Facing west of The Yellow River and east of the majestic Wohu Mountains sits Qikou Ancient Town, located in the Luliang Prefecture of Shanxi Province. Approximately 230 kilometers (142 miles) from the capital city of Taiyuan, it's name originates from the neighboring city of Datong Qi (Qi meaning sand-piled shoal).
Centuries ago Qikou Ancient Town attracted many merchants due to its favorable and unique port location, connecting it to land and water. Serving as a transportation route accessing local waterways, Qikou Ancient City became a major commercial center. Many merchants fled this town when the 1938 invasion of the Japanese army began, during the War of Resistance.
Famous Sights and Specialties
Qikou Ancient Town:
The main street of Qikou Ancient Town has been raised to protect it from flooding and now runs on top of a six metre high, man-made platform, providing an original sight-seeing experience while adding to the unique layout of the town. One of several unique aspects of Qikou Ancient Town is its preservation of buildings, shops and historic relics that date back over two centuries
Lijiashan Cave-Dwelling Village:
Known for its distinct architectural ingenuity and dramatic landscapes, visitors may explore the unique cave-dwellings that serve as a global attraction. Each cave-dwelling was created by digging out individual cave-like holes on the face of steep slopes. Some of these complexes are over six layers high. Guests may stay at resort hotel establishments which specialize in providing lodging of your very own cave-dwelling, while enjoying a one-of-a-kind experience.
Red Date Festival:
Held annually during the month of September, travelers may attend the Red Date Festival. This includes an assortment of cultural entertainment such as folk operas and dance performances.
Red Jujube Forest:
For unique outdoor adventures visitors may experience Red Jujube Forest. Known as the Chinese date, the jujube is grown from an abundance of deciduos trees. Because of it's high toleration to severe weather conditions and its need for extremely hot summers, the region offers a perfect climate for optimal growth.
Sight-seeing excursions include Wohulong Temple, which stands as a glorious example of China's unique architecture while also providing visitors a true representation of the local historic culture of the region. These valued art treasures were originally built for a place to make offerings to various gods, spirits and ancestors.
Black Dragon Temple:
Located high above the town is XuanlongSi, the Black Dragon Temple is dedicated to local gods and used for local dieties. The location provides breathtaking views provided by its elevated location.
Shanxi, Qikou Ancient Town has an extremely cold climate in the winter and a very hot climate in the summer. It also experiences an annual rain fall of 400-600 millimeters annually. When arranging your travel plans, the months of May through October are the best time frame to visit as this duration provides for optimal climate conditions.
What To Pack
Because Shanxi Province, Qikou Ancient Town requires much to see, packing the appropriate items will help to keep you comfortable while exploring the region.
- comfortable walking shoes
- light jacket
- clothing consisting of light weight, breathable fabric
The preservation of more than 2 centuries of history is one reason so many people from all over the world visit Qikou Ancient Town. Because of this, transportation to Qikou is made by bus, taxi, or personal automobile.
Air transportation into Shanxi Province is provided by four airports consisting of Taiyuan Wusu International Airport, Datong Airport, Changzhi Wangcun Airport and Yuncheng Guangong Airport.
After your arrival, Taiyuan City provides several bus stations for your trip to Lisha City. Bus transportation from Taiyuan City begins at 5:30 a.m. daily and costs approximately 40 yuan ($6.35) per person. The duration of the trip takes approximately 5 hours.
The West Bus Station of Lisha then provides transportation throughout the day to Qikou Ancient City, which will take approximately 1 hour and cost between 5 to 8 yuan (0.79 - $1.27) per person.
If you prefer a taxi, there are many available in Lisha City with a cost of approximately 50 yuan ($7.94).
There are quite a number of establishments located in each city, which provide superb tour guide services. Local guides come with an extensive resource of Qikou Ancient City while understanding the layout of the area.