Langzhong is situated in the northern Sichuan Basin on the middle reaches of the Jialing River, a branch of the Yangtze. Emperor Qin Hui established Langzhong County in 314 B.C., and it is the only county that has retained its original name.
Till now Langzhong still has kept its ancient town of 1.5 square kilometers in good repair. In 1986, the State Council named it a famous historic and cultural city. And in China, Langzhong is one of four old cities.
Langzhong historical buildings
- The old streets and lanes: The ancient town contains about 90 streets and lanes, one-fifth of which date from the Tang-Song (960-1279) dynasties. There are two buildings from the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), four from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and 12 from the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). The downtown streets have many ancient houses from the Tang Dynasty that have become an important component in the study of ancient Chinese architecture. Huang Bao Che or the Rickshaw can be found on the old streets often, have a ride on the streets and stop to take photos, visit some ole family courtyard homes, it is a really wonderful and fun way to explore the old city.
- The ancient courtyards: Langzhong Old City Quarter is one of the largest and best-preserved cities of ancient 'siheyuans' or 'courtyard homes' in China today is literally cupped in a U-shaped bend of the Jialing River (a tributary of the Yangtze). Many have been renovated and opened as accommodation houses of varying quality. Most of these large beautifully restored homes of once prominent wealthy city merchants are also open to the public for a small fee.
- The BaBa Temple (Mosque) on a small hill beyond the bus station is unusual in that one entrance leads through a cemetery, rather strange and spooky if you visit at dusk and certainly not usual for a Temple to have a cemetery nearby. A closer inspection of the gravestones revealed Arabic text and although the style of buildings were similar to most other temples, this one had a very distinctive bell shaped dome on the roof of the central building. There was also no entrance fee and no admittance into the inner places of worship.
-The Gong Yuan or Qing Dynasty Imperial Examination Rooms is now a museum and reportedly the best preserved of the only two remaining, intact Gong Yuan is all of China.
- The Huaguang Tower a city gate by the river affords excellent views across the river and over the gray tiled roofs of the Siheyuans, it's worn steps a testimony of the passage of time and history.
- Zhangfei Temple dating back 1700years is where this legendary figure is buried with many other tributes to him scattered all over southwest China.
Langzhong has deep cultural accumulation. The legend goes that Hua Xu, Fu Xi's mother, was pregnant with Fu Xi in Langzhong who is the ancester of Chinese nation. It is the breeding place of Ba culture and a place where Islamism, Confuciunism, Buddhism, Christianity coexist harmoniously. Langzhong was also the researching center of Fengshui (geomantic omen). In the Tang Dynasty, Yuan Tiangang and Li Chunfeng, two experts on astronomy and Fengshui culture, went to Langzhong, studying astronomy and Fengshui and living in seclusion. They later died and buried here.
Langzhong has three special products - Baoning vinegar, Zhang Fei beef and sweet steamed buns.
- Baoning vinegar: Baoning was another name for Langzhong used during the Yuan and Ming dynasties. In Langzhong You will find Langzhong people drink Baoning vinegar as a beverage, tea, and even medicine because it tastes good and contains over 60 elements of traditional Chinese medicine, and 18 kinds of amino acids and trace elements needed by the human body. And also you will find vinegar bar, cafeshop or even footbath with vinegar on some streets. It's worth to take a visit of the Baoning vinegar factory once you visit langzhong.
- Zhangfei Beef: Dry but not hard, smooth but not soft, black outside while red inside, is not only like the character of Zhangfei who was a general of the Three Kingdoms Period, but also because Zhang Fei was stationed in Langzhong for seven years, and loved by the local people. And the beef has won silver prize of quality products of Texas Industrial Association. Tourists always buy it as gifts to friends.
- Baoning sweet steamed buns: In Langzhong you can easily find these kind of buns from shops on the streets. Each bun gets a red stamp by hand to prove its authenticity. This should be best simple package food in Langzhong.
From chengdu there are frequent buses to Langzhong everyday at Beimen bus station. In Langzhong you can choose to stay at 'Siheyuan' with courtyard in the ancient part. And in the afternoon maybe you can choose to see the unique Langzhong shadow puppet show.