Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more
Dragon Boat Racing in Fenghuang Ancient Town

Dragon Boat Racing in Fenghuang Ancient Town

Written by Fercility JiangUpdated Oct. 31, 2023
  • Estimated Celebrated: Jun. 10, 2024
  • Location: Fenghuang

Dragon boat racing is a traditional annual activity in Fenghuang Ancient Town, held during the Dragon Boat Festival and the two preceding days.

The Boat Races

Several teams from the surrounding Miao ethnic villages take part in the races. The dragon boats in Fenghuang are very distinctive in that the competitors stand while rowing. Boats finish the 400-meter-long course in about two minutes. The scene is very spectacular, where scores of boat oars row in unison, described as "flying dragons and dancing phoenixes."

Catching Ducks Competition

After the races, capturing ducks pushes the climax of the game to another tipping point, and this phenomenon cannot be viewed in other places and periods. Looking on from the Tujia Diaojiaolou (Tujia minority 'drooping-corner' buildings) beside the Tuo River, you can observe this unique folk custom.

"Duck capturing" is a rarely seen sport. This simple folk custom, mingled with a bit of wildness, reminds well-read Chinese of Shen Congwen's novel Border Town.

Read more on Dragon Boat Festival Traditions.

Fenghuang Ancient Town

Fenghuang Ancient Town Fenghuang Ancient Town

The old town of Fenghuang ('Phoenix'), in the west of South China's Hunan Province, is a historical and cultural old town. Rewi Alley, a famous Australian writer, once described it as one of the most beautiful cities in China.

The town maintains this traditional as part of its rich culture. Dragon boat racing in Fenghuang appeared in famous Chinese writer Shen Congwen's Border Town to express the pride and wild nature amongst the unsophisticated common people.

In Fenghuang you can go boating on the Tuo River, wander through the old streets, enjoy a wonderful trip to a Miao house, appreciate Miao dancing, and taste the delicious food of western Hunan Province.

How to Get There

China Highlights can help you arrange a tour to see this interesting festival and ancient town. 

Popular tours
Make the most of your time
Choose the best time to visit
Start planning your tailor-made tour with 1-1 help from our travel advisors. Create Your Trip

Sign up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to receive exciting updates, exclusive promotions, and valuable travel tips from our team of experts.

The China Highlights Experience

1-to-1 Expert Planning

1-to-1 Expert Planning

Your tour will be tailor-made by your personal travel advisor — a destination expert. Every reply will be within 24 hours.

Personal Journeys

Personal Journeys

Enjoy your personal local guide and ride. Explore destinations at your own pace. Have unparalleled flexibility, which is impossible on a group tour.

Authentic Experiences

Authentic Experiences

Discover the hidden gems. Experience local culture by practicing it. Try new and exciting activities, and unveil the stories behind the sights and people.

Well-Selected Local Guides

Well-Selected Local Guides

Knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and attentive — your personal local guides will share interesting stories, insider information, and even create unexpected highlights!

China Highlights tailor-makes China tours to help travelers discover China their way. We're a passionate team of one hundred avid travelers who love to share our knowledge of China with those looking for a more authentic travel experience, more ...
China Highlights International Travel Service Co., LTD
Corporate Number: 914503003486045699
Featured on