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Chadong Ancient Town


Chadong Ancient Town is located in the northwest of Huayuan County, Xiangxi, Hunan Province, China.

Reasons to visit

You can enjoy the quiet, quaint, and rich ethnic features of the town, and relax, sightsee, and take photos of the beautiful natural scenery and the ancient buildings.

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Opening Hours

  • Open all day

Chadong Ancient Town, also known as Biancheng or Border Town, is a charming old town located in the northwest of Huayuan County, Xiangxi, Hunan Province, China. It is at the junction of Hunan, Guizhou and Chongqing provinces, known as "three provinces with one foot under one foot". The town is famous for being the setting of the novel Border Town by Shen Congwen, a renowned writer in modern times. The town is surrounded by mountains on three sides and faces water on one side. It has a history of over 300 years and preserves the traditional architecture and culture of the Miao and Tujia ethnic groups.

The Charm of Chadong

Due to its location on the border of Hunan, Guizhou and Chongqing, Chadong is also a place where you can enjoy the authentic cuisine of three provinces. You can have breakfast in Hunan, lunch in Guizhou, and dinner in Chongqing, and taste the different flavors and specialties of each region. For example, you can start your day with a bowl of rice noodles with beef and pickles, a typical Hunan breakfast. Then, you can have a sour soup fish, a signature dish of Guizhou, for lunch. Finally, you can end your day with a spicy hot pot, a popular food in Chongqing.

Chadong Ancient Town is a hidden gem in Xiangxi, Hunan Province, China. Compared to the bustling and developed Fenghuang Ancient Town, Chadong Ancient Town offers a more authentic and tranquil experience of the local culture and history. The town's architecture is mainly in the style of the Tujia ethnic group, featuring stilted houses, bluestone streets, and old houses with white walls and black tiles. Besides the simple and elegant architectural style, the town's natural scenery is also impressive. Chadong Ancient Town is surrounded by mountains and water, with a beautiful environment and fresh air. The town is encircled by the clear Qingshui River, with green trees shading both sides of the river bank, creating a picturesque view. The town is also close to some natural attractions, such as Tianlong Gorge and Fenghuang Mountain, which are suitable for hiking, exploring, and sightseeing. Chadong Ancient Town is a multi-ethnic place, where Tujia, Miao, Han, and other ethnic groups live together. The people here retain many traditional folk activities, such as hanging coffins, dragon dance, jumping dance, sacrifice, etc., displaying the town's ethnic customs and beliefs.

What to do and see in Chadong Ancient Town

One of the most unique and fun ways to explore the town is to take a Lala Ferry (拉拉渡), which is a traditional way of crossing the river without paddling or poling, but by dragging along a steel cable with a wooden stick. You can enjoy the view of the clear Qingshui River and the stilted houses along the bank, and feel the thrill of gliding on the water. Besides experiencing the lala ferry, you can also visit the Cui Cui Island, a small island in the middle of the Tuojiang River that is connected by a suspension bridge. Climb up to the Three Provinces Viewing Platform, a hilltop where you can see the junction of Hunan, Guizhou, and Chongqing provinces. You can enjoy the panoramic view of the mountains, rivers, and villages, and feel the charm of the border town. Explore the White Tower, the General Well, the Drug King Cave, and the Mill, four of the most famous historical sites in Chadong Ancient Town.

Suggested Tour Route

If you have 1-2 days to stay here, you can follow the route below from south to north to visit the attractions here.

1. Tourist Center (Get some information and maps of the town here) - 2. Parking Lot Pier - 3. North Gate Pier - 4. Lala Ferry (拉拉渡): (Take a ferry here to cross the river and visit the Cui Cui Island.) - 5. Cui Cui Island (翠翠岛) - 6. Mill - 7. Drug King Cave - 8. White Tower - 9. Three Provinces Viewing Platform - 10. General Well Scenic Area Entrance/Exit - 11. General Well - 12. Republic of China Style Street: There are some restaurants, hotels, foot massage parlors, and souvenir shops here. After a day of sightseeing, you can return to this street to relax.

How to get there and get around: 

How to get there: You can take a high-speed train to Jishou East Station, then take a bus to Huayuan at the bus station. From Huayuan, you can take a bus to Biancheng, the nearest town to Chadong. Alternatively, you can join a tour group or hire a car to get there.

How to get around: You can walk around the town or take a boat or Lala ferry to cross the river and visit different attractions. The boat ride costs about 20 RMB per person and the ferry ride costs 5 RMB per person.

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