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Huang Long Xi Ancient Town
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Pete Sweeney (more chengdu)
Shuangliu County (双流县), 30km southeast of Chengdu. Total distance 42km.
To Get There: Xinnanmen Bus Station has buses to Huayang (华阳) every day, you can take a bus to Huang Long Xi in Huayang. From Chengdu to Huayang to Huanglong will cost 6.5RMB.
If you’re looking for a quite getaway from Chengdu, you could do far worse than Huang Long Xi (Yellow Dragon Stream) a small “traditional” town about 40 minutes outside Chengdu. Yes, it is touristy. The architecture is ersatz and the streets are lined with shops, but not obnoxiously so. The location at the confluence of two rivers is pleasant, and you can quickly get out of town and hike or bike around the countryside.

In town, the thing to do is wander around, go shopping, and drink tea, play cards, or mahjong at one of the many teahouses lining the river. You can also ride around on powerboats (very fast) or more traditional style barges that are pushed by poles (very slow). The local specialty is fermented beans wrapped in leaves, and they are for sale everywhere, in different flavors. Another, less pleasant, specialty is live beetles stuck to a sort of pinwheel. The beetles flap their wings, which causes the pinwheel to spin. It’s revolting in more ways than one (in my humble opinion) but there you are.

There’s also a sort of amusement park on the opposite side of the river, reached by a swinging suspension bridge. Most of the amusements involve some sort of shooting gallery, but they also have bungee trampolines and some very placid horses.

Getting there is easy. Buses run from the Xi Nan Men (西南们) bus station more or less every hour. Tickets are 8RMB. The last bus back to Chengdu is at 6:30, but make sure you get there a bit early as you might end up standing on the way back. Otherwise, stay overnight at one of the hotels or hostels in town and stroll along the boulevards among the red paper lanterns.

Huang Long Xi Ancient Town
Huang Long Xi Ancient Town Huang Long Xi Ancient Town Huang Long Xi Ancient Town