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.
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:
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:
Taking a half-hour climb up above the town, you’ll be rewarded by a nice view over the city:
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.
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.
After getting out of the maze, I found this amazing snack: Seeds of the lotus flower.
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..
… 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:
Next stop was Xijiang, a small town, south of Zhenyuan, being home for an interesting ethnic minority. Stay tuned!