TopChinaTravel would like to introduce the following 8 of Top Ancient Towns in China for you, as in China, the ancient towns are more like the places that freed from busy lives in the noisy and congested cities, the places preserved their own paces and organic lifestyle. So come with us, to explore their time-honored culture and custom.
With a history of over 800 years, Lijiang Old Town, along with Pingyao, Shexian County and Langzhong, are the 4 best preserved ancient towns in China. It has deep narrow bluestone alleys, rich carved old wooden houses, gorgeous natural landscapes and industrious Naxi People.
It is a peaceful town of recreations, the showcase of traditional Chinese architecture style, an ideal place to explore the disappearing Dongba, and the cultural heritage to memorize the brilliant glory of the past.
Recommended Attractions: Yufeng Temple, Baisha Mural, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lugu Lake
Situated in the mid-east part of Shanxi Province, Pingyao Ancient City is a peaceful town preserving the architectural aesthetics of Chinese traditional buildings. It is distinguished from other places in China in that it has well preserved its architecture and urban layout of China’s Ming and Qing styles, earning it a place on the UNESCO world heritage list. As not generally known, this old town is not swamped with tourists yet and the local government has done a good job in preserving the 2,700-year old city - the best preserved wall-city in China.
Recommended Attractions: Ming Qing Street, Rishengchang Exchange Shop
In southeastern part of Anhui Province, under the foot of the renowned Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), Shexian County surrounded by green mountains and crystal water, is rich in cultural relics. It is an art museum of classical architecture. Strolling in it, you can see the towers, bridges, lanes and wells in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties styles everywhere. The beautiful scenery and exquisite architecture win it the fame of water town, mountain town and bridge town. There are three wonders - Ancestral Temples, Ancient Residential Houses and Town of Arch, due to which building experts from China and the rest of the world call it ‘A Naturally Formed Classical Architectural Arts Museum'.
Recommended Attractions: Yanghe Gate, Xuguo Archway, Doushan Street, 24 Filial Pictures
Over 2,300 years ago, Langzhong was once the capital city of old Ba Kingdom and entitled “the biggest Feng Shui Ancient Town” in Sichuan Province. Located on the north edge of Sichuan Basin, surrounded by steep mountains, it enjoys unique geographical advantage and once be the political, economical, military and cultural centre of northern Sichuan.
Well-preserved ancient architectures, timing from Tang Dynasty to Qing Dynasty, Cliffside Inscriptions and ruins of the Three Kingdoms culture and numerous religious temples and churches, all made it an enchanting destination for people from home and abroad.
Recommended Attractions: Tengwang Pavilion, Yuntai Taoist Abbey, Pinjing Mountain, Tiangong Temple and Village
Backing on evergreen Mt. Cangshan, facing light blue Erhai Lake, Dali Ancient Town is a walled place with a history of over 1,200 years. Many of the architectures of the city were built of marble from the ore nearby, and that is why it is also called a city of Dali Stone (marble).
Within the guarding walls, old houses, bluestone paved paths and wrinkle faced elders are created a peaceful atmosphere. Unlike any other Chinese town, the traditional Bai ethnic folk houses and blooming flower gardens they cared, give the town distinctive feel.
Recommended Attractions: Three Pagodas, Xizhou Bai’s Houses, Erhai Lake, Mt. Cangshan
Located in Hunan Province, Fenghuang Ancient Town or Phoenix Ancient Town literally is a national-level famous town for its profound historical and cultural accumulations. It has ever been acclaimed as the most attractive town in China for its crystal-clear river view, rich carved riverside old wooden houses and enchanting ethnic culture. Fenghuang is also a showcase of minority culture that inhabited by Miao and Tujia ethnic, who well kept their traditional culture for centuries.
Claimed to be one of the two most beautiful towns in China, Feng Huang Cheng sets an example of what villages were like before the start of modernization. In the town dozens of lanes are paved with stones that run between the wooden houses built on stilts.
Recommended Attractions: Yang Ancestral Memorial, Tuijiang River, Ancient East Gate, Shanjiang Miao Village
With a history of over 900 years, Hongcun Village is a special place with cattle-like layout. Located under the foot of the well-known Mt. Huangshan (Yellow Mountain), facing the South Lake, the original inhabitants of Hongcun creatively built the amazing artificial water system around the village. Nowadays, the still water reflected the well-preserved Ming and Qing style architectures built along the channel and lake, formed a peaceful and reassuring picture.
With marbled ground, black tiles, fresh red lanterns, elaborate woodcarvings and amazingly comprehensive water system, it is known as‘the folk imperial palaces'. It was inscribed into the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
Recommended Attractions: ancient buildings, Zilu Temple, Qisu Lake, Nanhu Lake
Surrounded by rivers, about 80 minutes south of Shanghai, Wuzhen Water Town is one of the 4 grand Ancient Towns of Yangtze, which still well preserved its late Qing Dynasty style layout and water system - the whole town is built along the rivers, while the river courses crisscrossed in the town. Water and Town, Wuzhen is a particularly elegant blend of nature and culture. Enjoys superb climate and geographical conditions, Wuzhen is also a place where people called "the land of fish and rice”.
Even on a cold, rainy spring day, Wuzhen, a town surrounded by rivers, about 80 minutes south of Shanghai, has a special beauty which has not yet been overrun by tourists.
Famous attractions: Former Residence of Mao Dun, Old Street of the West Gate, Wenchang Pagoda
Those are the most famous ancient towns to visit in China. All of them has a long history with profound cultural background. And the view in & around the town is quite attractive. There are a lot of guest houses inside the towns. You may want to stay one or two nights there to experience the leisure life if time allows.