Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town in Huaihua
Hongjiang Ancient City was built along the two rivers of Yuan and Wu. It took shape in the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty. Until now, the atmosphere of this important ancient commercial town can still be experienced. The architectural style of Hongjiang Ancient City is typical of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and the south of the Yangtze River. At the same time, it has significant characteristics of Yuanxiang.
English Name: Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town in Huaihua
Chinese Name: 怀化洪江古商城
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
Ticket Price: 120RMB
Best Time: All year round
Recommended Visiting Hours: One day
Location: Hongjiang district, Huaihua city, Hunan Province
Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town
Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town is a characteristic scenic spot in China’s Hunan Province.The town boasts more than 380 intact ancient structures erected during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, covering an area of 200,000 square meters. The buildings endured the ages with some wear, but they remain vivid reminders of the luxurious lifestyle of wealthy merchants.
Hongjiang Ancient Town features classic residential buildings of the south of Yangtze River, which present a living copy of the painting “Riverside Scenes on the Pure Bright Festival”. As one of the “Eight New Grand Sights in Hunan Province”, the ancient trade city has been listed as a key cultural unit under state protection.
Introduction of Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town
This Town is a well-known scenic spot in China’s Hunan Province. The town boasts more than 380 intact ancient structures erected during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, covering an area of 100,000 square meters. The buildings endured the ages with some wear, but they remain vivid reminders of the luxurious lifestyle of wealthy merchants.
Hongjiang took shape in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and flourished in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.
Hongjiang Ancient City was built along the two rivers of Yuan and Wu. It took shape in the late Yuan Dynasty and early Ming Dynasty. Until now, the atmosphere of this important ancient commercial town can still be experienced. The architectural style of Hongjiang Ancient City is typical of the Ming and Qing Dynasties and the south of the Yangtze River. At the same time, it has significant characteristics of Yuanxiang. Every house in the city feels harmonious. Workers only used bricks, wood, and stone as materials, with no nails. They created solid, practical and artistic buildings. The exquisite window frames, lattice fans, door carvings, and delicate railings reflect the ingenuity of ancient Chinese architectural art.
Recently in Hongjiang, a grand and graceful Chinese style fresco painting was discovered. The fresco depicts the character “Fu” (meaning “Fortune” in Chinese) which often appears in paintings of animals such as magpies, red-crowned cranes, sika deer, and tortoises. This fresco embodies the rosy prospect of “Hongfuqitian” (an idiom means being supremely fortunate, with a homophone of “Hong” as Hongjiang in the first word) with five implications of fortune, promotion, longevity, happiness, and wealth in the form of animal paintings. The fresco’s style is exclusive to Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town and remains a unique work of art even at the national level.
Attractions in Hongjiang Ancient Town
- The Ancient Escort Office
located in Hongjiang Ancient Town. Connecting Yunnan, Guizhou, Guangxi, and Sichuan, the ancient city of Hongjiang used to be a commercial and cultural center in Southwest China. Excepting by boat on Yuan River and Wu River, the merchants usually transferred their goods by walking on the two roads.
- Garrison Head’s Office
Also called “汛把总署” in Chinese, is a National Key Protection Unit of Cultural Relic. Lying at Yuying Alley in Hongjiang Ancient Town, it was first built in 1728, the sixth year of the Yongzheng Period in Qing Dynasty.
- Hefeng Courtyard,
Well known as Shaoxingban, was an old brothel which is located in Kanglemen Street, Yujiachong Area, Hongjiang Ancient Town of Huaihua City. Built-in 1860, Qing Dynasty, the brothel was a special place for the rich and officials to visit prostitutes.
- Lijin Tax Bureau
Called “厘金局” in Chinese,is a Key National Museum of Cultural Relics. It lies at a small lane called Longchuanchong in Hongjiang Ancient Town and was built in 1855，the fifth year of the reign of Emperor Xianfeng of the Qing Dynasty. At that time, it was called “Hunan Lijin Bureau Hongjiang Branch”.
- Fuquantang Hall
Fuquan Hall, known as “福全堂, Fuquan Tang” in Chinese, is located inYijia Alley, Hongjiang Ancient Town. Fuquan Hall was first built in 1894, the twentieth year of the Guangxu Period in Qing Dynasty. It is a traditional Chinese medicine shop dealing in herb wholesale and herb processing.
How to Get There
- Visitors can take a bus from Huaihua South Station to get there. The bus fare is RMB20 yuan.
Useful Travel Tips
- When arriving or departing by bus, look out for the delightful old white pagoda on the south side of the river to the west of town.
- The best time to visit Hongjiang Ancient Commercial Town is Spring and Autumn.
- The ticket price includes the interpretation services of the local tour guide.
- Please follow the local guide to avoid getting lost in the old city.
More Attractions in Hunan
- Liuye Lake in Changde
- Taohuayuan Scenic Area in Changde
- Zhangguying Village in Yueyang
- Tongdao Wanfo Mountain in Huaihua
- Qianyang Ancient Town in Huaihua City
- Qu Yuan Temple in Yueyang
Edited by Lynette Fu/付云锐