Getting Lost in Langzhong

Remember my blog post “The Time we actually travelled somewhere”? Back then I only mentioned the Jianmenguan Pass however we still had another destination afterwards. I guess I tried to forget about it as the bus trip (which already took 6 hours to the Jianmenguan Pass) did not improve while driving to our final destination. In fact it got worse as the driver got lost several times so the whole trip took instead of another 2 1/2 hours again around 6 hours.

One of the countless of Buildings we visited in Langzhong

At late night we arrived in  Langzhong and were hushed by the tour guide into the old town to our Traditional Inn. As we arrived so late they did not have any dinner left and nearly all restaurants had closed already as the Old Town is a tourist attraction and thus only opened during daytime. After searching for what felt an eternity we found one restaurant we could eat something. On the down side it was filled with drunken patrons, on the bright side they had food for us. The only memories I have from the first night in the room was that those old buildings certainly do not give you any rest as you hear everyone in the whole inn talking or walking around.

From the towers in the Ancient Town you have a wonderful view around

Because we were part of a tourist group it meant also a very strict timetable. Wake up was at 5:30 AM and by 6 AM we had to be done with breakfast and run around the ancient town of Langzhong. The place looks really amazing and it is full of history but running from one temple to the next ancient school to the next ancient tomb was very exhausting. Besides exhausting it was also very repetitive as after a while all those buildings were looking the same. Because of the strict timetable we had to rush to every location and we got lost several times as we could not keep up the speed together with Nathan. One good thing though was that the food was pretty decent unlike at the horrifying experience from the City Tour Extreme a year later.

Eating bubbles because why not

Langzhong is a very interesting city as the ancient town is well-preserved and has an over 2.300 years of history. One of the main points I still remember is the ZhangFei Temple which is also where his tomb is located. On a funny side note I have to mention that MIL did not dare to enter the temple as she thinks that God will punish her for that. No idea where she got that from but in all our travels she never entered a temple due to her fear. Nathan became quickly an attraction on his own when we walked around wearing his monk costume. At one point there were several dozen people following him and taking pictures with him. Needless to say that MIL tried to be in each picture as well…

See, take picture of me and also the little guy in my arms

Our tour group allowed to have some little “freedom” by being able to select certain extras to visit. One of those extras was a performance on the other side of the river. It was a really wonderful perfomance and the only negative thing was the ridiculous amount of selfie-sticks being used to take pictures and videos. Due to that I had too often a huge tablet right in front of me. I tried my best but somehow I could not find the name of the performance online nor does my wife remembers the name any longer. All I know is that it is located right next to the Jinping Hill which is on its own already a great location to visit. We had a strict timetable when visiting the Jinping Hill and kind of got lost half way through. Especially carrying Nathan’s small pram up and down countless of stairs was a bit hard.

Entrance to the performance area

I can only recommend to visit Langzhong but without a tour group! Two to three days would be best as there is a lot to see already in the ancient town and in the surrounding area. The Jinping Hill alone can easily consume up to six hours when trying to really “see” everything there. What I can not recommend is the vinegar museum as it is just a tourist trap and of course everyone in my tour group bought plenty of vinegar in the store located at the exit of the museum.

Have you visited so-called Ancient Towns before?

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19 thoughts on “Getting Lost in Langzhong”

  1. I haven’t visited Ancient Towns before, but if I were too, I don’t think I’d go for a tour group like the one you did. It did sound rushed, and I am the kind who likes to spend at least 1 hour wandering each place.

    The view over the old buildings is very nice. The roofs look close enough that you can jump across all of them like Jackie Chan 😛

    The tour guide getting lost sounds quite funny. You would think the tour driver has done the tour before a few times and would know where to take the tourists – unless it is his first day but then again, that would be unprofessional.

    1. The roofs were really cool and they were indeed close enough that one might jump there!
      The tour was a real mess, non-stop people were missing, especially MIL was suddenly gone on multiple occasions.
      The bus driver had really his first tour there for many years and he had no clue at all about the new motor ways

  2. Your tour group continues to sound like a nightmare. But let’s face it, sometimes when we try to squeeze too much in too little time, the result can be the same. But, hey, at least you did something, right? 😛

    1. I hope I will be never part of such tour group again. It was just madness and I wonder why people pay for such tours when they can’t see anything/ are under constant stress by running around

  3. I’m not surprised everyone was chasing Nathan in his monk costume. Too adorable! Unfortunately the selfie stick crazy in Asia is too out of control. You can’t go anywhere these days without almost being stabbed by one. Ugh. We visited Lijiang back in 2009 and loved it! Was wintertime so not too many tourists then, and we spent many days wandering the streets totally lost!

    1. I had it too often during my travels in China that I had sometimes the feeling to be beaten to death any second by the phones and tablets attached to the sticks. They take those bad pictures everywhere like that, just stretch out the arm into the air and take random pics and videos -.-

  4. I didn’t know this ancient town, it looks very nice but I imagine it would be horribly crowded during Chinese holidays (the only time I can travel)…

    1. Yes it was a Chinese company. So far what I have experienced with Chinese groups (own experience and from friends) is that they just rush rush rush everywhere and you can’t enjoy the moment at all

      1. There are these days countless of companies in China and most people just dont know a “real” travelling experience. For them this is normal or in fact they just want to see as much as possible in as little time as possible.

  5. I have been fortunate to visit many Ancient Towns around China and have loved them all; some are a little commercial but just looking at the houses is wonderful even though some of them have just touristy items inside being sold.

    1. I have been now to three or four ancient towns in China and they are rather lovely except that some of them are just too commercial. Here in Europe I loved Prague really much followed by Tallinn which also has a great (but small) historical city center

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