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“Top 10 ancient towns in China: Commercialised but unique”

Huanglongxi Ancient Town
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Private Tour: Huanglongxi Ancient Town and Countryside Trekking from Chengdu
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Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
592 reviews
504 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 687 helpful votes
“Top 10 ancient towns in China: Commercialised but unique”
Reviewed June 10, 2014

Huanglongxi Ancient Town was one of the top 10 ancient towns in China. I took a bus from Xinnamen Bus station to Huanglongxi Passenger Transport Center. The bus fare costs RMB 14. From the Huanglongxi Passenger Transport Center, I took another public bus direct to Huanglongxi ancient town. The public bus fare costs RMB1. In fact, the ancient town is just about 300 m from the Transport Center; you can actually walk to the ancient town.

The entrance to the ancient town is free. The whole town is actually quite big and you need to walk around to explore. The way the town is structured is just like a dragon. The head of the dragon is located at the front entrance while the tail is located near to the river. You see a number of eateries, shops, cafe, etc along the way of the dragon's body. There is also an opera house near the middle of the walkway and you can sit at the opera theater (non-airconditioned) to listen to Sichuan opera. I like to watch the Sichua opera though I hardly understand the Sichuan dialect but my wife dislike the loud and sharp pitch music so I did not stay long. There is also a museum beside the opera house displaying some Sichuan ceramic, calligraphy, jades. The authority should be praised for effort in promoting cultural activities. These effort at least help to counter the commercialization of the area. At least people come here not just to shop and eat but also understand and appreciate culture. The entrance to the opera house and the museum is free including the toilet. The shops and cottage hostels charged RMB1 for using their toilets.

The place is quite relaxing. If you don't feel like walking around. you can order some drinks and sit by the stream and observed the madness of the hordes of Chinese visitors flooding the place. My wife ordered a cup of coffee from the Starbuck outlet and it costs RMB 25.

I like the eateries at the tail end of the ancient town. There are many local food and are not expensive.The good thing about Sichuan is that the government standardized the food price in most areas. In Chengdu, Jiuzhaigou and any other places, the prices of food do not vary drastically. I can have a bowl of sweet bean curd in Leshan for RMB5, you get the same bowl in Chengdu maybe for RMB6, the difference is not big. You hardly get exploited over food just because you are a tourist. There appears to be some control at the municipal level on food price so as to benefit the masses.

At the tail end jetty there is also the boat ride where you paid about RMB10 to visit the Big Buddha some distance down the Huanglong river. I did not take the boat ride as I am more fascinated by the many shops selling the different souvenirs, goods and food. There are also horse rides near the museum and trishaw rides to take you to the Big Buddha. The place is really commercialized but has its uniqueness that made it interesting.

My wife commented that it was just an ordinary ancient Chinese town, nothing very significant or special. Huanglongxi ancient town was named the `Hollywood' of China but she could not really appreciate the greatness of this compliment.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank soh_kien_peng
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 reviews from our community

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English first
Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
64 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2014

I knew going in that this town, like many "old towns" in China is very tourist oriented and lightish on real historical buildings but I just couldn't get into it. Could put it down somewhat to the busy Sunday afternoon crowds, but overall it just felt very fake, and the admitted prettiness wasn't doing it for it me. Watching hordes of Chinese domestic tourists is part of the fun of China itself, but honestly they are more interesting places in Sichuan to do that.

Visited February 2014
1 Thank NobodySeesTheShow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kuala Lumpur
Level Contributor
30 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
“Interesting ancient Qing architecture”
Reviewed December 27, 2013

Journey : About 1.5 hours Bus journey from Xinnanmen (rmb14 one way). Arrived at HLX bus station and hopped on small bus (rmb1 one way) to entrance HLX town.

Stay: 1 night at SanGuoShiFu 三国食府 (rmb280 Pernight family room, 4 pax, booked through Angel - Sichuan exploration holidays). Hotel about 10 minute walk from entrance. Room heater was warm and water hot water was good. Wifi available in room. Television with Chinese and English channels.

Town: Many shops selling food and souvenirs, restaurants beside the river bank.

We enjoyed leisurely stroll around town, people watching, enjoyed some of the peanuts candies, BBQ goat skewered meat and potatoes, meat buns and soya bean puddings.

We had pleasant time watching cute short legs dogs running around happily, workers working in harmony cleaning the the ponds.

The environment was fresh and green, the air cool and invigorating, atmosphere was very relaxing.

The local people were friendly and many approached us to eat at their restaurants and offered ear cleaning and shoulder massage services. As we are not very adventurous, we did not take up their offers.

As it was low season, there was not much happenings in the evening. However local told us HLX will be packed during high seasons,( Chinese New Year holidays - 15 days dragon dance performance and during Autumn).

Visited December 2013
2 Thank KualaLumpurHappy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
544 reviews
152 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 410 helpful votes
“Loved exploring here”
Reviewed October 10, 2013

Huanglongxi Ancient Town is a bit of a drive from Chengdu, something like an hour and a half. It is not a good trip if you're not well rested, as you will do plenty of walking once you get there.
Huanglongxi is an absolutely charming place. A small stream runs through the walking street area of this lovely town. On both sides of it are sidewalks that go past traditional Sichuan shop houses that sell everything from local delicacies to more kitschy souvenir items. But that's not all. Another charm of Huanglongxi is that it sits next to 2 rivers, so there is a lot of great scenery to take in. Yes, it is a touristy place, but who doesn't want to have a stroll through this town, which is both traditional and modern at the same time. I admire the local government for being able to maintain a remarkable preservation effort of centuries-old buildings and public areas. It is a testament to how correct care for cultural heritage can have benefits for the local communities of today. Huanglongxi apparently does a thriving tourist business that depends heavily on giving the customers what they come for - a step back in time to when the local shops and not shopping malls were the focal points in one's life.
For me, the best thing about visiting Huanglongxi is to go beyond the main tourist congregation areas in the town and venture along the more quieter alleys and lanes that sit behind the town center. There, I saw people just relaxing in their shops and homes, playing Mahjong or preparing goods for sale. On those small streets, you can take slow walks and just soak in the atmosphere.
I guess many people would miss Huanglongxi because they would spend more time in Chengdu city, which is a shame. It is one of the few places in China worth going out of your way for.

Visited September 2013
4 Thank Chattan_k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
22 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Feel the ancient town of China”
Reviewed August 18, 2013

Enjoyed the walk and visit this place with my husband and friends.
Feel the ancient town of China with may souveniers and foods shops along the way.
I like the most is the stream that divided the 'town' into 2 and ended up in a river.
For those travell with young children, bring along a swim suit or extra cloths for changing as most of the children will like and insist on deep themselves into the stream, specially when the weather is very hot..
Many shops availble to rent the traditional chinese clothes and taking your pictures for some fee..

Visited August 2013
Thank SusanaBagio
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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