Qianyang Ancient Town in Huaihua City

Qianyang Ancient Town

Qianyang Ancient Town, well known as Qianzhou Town, is located in Hongjiang District of Hunan Province’s Huaihua City. Qianyang Town was first built in 202 BC, West Han Dynasty. It is older 1,400 years than Lijiang Ancient Town, and 700 years than Fenghuang Ancient. And it is the ancient town with the old-style constructures of Ming and Qing Dynasties to be preserved best in China.

Introduction of Qianyang Ancient Town


With a history spanning 2,200 years, Qianyang Ancient Town was established in 202 BC, 1,400 years earlier than Dayan Ancient Town of Yunnan and some 900 years earlier than Fenghuang Ancient Town.

The Chinese System of Geomancy

The town is a successful model planned and established based on its terrain-following Feng Shui, a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life. There are many alleys in the town, and each of them is connected in a T-shape, which looks like a perplexing maze. The design is a combination of traditional architecture with Chinese philosophy. Today, the town’s original layout, alleys and the ancient architectural complexes of Ming and Qing dynasties are still well preserved, which is an exception in modern China.

Various temples, ancestral halls, opera halls, guild halls, academies, shops, hotels, residential houses, and villas can be found in the town. The tall firewalls, the bent eave corners, the wood-frame windows decorated with carved patterns and the plain counters record the town’s long history. Most buildings are of one or two stories, built using either wood or brick.

For thousands of years, local residents have created a unique folk culture, including local operas, music, dances, and artwork such as woodcarving handicrafts and bamboo baskets. The Mulian Opera, an integration of folk stories, sideshows, and acrobatics, was recognized as the “living fossil” of Chinese opera art by UNESCO.


Qianyang Ancient Town has not been transformed into a space of consumption for tourists. As a visitor, you won’t be able to buy any souvenir from a trinket store because all the shops cater to the locals only. There are no loudspeakers that blare techno music in front of storefronts like in Fenghuang, instead, you’ll hear the loud chatter of women playing cards in the streets in the afternoon. In Qianyang, people sit in the slab-stone streets on a bamboo chair. The rhythm of life is slower in the old town. The ancient architecture, the red lanterns hanging on the courtyard gates and the peaceful atmosphere that reigns in the streets contribute making of Qianyang a charming old town that fits the western collective imaginary of what a traditional Chinese town should look like.

Ancient Streets in Qianyang Town

There are 5 gates, 10 streets, and 12 alleys in Qianyang Ancient Town. The curve made by the Wu river embraces the old town of Qianyang which according to local history, was founded more than 2000 years ago. In 1080, during the Song dynasty (960-1279), the town was upgraded to a regional political center.

Furong Tower

Furong Tower, well known as “Lotus Tower”, “Hibiscus Tower”, is a classical garden architectural group located in the northwest of Qiancheng, an age-old and rustic town of Hongjiang City. Furong Tower Today, most of the cultural landmarks disseminated in the ancient town date back from the Ming and Qing dynasties. 

Best Time to Visit Qianyang Ancient Town

I think you can travel Qianyang Ancient Town all year round, but the best time to visit it is Spring and Autumn as it is not too hot or too cold during these two seasons.

How to Get There

There are direct buses from Huaihua to Qianyang Ancient Town. By Bus from Huaihua South Bus Station to the town from 6.30- 18.30.

More Attractions in Hunan

Edited by  Lynette Fu/付云锐