Zhenyuan, Eastern Guizhou

With a population of 60,000 people, Zhenyuan (镇远) is worth a visit if you go to Guizhou due to its high density of historical sights, charming scenery among mountains and a nice river as well as a nice old town and great scenery at night.

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I arrived late at night and since I traveled off season (mid of September), I was lucky enough to get a single bed in a 4 people’s dorm. The location of the hostel was super nice and I had a nice view from my window:

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Old and traditional stone alleys lead around the city and guide the way through the town. Most scenic spots can be found around the Wuyang River:

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Taking a half-hour climb up above the town, you’ll be rewarded by a nice view over the city:

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As you can see from the picture, you can see remains of the 16th-century wall built to protect Zhenyuan.

The next stop was the gorgeous Zhenyuan old town bridge with robust arches topped with a three-story pavilion, leading visitors across the water.

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Crossing the bridge will lead you to the Qinglong Dong, an epic vertical warren of temples, grottoes, corridors and temples, flooded with lights at night, forming a sublime backdrop to the town.

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After getting out of the maze, I found this amazing snack: Seeds of the lotus flower.

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It tastes a little bitter, yet tasty.

After a long day on the streets of Zhenyuan, the hostel boss asked me to join having dinner with her friends. We prepared it ourselves..

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… and enjoyed it together. My favorite was the chicken, cooked in coke (!).We had a great night  sharing food and stories! I had to leave the same night to catch my train, since I was running out of time, the new semester in Xiamen University was already calling. But I had the chance to take a glance at the beautiful night scenery of Zhenyuan:

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Next stop was Xijiang, a small town, south of Zhenyuan, being home for an interesting ethnic minority. Stay tuned!

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