Top 10 China tours 2024/2025 for first visits and returns: embark on a lifetime experience. Learn more
Qingyan Ancient Town

Qingyan Ancient Town

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Nov. 9, 2023

Qingyan Ancient Town was established in 1378 by Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, the first emperor of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644).

At first Qingyan was a post station, an important link on the ancient post route from Guangxi to Guizhou. Government documents and military intelligence were sent to and from the station. Later, an army was based there and built up the settlement as a garrison.

Stone Architecture

Today the town covers an area of 3 square kilometers. It retains much of its original layout and many of its ancient buildings, from the Qing (1644–1912) and even the Ming dynasty. Visitors can see well-preserved stone-slab lanes, archways, watchtowers and battlements.

Qingyan ancient town Qingyan Ancient Town.

The town was originally built of stone. Fantastic stone walls still remain, with gates facing north, south, east and west. There were originally eight stone tablets outside the gates and three of these remain today, each with intricate sculptures.

Many other historical relics survive. Among its 37 tourist attractions are 9 temples, 8 shrines, 5 pavilions, 3 caves, 2 ancestral halls, 1 palace and 1 academy. There are also 3 ancient archways. Most of these ancient buildings are exquisitely carved with terrapins, dragons and other traditional Chinese patterns.

Less exquisite but still of interest are the remains of a catholic and a protestant church. The protestant church is still in use.

Famous Sons

Qingyan ancient town The Memorial Archway.

Imperial examinations for recruitment into the civil service in China began in 605 AD. For more than 12 decades, no one from either Guizhou or Yunnan province gained first place in the national examinations.

In 1886 at the stage of 29, Zhao Yixiong, a native of Qianyan, came first in the national exams. This surprised other scholars, who had previously regarded Guizhou as 'uncivilized'.

Chang Pinggang was a county fellow of Qianyan who became the general secretary of Dr Sun Yat-sen, the first president (in the first two-plus months of 1912) of the Republic of China.

Local Specialties

Qingyan is home to some famous local specialties. One such is rose candy. History of the candy dates back as early as 1874 and its recipe has been passed down through generations. Relax over a drink of sweet rose tea in one of the local restaurants.

Candy Candy.

Another popular local product is shuanghua vinegar. It is dark red, quite thick, slightly sweet and leaves a pleasant after-taste.

Visit Qingyan with China Highlights

Qingyan is certainly worth a visit. Stay for one or two nights and sense the history and modernity of this traditional town. 90% of our clients tailor their tours to suit their budget and interests.

Popular tours
Make the most of your time
Choose the best time to visit
We are here to help you...
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