For the seeking of old China, ancient town is where to experience. For a taste of old Chongqing, Laitan Ancient Town is a great place to find out what the old Chongqing was.
Laitan Ancient Town is situated in 28 kilometers northeast of Hechuan District in Chongqing Municipality. Reputed as one of the ten ancient towns in China and one of the most beautiful ancient towns in China, this historical and cultural old town has attracted many people here for the admiration of its ancientness and uniqueness.
Laitan Ancient Town was constructed in Song Dynasty (960—1279), it has a history of about 1,000 years but is still well preserved. This is a quite small ancient town, but this is a quiet and tranquil ancient town with its unique architectures and cultures to be charming as a great place to explore the ancient China and old Chongqing.
Laitan Ancient Town has advantageous location by facing cliffs in three directions. It used to have constructed solid stone gates for military defense, now the four grand gates stand still in the peripheries of town to protect the town from the outside noisy world. Ancient architectures of Laitan Ancient Town were firstly constructed in Song Dynasty and reconstructed in Ming and Qing Dynasties. This is why most of them are styled at Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Folk residences at the town are well proportioned with gray walls and green tiles, and scattered wide or narrow stone alleys. What’s more interesting at this ancient town is the walking street that is paved with stones to be lined with shops selling gifts, souvenirs, antiques and artistic oil paintings. Also there are many restaurants at this street where you can have a taste of local Chongqing food, like the famous sour and spicy rice noodles. Walking down the street, passing through the winding alley, you will get to the riverside of Qu River that flows along the town. At this place, you will enjoy the pleasant natural views of mountain, forests, river and blue sky.
A casual sightseeing among the streets and alleys in this ancient town is not enough to enjoy the whole of this town. Wenchang Palace and Erfo Temple are other two must see attraction in this ancient town. At the Wenchang Palace, you will see the remained ancient theater stage that has exquisite wooden carvings in relief which have high artistic values. While at the grand Erfo Temple, it is for the magnificent temple architecture and big Buddha statue.
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