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Langzhong Ancient Town

Located in Nanchong, Sichuan province, Langzhong town is named 'Great Ancient Cities' in China along with Yunnan's Lijiang, Shanxi's Pingyao and Anhui's Shexian County. It is seated in the middle reaches of Jialingjiang River and by the side of Bashan Mountain. It has more than 2,300 years history, and it was used to be the capital of the Ba state during the period of the Warring States of ancient China.


Zhang Fei, a general from the Shu Han State which was documented as one of the three states in the Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, had stayed and guarded here for about seven years before he died. Lanzhong City had been picked up as the temporary provincial capital of Sichuan for 17 years from the late Ming Dynasty to early Qing Dynasty. It is not difficult to find that Langzhong City has long been regarded as the political, military and cultural focus of northern Sichuan Province by old China's feudal emperors.

As one of the largest and best-preserved cities of ancient 'siheyuans' or 'courtyard homes' in China, today the Langzhong Ancient Town is literally cupped in a U-shaped bend of the Jialing River (a tributary of the Yangtze). Many have been renovated and opened as accommodation houses of varying quality. Most of these large beautifully restored homes of once prominent wealthy city merchants are also open to the public for a small fee.

Langzhong is without the pretty bridges and flowing streams as seen in Yunnan's Lijiang or some old towns in eastern China and lack of ethnic minority atmosphere, but its profound long history, the great embrace of the Jialingjiang River and the residential house style architecture adequately present its uniqueness.

Places to See
dmission to all of the town's attractions is sold on an 80 RMB through ticket (40 RMB for students). If you've trekked all the way here, it's worth buying. Aside from the ticketed sights, there's not much to do besides wander through the streets and admire the river view.

Zhang Fei Temple: Langzhong is really trying to milk its connection with the Three Kingdoms-era general Zhang Fei. Impersonators hang out outside the temple to pose with kids in military costume, and every store seems to sell 'Zhang Fei beef'-a packaged snack somewhat similar to beef jerky. The temple itself is of mild interest, but the fetishization of Zhang Fei is fascinating.

Imperial Examination Hall (Gong Yuan): If you didn't make it to the Guozijian in Beijing, you can learn about the ancient system of imperial examinations here. Students seeking to become government officials used to take the provincial-level exams here, and you can see replicas of the desks and beds they used.
Zhongtian Tower: This tower stands at the intersection of two of the old town's main roads. It's not authentic and it was built in 2006. You can see trees poking out from courtyard houses and watch from above as performers enact traditional marriage rituals in the streets.

Feng Shui Museum: It is the first scenic spot that featured with the chinese Fengshui Omen in China. Fengshui omen means an integration of Heaven, terra and human, seeking harmony between sites, orientations and layouts of buildings and the nature as well as human's fate. Torists can get more information by these exhibitions there.

Local Products
Langzhong has three well-known local products - Baoning vinegar, Zhang Fei beef and sweet steamed buns.

Baoning vinegar
Baoning was another name for Langzhong used during the Yuan and Ming dynasties. In Langzhong You will find Langzhong people drink Baoning vinegar as a beverage, tea, and even medicine because it tastes good and contains over 60 elements of traditional Chinese medicine, and 18 kinds of amino acids and trace elements needed by the human body. And also you will find vinegar bar, cafeshop or even footbath with vinegar on some streets. It's worth to take a visit of the Baoning vinegar factory once you visit langzhong.

Zhangfei Beef
Dry but not hard, smooth but not soft, black outside while red inside, is not only like the character of Zhangfei who was a general of the Three Kingdoms Period, but also because Zhang Fei was stationed in Langzhong for seven years, and loved by the local people. And the beef has won silver prize of quality products of Texas Industrial Association. Tourists always buy it as gifts to friends.

Baoning sweet steamed buns
You can easily find these kind of buns from shops on the streets. Each bun gets a red stamp by hand to prove its authenticity. This should be best simple package food in Langzhong.

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