city downtown area. In the vast reed marsh inhabit many birds, including red-crowned cranes, swans, pelicans, wild gooses and gulls. Nowadays, wetland nature reserve for birds has been set up. In the rear of the reserve is the far-reaching blue lake and azure sky.
Zhulin Temple is a noted temple in the ancient city of Jizhou. It is surrounded by water in three sides, and there is the Zhenhai Tower built in the northeast of the temple. Its tower foundation is ingeniously contrived to be a labyrinth.
Wuqiang New Year Picture Museum is the largest professional New Year picture museum in China built in 1985. It has nine exhibition halls and two galleries displaying more than 4,000 ancient Chinese New Year pictures and more than 6,000 and drawings. Visitors can also learn about the development, genres and characteristics of Wuqiang New Year pictures here. There are also shops selling New Year pictures in the museum, where you can choose your favorite works.
Other Scenic Spots: Baoyun Temple
How to get to/around Hengshui
When to Go: in autumn
Hengshui Travel Tips
History: In remote ages, there were several principalities in present Hengshui. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770BC-476BC), it mostly belonged to the Jin Kingdom, while in the Warring States Period (476BC-221BC), it was a part of the territory of Yan and Zhao kingdoms. It was put into the Julu Shire after the First Emperor of Qin unified China in 221BC. Most domain of present Hengshui took shape in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD).
Physical Features: The city is located in alluvial plain area in North China, with its terrain gently sloping downward from southwest to northeast. Gentle slopes and depressions constitute the main types of the city's landform. It is crisscrossed by a net work of rivers. The Hengshui Lake is the big waterfilled depressions in North China Plain (Huabei Plain) only second to the Baiyangdian Lake in Baoding City.
Special Local Products: New Year's Painting of Wuqiang County, ornamental goldfish, inside painting snuff bottle, Houdian writing brush, Lao Nai Gan Liquor
For accommodation, you can consider Hanting Hotel at No. 255, Central Street. It costs CNY 150-200 per night. Have a try! From the hotel, walk east along East Xinhua Road for about 200 yards, and turn right. Walk south along Baoshe Street for about 200 yards, and you can see Whole Lamb Restaurant.
Good luck with you.