We spend our first full day in the ancient town, walking its streets, shopping and taking lots of pictures of Ming and Qing Dynasty courtyard houses.
05.04.2012 - 05.04.2012 70 °F
I figured that Guangyuan was only a three hour bus trip from Langzhong so we planned to leave on the afternoon of the 6th so we could spend another one and a half days in Langzhong Ancient Town. To give you an idea of Langzhong we walked out to the front entrance to take some pictures. There was also a good map displayed of the ancient town as well. We then found a nice noodle restaurant and had Langzhong noodles for breakfast. We then spent the day walking casually around the ancient city, mostly on the look out for good examples of Ming and Qing Dynasty courtyard houses. We found a lot and one, in particular, we spent a couple of hours taking pictures and getting to know the staff of the courtyard house which had become a four star hotel. Great pictures and really friendly people made for a wonderful time of picture taking and visiting.
Most of the day was spent in walking around taking pictures and shopping for souvenirs and art related items. We eventually found the huge examination hall which appeared to be in perfect condition. A huge place with lots of rooms and interesting items. There was also a small group of people dressed in the Qing Dynasty clothes who it appeared were performing (although casually) a reenactment of the testing procedures developed in the Song Dynasty. These people were friendly and extremely laid back but carried on with this reenactment as if it were real.
As we walked around the streets, we kept seeing a wagon pulled by a horse with a huge flag depicting the character Zhang (Sunee’s surname). Not sure what it was but we eventually paid some money and posed inside and outside the horse drawn “taxi.” We finished the day by visiting the various activities going on the several of the open squares where our fellow senior citizens had gathered for activities. It is always fun to join in these activities and the seniors are more than happy to have us. Another wonderful in a Chinese ancient city comes to an end. IMHO, Langzhong is much better than the other ancient towns we have visited including the world famous Pingyao in Shanxi Province.
Welcome to Langzhong Ancient Town
A map showing the fengshui nature of the town
Our nice small and inexpensive Qing Dynasty courtyard hotel
The filming begins early and lasts all day
Breakfast of all Sichuan champions
The drying corn was a nice authentic touch
It was ok to pet the horse
Langzhong is very famous for its balsamic vinegars. We did not buy any because we did not want to carry it along with us for the next few weeks.
Sichuan babies are trained early on to be friendly
The local Catholic Church
Never missed a chance to take a picture of door knockers
A beautiful, restored Qing Dynasty courtyard that has be made into a four-star hotel. We spent a couple of hours here taking pictures and visiting with the hotel staff. As one can see, I took a lot of pictures.
Here Sophal gets a history lesson on the origins of the courtyard and the various offerings of the hotel
More history of Langzhong and this courtyard
Another fabulous courtyard house made into a hotel. This courtyard dated from the Ming Dynasty
It was small but really beautiful.
It also offered Ming and Qing Dynasty beds to sleep in.
We wanted to check out of our inexpensive hotel so we could sleep in these beds. Decided it was too much troube
This alley led down to the doors of another Ming Dynasty courtyard house. This one was now a museum.
A guide took us around and explained the various aspects of this particular structure. Lots of really priceless stuff just laying around.
We came across this smallcomplex and found it was one of the local examination facilities for lower level testing. It offered a few picture taking opportunities.
Ancient grind stones
One of the oldest wells in Sichuan
Later in the afternoon we came across the provincial examination center which was supposed to be one of the last fully intact exam halls in all of Sichuan. Several people dressed in Qing outfits were casually going through the exam routines for an examinee. Not many tourists so things appeared to be a bit laid back.
Here Sunee signs a banner with our names on it to put with the other banners. Welcome to a common practice all over China.
This place was really huge
After checking out the huge exam facility, we casually walked around the town taking pictures and sampling the food.
On one of the main streets, we came across this older gentleman smoking his pipe. A great photo op.
Sophal gets some feedback
A couple of old dudes just wiling away the hours in ancient China
And the film keeps on rolling
Look! More door knockers.
Early afternoon lunch of jaodz or Chinese dumplings
And the shopping continues
As does the filming
The Zhang Wagon comes by again
See, I told you it was OK to pet the horse.
In the evening we found an internet cafe to send some emails and then walked to the Walmart store which was underground. Many Walmart stores, we have found, are built underground with the ground level used as a park. We bought a few items for our upcoming trip to Guangyuan, had a light dinner and returned to our hotel inside the ancient town.