Qingyan exudes historical and cultural charm
China Daily, March 14, 2013
Qingyan Ancient Town is visited not only for its antiquity but also due to its ethnic groups, who formed a unique culture over centuries.
These societies, including the Miao, Dong and Bouyei, have lived in Qingyan for centuries, creating a unique cultural fusion - one that has, with tourism, come to include haunted houses, archery ranges and palm readers.
Cobblestone streets of the town of 20,000 are lined with shops selling traditional ethnic snacks, liquor brewed in clay urns and Miao silver.
Visitors get to see these wares and also their creation. The streets are lined with townspeople sewing, hammering and pouring products that will end up on shelves.
Traditional snacks include deep-fried tofu balls and river fish, pickled trotters and iced rice noodles.
Ancient manors are adorned with prehistoric fossils, calligraphy and stone formations.
One of the more impressive structures is Longquan Temple - Qingyan's biggest - built in 1573. The 3,500-sq-m complex is divided into dozens of halls of stone formations, gardens and pools.
Visitors can also view the town by strolling atop its ancient wall.
The settlement's antiquated bulwark suggests a history of congenial diversity inside but an apprehension of outsiders.
However, today's Qingyan not only invites but also draws people from everywhere inside its gates.
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