Southern Great Wall in Fenghuang County of Xiangxi Prefecture

Southern Great Wall

The Southern Great Wall is short for the Great Wall in southern China and is famous for being the only Great Wall in southern China. It is situated in Xiangxi Autonomous Prefecture in Hunan Province. Therefore, it is called Miaojiang Great Wall (Great Wall of Miao Territory). With a total length of 190 kilometers, the Miaojiang Great Wall is situated in Fenghuang County and starts north of Xique military camp (also known as Danwu military camp) of Guzhang County in western Hunan Province and south of Tingzi Pass of Tongren City in Guizhou Province, and is mostly constructed on precipitous ridges.

Introduction of Southern Great Wall


In order to consolidate their power, rulers in the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty suppressed the minorities in southern China, especially the Miao ethnic group. The Southern Great Wall was a result of their suppression. For the sake of continuous ruling and suppression, the rulers came up with the evil plan of building walls and stationing troops to separate the place. They separated the Miao territory in western Hunan Province into northern and southern parts and prescribed that “the Miao ethnic group must not come out from their territory, while the Han ethnic group must not step into Miao territory”. Thus, economic trade and cultural exchanges between the Han and Miao people was cut off. It was a pass consisting of blockhouses, watchtowers, sentry posts, emplacements, gates, and houses outside or near the gates, which was used to isolate and conquer the Miao ethnic group.


With the government’s appropriation of 40,000 taels of silver, the Southern Great Wall was primarily built during the Wanli period of the Ming Dynasty. During the late Ming Dynasty, the sidewalls were razed by the Miao ethnic group. Then the Qing Dynasty rebuilt new walls on the site of the old sidewalls.


There are over 1,300 blockhouses, watchtowers, sentry posts, emplacements and gates for stationing troops and defenses, including more than 800 of those in Fenghuang County. At that time, 4,000-5,000 soldiers used to be stationed along the section. It even increased to 7,000 at the height of the population. The walls have a height of 3 meters, a width of 1 meter at the top and 2 meters at the base. Therefore, local places were mostly named after paotai (an emplacement), shao (a sentry post), qia (a pass), bao (a fortress), diao (a blockhouse), guan (a pass) and lying(a military campus).

Travel Guide Accommodation in Fenghuang

Travel with China Dragon Tours(Top Recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Fenghuang with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Independent Travel

There are a lot of choices for accommodation in Fenghuang, from well-equipped hotels to economic hostels. If you only accept well-equipped hotels, you can find them around the ancient town scenic area, within walking distance to the ancient town. If you want to save money and stay inside the ancient town scenic area, you can book a hostel inside the ancient town. There are a lot of hostels inside which is operated by local residents.

Usually, it is recommended to stay one night for Fenghuang trip. And homestay or hostels along the Tuojiang River is the best choice. Tourists are recommended to stay in the houses on stilts along the riverside.

How to Get to Southern Great Wall

From Fenghuang Ancinet City: Take shuttle buses running between Fenghuang and Ala Downtown in Fenghuang Bus Station and get off at The Geat Wall, 30 minutes riding and the ticket is 8 RMB.

Main Attractions in Xiangxi Prefecture

Edited by  Lynette Fu/付云锐