Zhenyuan

Zhenyuan & Wuyang River, Guizhou

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Overview

A tranquil ancient town hidden in east Guizhou, surrounded by mountains and rivers. Famous for its beautiful landscape, historic sites and dense minority ethnic customs. Miao people inhabit there for thousands of years

The long history endows the town with many cultural relics. It covers only an area of 3.1sqkm  but cradles 160 scenic spots including caves, palaces, pavilions, temples and rivers with their unique architecture, exquisite engravings and marvelous natural landscape.

Cut through by the Wuyang River, the town is divided into two parts: south 'Wei City' and north 'Fu City', it is well-reputed as the 'Oriental Venice'.

Highlights

Zhenyuan Arch Bridge
Zhenyuan Old Town,Guizhou
Wuyang River Scenic Zone, Shenyuan,Guizhou
Wuyang River,Zhenyuan,Guizhou

Architecture / Wuyang River Cruise / Miao Great Wall Ruins

How Long?--2 days

Getting there & away

By train
Over 10 trains from Shanghai/ Guangzhou/ Guiyang/ Hangzhou... passing by  Zhengyuan daily. The one starting from Guiyang departing 8:40am, Y36 / 5hrs.

Taxi from railway station to Zhenyuan old town is Y3~Y7, less than 10 minutes' ride.

By bus
Buses from Kaili departing at 9:00am &1:00pm daily, Y15 / 2hrs. At arriving, just walk from the bus station towards east to the old town.

For leaving, best way is to take a train to Kaili. There are 11 trains passing by Zhenyuan to Kaili from 7:00am to 6:30pm every day.

Lodging
Numerous hotels/ hostels along the main street in the old town. No reservation needed.

Recommend you walk to the end of the street and stay in a place facing the Blue Bragon Cave with a great overlook of the river [Y20/bed or Y30~40/rm in hostel, incl. hot shower, Y80~100/rm in std. hotel]

Eating
Rice & wheat noodles in Guizhou flavor is available everywhere. Fish cooked in sour soup is the most popular dish. Tasty local-flavored barbecue in the other end of the new bridge at night.

Blue Dragon Restaurant -on the other side of the river, a wonderful waterfront place to relax and eat, 30% off is possible

Sights

  • Wuyang River Scenic Area 

Flowing through the Miaoling Mountains, the charming and lively Wuyang River runs 95 km from Huangping to Zhenyuan, finally join into Yuanjiang in Hunan Province. Its scenic spots in Zhenyuan, Shibing and Huangping compose the National Wuyang Scenic Area.

The river is geographically divided into Upper Wuyang between Huangping and Shibing and Down Wuyang from Shibing to Zhenyuan. Within these two sections, the most sightworthy and impressive scenery could be enjoyed in a cruise at Zhenyuan.

Wuyang Three Gorges, a 35km-waterway, is the most beautiful section of the whole scenic area. It consists of Dragon King Gorge, East (Zhu Ge) Gorge and West Gorge. Secluded caves, gurgling springs, rugged rocks, dangerous passes and spectacular waterfalls interspersed on the mountains of both banks along the three gorges endow the Wuyang River, along with the dangers of Yangtze River Three Gorges and the elegance of Li River in Guilin.

  • The Black Dragon Cave (Qinglong Cave / Qinglong Dong)

Located on Zhonghe Mountain in the east of Zhenyuan, the Black Dragon Cave was built during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) , it's  the largest ancient architecture remnants of Guizhou, incl.single and multi-storied pavilions, temples, shrines, palaces etc.

The complex were constructed according to the natural features of Zhonghe Mountain which is precipitous. The architectural sculptures and adornments are simple and unsophisticated , yet quietly elegant. The way in which the Confucianist, Taoist and Buddhist temples were put together embodies a combination of the 3 beliefs.

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.

Events
The Dragon Boat Festival, held on May 25th of every year, is the most ceremonious celebration in Zhenyuan.

Things to do

  • Ramble into the lane to visit the protected architectures at the foot of the mountain
  • Climb up to the hilltop to witness the Miaojiang Great Wall ruins and have a breathtaking overlook of the town. It's a quite safe path [ Entrance ticket Y4]
  • Cruise over the Wuyang River. The most convenient way is to join a travel agency in the street [Y65 incl. traffic / entry fee / cruiser, which is the same or cheaper than you make it on your own]
  • Visit the ancient arch bridge and the architectural group in Qinglong Cave

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