Xichang, Sichuan

Xichang Facts

Chinese Name: 西昌 (xī chāng)
Population: 775,000
Area: 2,651 square kilometers (1,023.6 square miles)
Location: on the central part of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, southwest China
Area Code: 0834
Zip Code: 615000
GDP (2018): CNY 153.3 billion (USD 23.2 billion)
Nationality: Yi, Han,​ Tibetan, Qiang, Miao

Located in the Anning River area in the south west of Sichuan Province, Xichang is the capital of Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture. With Xichang Satellite Launch Center in its center, it is also known as the famous “Space City” in China. Xichang Qingshan Airport is sited in the city which makes it easy to access. In Xichang Sichuan, it is like spring all the year around which attracts many travelers. Mountain Luoji, Qionghai, Lushan, and Lingshan Temple and Satellite Launch Center are worth visiting but the Satellite Launch Center seems not to allow foreigners. However, you can still experience the customs of Yi Nationality and attend the Torch Festival.

Best Places to Visit & Top Things to Do in Xichang

You may need 2-3 days for Xichang travelling.

 Mountain Luoji
There are thousands of peaks in this scenic spot which is a rare and intact ancient glacial remains. Travelers can view various lakes which reflects different colors. Luoji Ninety-nine Li is the largest hot spring waterfall in the world, travelers can enjoy the comfortable hot spring spa and swim there. There is also a large-scale cave called Fairy Cave. Travelers can visit the stalactites in different shapes which reflect different colors under the light.

 Qionghai Lake
Qionghai Lake is the second largest freshwater lake in Sichuan Province, sited on the northeast of Lushan. Travelers can raft on the lake to enjoy beautiful scenery, watch birds in Wetland Park, and visit Qing-long Temple and Old-Sea Pavilion. Kaihai Festival is an important event holding every spring in Qionghai Lake to celebrate the start of the fishing season. This event mainly includes fisherman’s performance, sacrifice parade and ceremony, blessing ceremony.

 Mt. Lushan
With countless peaks and dense forests, Lushan is a natural scenic area in Xichang Sichuan. Guangfu Temple is the largest architectural complex with exquisite design and grand scale in Lushan, and travelers can visit it and appreciate its wonderful carvings. There is also a Liangshan Yi Nationality Slave Society Museum, where travelers can understand the history and special culture of Yi Nationality.

 Attend the Torch Festival of the Yi Ethnic Group
It is a traditional festival of Yi Nationality, held on every June 24th of the lunar calendar. During this time, all the villages of the Yi people hold grand ritual activities to worship ancestors, pray for the prosperity of the grain, which reflects their respect to the nature. It will last for three days and the people will hold their small torches towards their fields. Also, there will be exciting and interesting activities such as wrestling, bullfight and horse racing.

Best Time to Visit Xichang

The best time to visit Xichang is from June to July. Xichang Sichuan belongs to tropical plateau monsoon climate zone with abundant sunshine and sufficient rainfalls. The annual average temperature is 14-25℃ (57.2-77℉). The winter from December to February is not cold with a temperature of 5.5-18℃ (41.9-64.4℉). Actually, in Xichang, it is like spring all the year around which makes it suitable to travel in the whole year.
June and July is a good time to go rafting and appreciate bloomed lotus in Qionghai Lake with an average temperature of 19.5-29℃ (67.1-84.2℉). On every June 26th of the lunar calendar, the Firebrand Festival of the Yi ethnic group will be held.

Xichang Weather Forecast



Xichang Qingshan Airport is about 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city center of Xichang Sichuan, but currently there are a few flights to Chengdu, Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. It takes about 1 hour from Chengdu to Xichang by air. After getting off the plane, travelers can take No. 107 Bus to the city center. Travelers can also take trains to Xichang Railway Station or take long-distance coaches from Chengdu to Xichang Sichuan. These coaches depart from Jinsha Bus Station, Shiyangchang Bus Station, Wukuaishi Bus Station and Chengdu East Bus Station, taking about 11 hours to Xichang.
There is no metro within the city, but the public transportation is very convenient. The taxi charges CNY 5 for the first 1 km, CNY 1.8/km for subsequent distance. It may cost CNY 40-50 from Xichang Qingshan Airport, CNY 25-30 from Xichang Railway Station to the downtown area.

Best Xichang Food to Try

When coming to Xichang, Drunk Shrimps, Dried Salted Duck, Buckwheat Tea and Spicy Chicken of Yi ethnic group are worth tasting.

 Drunk Shrimps
It is a famous dish in Sichuan. It takes the fresh shrimps from Qionghai Lake as the main material and soak them in Shaoxing wine. Eating it alive not only remains the fresh taste of shrimps, but also has the flavor of the wine.

 Dried Salted Duck
Different from Beijing Duck, the Dried Salted Duck is thick, tender with a rich flavor, less fat and greasy.

 Buckwheat Tea
It is a special product in Xichang China. The tea is clear with brown color and rich wheat aroma. It has the effect of lowering blood sugar, lowering blood fat and enhancing human immunity.
- Last updated on Nov. 28, 2019 -
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