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Furong Ancient Town – See the Essence of Tujia Customs

Nestled on a sharp cliff beside the Youshui River, Furong Ancient Town, with a history of more than 2,000 years, used to be a vital transportation hub in Western Hunan. Today, it has become a popular destination for tourists taking on Zhangjiajie tours to have an extended trip.

Nicknamed “a Millennium town hanging on a waterfall”, Furong Ancient Town showcases an incredible combination of natural landscape. Besides, it has been the living place for the local Tujia minority for thousands of years. Distinctive stilted buildings along Flagstone Street will take you into an exotic world, offering an immersive exploration of the customs and traditions of the Tujia minority.

Zhangjiajie Furong Ancient Town
Night View of Furong Ancient Town

Fast Facts of Furong Ancient Town

  • Location: Yongshun County, Xiangxi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Hunan Province, China
  • Recommended Time to Go: March– November
  • Time Needed: 1 day
  • Opening Hours: 07:30 – 23:00
  • Ticket Price: CNY 108(valid for 3 days) including performances in the town
  • Highlights: Furong Waterfall, traditional Tujia stilted houses, splendid night scenes, immersive performances reflecting Tujia customs
  • Suited to: Photographers, food lovers, and those who are interested in China’s ethnic culture and customs

 

What to See and Do in Furong Ancient Town

1. Enjoy a Breathtaking View of the 2-Tiered Furong Waterfall

The core area of Furong Ancient Town is seated on the top of a cliff, with Furong Waterfall cascading in two tiers from the foot of the town, hence the name “a Millennium town hanging on a waterfall”. Furong Waterfall is the most magnificent one of its kind in Western Hunan, with 60 meters high and 40 meters wide. Seen from afar, it looks like white ribbons floating down through the middle of quaint stilted buildings. And the sound of surging water can be heard miles away.

You can have a bird’s-eye-view of Furong Ancient Town as well as the Waterfall from the Viewing Deck and Tuwang Palace. There is a path against the cliff that will lead you to go behind the waterfall, where you can enjoy the scenery from a different perspective.

Furong Ancient Town at Night Furong Waterfall
Furong Waterfall

2. Tuwang Palace Appreciate the Large-Scale Complex of Tujia Stilted Buildings

Tuwang Palace was originally built in 910 as the residence for the Tusi King, the leader of the Tujia minority in ancient times, and later became the summer retreat for the nobles. The remaining palace was reconstructed during the Ming Dynasty with over 400 years of history.

Different from traditional Chinese architecture, Tuwang Palace is a large-scale castle standing at the edge of the cliff, with distinctive Tujia stilted buildings orderly arranged. While visiting, you can not only gain insight into features of Tujia architecture, but also have a glimpse of the life of nobles in the past.

Furong Town Tuwang Palace
Tuwang Palace

3. Sample Tujia Cuisines along Five-Mile Flagstone Street

Walk up the steps from the river dock and you will get to the prosperous Five-Mile Flagstone Street, which goes all through Furong Ancient Town. The winding street is like a time tunnel, along which are all traditional stilted buildings constructed during the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911), showcasing an unspoiled ethnic ambiance to visitors.

Today, some of the buildings have been converted into Tujia handicraft stores and food booths, where you can pick up characteristic souvenirs and have a taste of authentic Tujia cuisines, such as rice tofu, rice noodles, preserved meat, and steamed mandarin fish.

 

4. Take in the Dazzling Night Scene of Furong Ancient Town

Furong Ancient Town showcases its most gorgeous scene by night. When darkness falls, colorful neon lights will silhouette the town and illuminate Furong Waterfall and the cliff. Distinctive pumpkin lanterns hanging under the eaves of the stilted buildings will also be lightened up. The bright and light hues as well as warm and cool tones bold the color contrast and turn the whole region into a dazzling realm that often appears in fantasy movies.

Tips: If time permits, it is highly suggested you stay overnight at a riverside hotel in Furong Ancient Town. Ba Bu Tang Hostel (八部堂客栈) settled in Tuwang Palace is strongly recommended as it offers the best angle to capture the panoramic view of Furong Waterfall and the town from any of the rooms.

5. Watch Immersive Performances to Learn the History & Culture of the Tujia Minority

The immersive performance of “Blooming in Furong – Carnival of Bizika” (“Bizika” means “native people” in Tujia dialect) staged at major attractions in Furong Ancient Town takes tourists to delve into the history and culture of the Tujia minority in a vivid way. Through 4 parts, the show reproduces important occasions of the nationality, such as battle scenes, victory celebrations, and grand inspections by the Tusi King, as well as Tujia people’s life and love stories happened around the Youshui River.

 

Best Time to Visit Furong Ancient Town: March – November

Generally speaking, Furong Ancient Town is suitable for traveling all year round, but you can capture the most enchanting views from March to November.

In spring (March – May), the weather warms up gradually and the town looks full of vigor with plants sprouting and flowers blooming. Sheba Festival, the most important sacrificial festival among Tujia people, is held in March where you can enjoy Maogusi dance, hands-waving dance, Tima songs, and other folk arts which have been listed as intangible cultural heritage.

Furong Ancient Town enters into its rainy season in summer (June – August). At that time, the frequent rainfalls will swell the Youshui River to its highest level in a year, making Furong Waterfall downstream even more spectacular.

Autumn (September – November) is another ideal period to visit Furong Town, with clear skies and pleasant sunny weather. Plants around the waterfall and cliff will turn golden yellow. Also, there will be fewer tourists and you can have a relaxing sightseeing experience.

 

How to Get to Furong Ancient Town

From Changsha:

Take a high-speed train at Changsha South Railway Station to Furongzhen. You will arrive at Furongzhen Railway Station in 3 hours. Then charter a car to the ancient town at a cost of CNY 20 or so.

From Zhangjiajie:

  1. Take a 35-minute high-speed train ride from Zhangjiajie West Railway Station to Furongzhen, and then charter a car to get to Furong T
  2. Visitors traveling in Zhangjiajiecan board a long-distance bus at Zhangjiajie Central Bus Station to the ancient town directly. The bus ride takes about 1.5 hours and costs CNY 30.
  3. If you reach Zhangjiajie by flight, get on a taxi at the airport to Zhangjiajie West Railway Station or the Central Bus Station to board a train or bus to Furong Ancient Town.

 

Attractions Nearby Furong Ancient Town

  • Mengdong River: The turbulent river offers visitors a thrilling rafting experience through primitive forests and lush cliffs.
  • Red Stone Forest National Geopark: The geopark is praised as “an open-air museum” displaying the incredible underwater world 500 million years ago.

If you are planning a China tour to Furong Ancient Town and want to have a tailor-made itinerary, please feel free to contact us. We are willing to help you customize your trip!

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