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Hongjiang Ancient Commercial City

13 Reviews
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Hongjiang Ancient Commercial City

13 Reviews
Sorry, there are no tours or activities available to book online for the date(s) you selected. Please choose a different date.
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Xiongxi Road, Hongjiang 418200 China
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Renan wrote a review Jan 2020
168 contributions116 helpful votes
I visited in December, low season, so the city was gloomy and pretty empty. Most shops were closed too. I cannot confirm how packed it is in summer but be aware that the streets are narrow so it might feel pretty packed in summer. The old town is however not that big but offers some nice buildings and houses that you can visit. They are similar in terms of the design and architecture but I had not seen that in other nearby old towns. They also have a show (few minutes) at the house near what used to be the whore house. The city can be visited in 2-3h if you go into many buildings, if not, you can even do it in 1h. Access the city through one of gates where you can buy tickets, otherwise you cannot enter some of the houses.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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RLO721 wrote a review Aug 2018
Singapore, Singapore73 contributions105 helpful votes
Hongjiang ancient city (which is NOT in Hongjiang city, which has its own ancient town that goes by another name.... figure that out) is in itself a rare example of a well-preserved ancient Chinese city that has not been turned into a Disneyland. Of course, there is still a rather expensive entry ticket, which is unfortunate, but the town itself is fascinating, rather like a living museum, with workshops, guild houses, and even an old brothel and opium den. Even if you don't follow the tour, the experience is educational. At the same time, the ancient town is still lived in, so it's really a unique destination. That said, there seems at the moment no hotel willing to accept foreigners in Hongjiang (neither the ancient city nor the modern city), which means you have to make the long and expensive trek from Huaihua, itself a nondescript and polluted city that is definitely not worth visiting. If ever the accommodation situation (or the entry ticket situation) should change, then Hongjiang would make a great "off-the-beaten-path" stop on an intrepid itinerary. As it stands now, I simply don't think the old town itself merits enough to justify the cost (300 RMB round-trip taxi from Huaihua + 100 RMB ticket).
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Date of experience: August 2018
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TimBudd1954 wrote a review Oct 2017
Brisbane, Australia245 contributions58 helpful votes
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Hongjiang is a good example of a historic Chinese town. The old town is very authentic as it hasn't been commercialised like so many others have.
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Date of experience: September 2017
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SimonandSofie wrote a review Dec 2016
Denpasar, Indonesia215 contributions84 helpful votes
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The old, commercial quarter in Hongjiang is hidden on the outskirts of the modern town centre. To get there, you come out of the city following the signpost saying Ancient Commercial City 1km, cross a high bridge over the Wu River and turn right almost immediately. At the ticket office, a lady in Qing dynasty costume came up to us, welcomed us in English and told us that she was afraid that our tour would be guided in Chinese. She hoped we didn’t mind. We told her that was absolutely fine and thanked her for being so polite to let us know. We have visited quite a few of China’s old towns and villages and the experience has been different every time. Mostly, we just wander around on our own; reading what information there is in English and seeking to understand everything else in the context of what we have read and seen elsewhere. Any tours we have taken have been underwhelming. The old town experience we had today was the best we have had anywhere. A bunch of smart, thoughtful and talented people have turned Hongjiang’s old commercial quarter into a living museum. The buildings and narrow lanes of this important Ming & Qing era trading centre are brought to life, not only in a series of well-renovated, furnished and outfitted buildings but in several performances by actors in period dress, showing visitors what life was like in those buildings during the town’s heyday. The guides and actors are enthusiastic and skilled and the sketches are well played and entertaining. It is all a lot of fun. Of course, we didn’t understand much of the text, but we got some of it and the gist of all the sketches and the three young Chinese tourists in our guided group obviously loved it. There is a lot of comedy, a little music, some martial arts and a bit of melodrama in the town brothel, which is the scene of the most elaborate of the mini-plays. Talking of drama, the edifice that impressed us the most was the magnificent two-storey theatre, which looks like it is still very much in use. The old town around the key buildings is still inhabited and life just went on around us as we wandered the lanes, which added another fascinating dimension to our morning. We spent a very pleasant three hours in Hongjiang old town, very good value for the cost of the ticket, which was 89 Yuan, an off-season rate. In season, the price is 120 Yuan: still a great deal. There is some construction going on between the old district and the river. It looks like they are creating a thoroughfare for visitors to pass through on their way in and out of the lanes. This will presumably contain souvenir shops and snack stands. At the moment, there is nothing like that.
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Date of experience: December 2016
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SHDuffy wrote a review Nov 2016
Cincinnati, Ohio37 contributions7 helpful votes
The city is a wonderful, small maze of ancient alleyways and buildings- many being beautifully restored- that provide a glimpse into life in ancient China. Key structures are marked with explanations in Chinese and English. A map of the village is fairly easy to follow although entirely in Chinese. Some buildings had actors in costume helping to bring the stories to life. Many included well-preserved tools, art, and furniture that completed the picture. The locals are more than willing to help if you get lost. We spent about an hour wandering about which is probably about enough.
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Date of experience: October 2016
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hongjiang Ancient Commercial City

  • Hongjiang Ancient Commercial City is open:
    • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM