Anshun (安顺; Ānshùn) is a city in Guizhou Province, southwestern China. The city is rather small, but the huge waterfalls and caves in the surrounding area make this city a popular stop in most trips to Guizhou.
Anshun is a popular tourist destination just south of Guiyang. Waterfalls, caves and cool temperatures make Anshun an ideal summer vacation spot. The average temperature of Anshun is about 21 °C in summer. The best season to visit it is from June to October. Anshun ranked No 2 in a list of the Top Attractions of summer 2018, released by China Tourism Academy in July, following only Kunming of Southwest China's Yunnan province.
Today's city survives on tourism, subsistence farming, and its traditional batik industry, which capitalizes on the highly developed textile skills of the local Bouyi minority. The road between Anshun and Huangguoshu is roughly where Bouyi country starts to get interesting, so you could take a break between the must-see destinations to walk the countryside and do a little exploring. The Bouyi number around 3 million and live throughout western Guizhou. A writing system for the Bouyi language was devised in the 1950s and is used to record their rich folk literature. Surrounded by karst hills, Anshun has one of Guizhou's most scenic landscapes in the province.
Central Guizhou is the most travelled region of the province and it is also where the province's star sights, such as Huangguoshu Falls, Longgong Caves and Zhijin Cave, as well as its capital city, Guiyang, are located. Tourists flock here to Huangguoshu, the tallest waterfall in China. While not very well known to westerners, the Chinese TV version of the “Journey to the West” being filmed here means that almost everybody in China knows this scenery. Located on the Baishui River in Anshun, it is 77.8 meters high and 101 meters wide. Tourists can view the falls from many different angles, at the six main observation decks. Other popular sites, include the kaleidoscopic Dragon Palace Cave, and the Getu Karst Park which hosted the 2014 Black Diamond International Rock Climbing Championships. The Great Arch has become a magnet for technical climbers. Measuring 70 metres high and seventy metres across it is one of the largest such formations in the world and a challenge to thrill seekers from around the world. The Dragon Palace Cave is a spectacular underground karst cave 32 km southwest of Anshun. You can take a boat into the cave to view its spectacular subterranean scenery.
This is not very far away from the fascinating Zhongdong or Middle Cave where until around 2008 around twenty families were living in the in a humongous limestone cavern 1,800 metres (5,900 ft) up a mountain. This used to be the world's only year-round settlement inside a naturally occurring cave in China. Fifteen kilometres away from the nearest town, it had its own classroom, and basketball court as well as village houses.
Founded in the 13th century, the Anshun garrison grew into a prosperous trading post, mainly because of its strategic position along the overland trade routes between central and southwestern China. Once a centre for tea and opium trading, Anshun remains the commercial hub of western Guizhou and is now most famous as a producer of batik, kitchen knives and the lethal Anjiu brand of alcohol.
A Sunday market found in Anshun once drew large numbers of minority villagers from all over the countryside, though it has become of less interest. However, most weekends you will still encounter women villagers in traditional dress on Anshun's streets selling vegetables or things such as home-made brooms. Once a marvellous historical city ringed by a town wall, the city's heritage has largely vanished and it is the surrounding sights that are the real draws.
The long-distance bus and train stations are 3 km and 4 km south of downtown respectively. The main commercial and shopping areas are found on Zhonghua Donglu, Gufu Jie and Zhonghua Nanlu.
Frequent buses travel between Guiyang and Anshun. The trip takes about 2 hours. There is still almost one hour's trip from Anshun to the famous waterfall, Huangguoshu.
Buses to Anshun leave from every one of Guiyang's stations (¥25, two hours, every 20 minutes from 07:00 to 19:00). Any Guiyang bound bus out of Xingyi or Weining will also let you off in Anshun if you tell the driver.
There are several bus stations in Anshun that are useful to travellers. The north bus station (客车北站; keche beizhan) has buses (¥34, three hours, every 20 minutes, 07:00 to 18:00) to Zhijin town (for Zhijin Cave). Almost every other bus now leaves from the new east bus station (东客运站; dong keyunzhan), 10km east of the centre. Bus 16 (¥1) runs here from Zhonghua Nanlu opposite the Xixiushan Binguan. A taxi is ¥25 to ¥30.
- Guiyang ¥35, 1½ hours, every 20 minutes (07:10 to 19:10)
- Huangguoshu ¥20, one hour, every 20 minutes (07:20 to 19:00)
- Kunmíng sleeper ¥150, 10 hours, four daily (09:00, 10.40, 13:00 and 16:00)
- Longgong Caves ¥10, 40 minutes, every 30 minutes (07:30 to 18:00)
- Pingba ¥15, 40 minutes, every 30 minutes (07:30 to 18:30)
- Shuicheng ¥60, 3½ hours, every 50 minutes (08:20 to 16:40)
- Weining ¥90, five to six hours, one daily (10:00)
- Yunfeng ¥5, 40 minutes, every 30 minutes (07:30 to 18:00)
The original Anshun Railway Station on Zhonghua Road and was built in 1960. Sleepers from here used to take ten hours to Kunming and 12 hours up to Chongqing. The new Anshun West railway station is part of the Hangchangkun Passenger Railway on the Kunming – Guiyang High Speed Train. From Kunming South Station to Guiyang North Station is a distance of 463 km (288 miles) which takes between two and three hours. Every day, there are about 40 G-trains departing from Kunming South Railway Station from about 07:00 to 21:00. With much shorter travelling time than driving for over 7 hours, it is easy to stop in Anshun (about 1 hour 40 minutes to 2 hours 15 minutes from Kunming South), and visit the famous Huangguoshu Waterfall on the way. In turn this is part of the 2,066-km (1,284 mi) Shanghai–Kunming high-speed railway, which passes through the four provincial capitals, of Hangzhou, Nanchang, Changsha, and Guiyang. The last section, Guiyang–Kunming, was opened on 28 December 2016.
Most of the non-high-speed trains heading east stop in Guiyang (¥15, 1½ hours, regular), but they are slowly being phased out in favour of the G trains. It is still hard to get sleeper reservations for trains from here; pick them up in Guiyang at the ticket office a few hundred metres north of the train station on Zhonghua Nanlu. Destinations include the following but it is best to check to make sure that they are still running:
- Cǎohǎi (for Weining) ¥37, three to five hours, eight daily
- Guiyang ¥15, 1½ hours, regular
- Kaili ¥43, four hours, nine daily
- Kūnmíng ¥75 (seat), ¥133 (hard sleeper), eight to 10 hours
- Liùpánshuǐ ¥24, 2½ hours, regular
Bus Number 1 zips around town from the train station and up Tashan Donglu, and on past the Hongshan Binguan. Bus 2 travels between the train station and the north bus station. Bus 16 runs from Zhonghua Nanlu to the east bus station. Buses cost ¥1. Taxi ﬂagfall is ¥6.
- Confucian Temple. The ancient temple now becomes an elegant tea-house.
- Hongshan Shuiku (near the downtown). A big reservoir.
- 1 Huang Guo Shu Waterfalls. This is one of the largest waterfalls in China. It is visible from the front, and you can walk through the cave behind the falls to see it from the back. You will get wet from the spray and mist if you go anywhere near the main fall, so bring a raincoat. The entrance fee does not include the bus within the park, which is ¥50 extra. The bus from Anshun to Huangguoshu Falls leaves from Anshun East Bus Station, takes an hour, and costs ¥24. ¥180.
- Longgong Caves (龙宫洞), Longtan Village, Longgong Town, Xixiu District, Anshun 561021, China, ☏ . The vast cave network snakes through twenty hills just 17 miles (27 km) SW of Anshun and 100 km (62 miles) SW of Guiyang. Dragon Castle and Tianchi Lake, the Underground River Karst Cave is 15 km long and is the longest water Karst cave in China; Dragon Gate Flying Waterfall - is the biggest waterfall inside a Karst cave in China. This is a mountain lake that is about 90 meters above the river bed below. The large lake was formed when water from the above cave broke an opening at the bottom thus creating a lake below. You can actually see the water rushing in and making a deafening noise.;
Despite the elaborateness of the Longgong park site, it represents only a small portion of the ninety or more caves in this network. However, like the Huangguoshu Falls area nearby, this region continues to be aggressively developed for tourism – and signs regularly appear pointing the way to modest new ‘scenic sights’ within the Longgong area. Only six caves, all connected by an underground river covering 854 m (2,800 ft), are open to exploration, accessed by boat through the flooded entrance, Tian Chi (Heaven’s Pool), which is partially concealed by a 40-m (130-ft) high waterfall. Inside, the largest cavern is about 80-m (260-ft) high. The caves are filled with colorfully-lit stalactites and stalagmites, and numerous oddly-shaped rock formations. During the rainy season, the boat ride ends at Tiger Lair, a broad platform from where visitors hike out of the caves and walk back to the entrance through an attractive stone forest of weathered karst spikes. The cave is visited by taking a boat tour through the cave but on the far side you have the option to get off and walk to the dry Tiger Cave. The mountain lake runs down to the river below in an impressive waterfall.;
Most other sights here will be anticlimactic after the Dragon’s Cave and many people continue on to Huangguoshu Falls after finishing their boat tour. But if you want to linger, you can follow footpaths to some of the more modest caves or continue on to Guanyin Cave (观音洞), the second biggest attraction in the park, about 3km away.;
To visit, you have to take a guided (Chinese-only) tour on one of the small boats, which lasts about 40 minutes (though in summer the flood of Chinese tour groups causes a watery gridlock that can draw this out substantially). There are three jetties inside the caves, and you need to change boats inside the caves in order to complete the whole journey. Life jackets are provided but choose carefully as some can be a bit dirty and smelly.;
The guides give a little geological background on the caves, but mostly they just point out the various karst formations with their flashlights and let everyone play ‘What does it look like?’. The recorded music and coloured spotlights here can feel a bit over the top at times, but most travellers enjoy drifting through the caves anyway. When busy it can feel very rushed with little time to appreciate the beauty of the caves. It is like a tourist production line. The boat guide uses a green laser to point to interesting features within the cave for half a second and spits out its name but you couldn't see anything because it is all too fast.;
Walking into another cave is quite challenging for older visitors as it is dark and wet in some places, and it is necessary to walk 6 floors down and 6 floors up steps along narrow limestone walls, but mostly the steps are low riser-types and there are sturdy handrails. Taking a lift to avoid climbing a staircase 10 stories high costs ¥25 one way. There is also a flying fox option for younger more adventurous visitors.;
At the end of the walk, there is the choice of taking a tourist bus for ¥20 or walking another 7 km to get back to the starting point or entry. Entrance fee for seniors is only ¥5. Hiring a tourist guide for a group is ¥150;
There are a few small restaurants serving farmers’ or villagers’ meals but at distinctly tourist prices.
Not far away from the exit of the caves, there is a piece of grassland with a large Chinese character "dragon" and there you can take beautiful photo shots. ¥120.
- Shítouzhai 石头寨. Over 600 years old, this little Bouyei hamlet is packed with small stone houses, cobbled lanes in a lovely setting is not far from Huangguoshu Falls. Everyone here who is not involved in farming seems to somehow be involved in batik production, and you may be invited into a villager’s home to watch the process. This is becoming a popular stop for Chinese tourists and you can see efforts are being made to spruce the place up for travellers; some of the village equipment has bilingual signs explaining its use and the ponds across the street from the village have been landscaped and are dotted with a couple of small waterwheels. Definitely the Dali and Lijiang influence is strong here.;
An hour or two would be more than enough to see it all, and a stop here is a pleasant diversion either on your way to or back from Huangguoshu Falls. However, the karststudded landscape surrounding Shitouzhai is lovely and some travellers may consider hanging around to explore some of the villages spotting the nearby hills or to do some of the lovely walks that would be possible in the area.;
Sleeping & eating;
There is only one guesthouse open year-round ;
Shítouzhai Jingqu Zhaodaisuo (石头寨景区招 待所; Tel: 1376-536 4841) Just a few metres inside the village gates and run by a lovely family, this place has simple beds in dark wood rooms. The wooden floors are disturbingly creaky but the shared bathrooms and showers are clean and modern. A single room with a Ming-style ‘antique’ bed costs ¥150. Others are under construction and should be accepting guests by the time you read this.;
There are a couple of small restaurants here too, but they are only open in high season months (roughly April to September).;
Getting there & away;
To get here, take a Huangguoshu-bound bus from Anshun and tell the driver you are going to Shitouzhai (¥5-8, 30 to 40 minutes). You will be let off at a road forking away from the main highway. Follow the road for about 2 km until you reach Shitouzhai. You’ll know when you have arrived by the landscaping: there will be a pond with a waterwheel on the right, and, just afterwards, a clutch of stone houses on your left where you will find the village entrance. To leave, walk back to the fork in the road. If you are continuing on to Huangguoshu, most buses heading west will pass the falls; if you are going to Anshun, flag down any bus heading eastward. ¥15.
- Yunshan. Lying about 15 km (9 miles) east of Anshun, Yunshan is yet another fortified village, founded by Ming-dynasty troops. It is not hard to see why there were so many rebellions and uprisings in this area followed by large scale bloody massacres. This one contains a scattering of old structures, including the elegant Qiyan Qiao, a seven arch bridge. Tiantai Shan, 25 km northeast of town, is a 400-m (1,300-ft) hill with a cluster of thickly forested crags, whose summit is crowned by a Buddhist temple dating from 1616. Another 25 km southwest of Anshun, Zhenning County has a concentration of traditional Bouyi villages. The houses are built of skillfully laid drystone walls, with roofs tiled in hand-cut slates, overlapping like fish scales. The village of Shishao, built almost entirely in stone, is known for its Ground Opera, a regional variation of traditional Han opera, brought here by soldiers from Nanjing during the Ming era.
- Anshun Opera. Anshun too, just like Beijing and Sichuan has its very own version of the art: ground opera. Called dixi in Chinese, ground, or ‘open-air’ opera, as it’s sometimes also known, dates back to the Ming dynasty. As part of the performance, actors wrap black see-through cloth over their foreheads and don traditional masks made from bamboo shoots. Up to 50 masks may be used in one opera. The colours of the masks are very symbolic: black denotes righteousness, red symbolises loyalty and bravery, while white indicates evil. Blue and green masks are reserved for monsters or particularly nasty bandits. Banners are also worn on the actors’ backs to denote rank, as in the Běijīng Opera. The operas originally served to drive out evil spirits but have merged with local religious dramas and Han classics such as the Romance of Three Kingdoms and History of the Sui and Tang Dynasties. The plots are livened up by gongs, drums, stilts, flags and displays of martial arts to keep the audience’s mind from wandering during the slow bits.
- Tun Bu Village 天龍屯堡, Qiyanqiao Town, Xixiu District, Anshun 561006, China. Around 6000 people live around this ex-army family quarters that dates back to the Ming Dynasty. The local architecture reflects their expertise in stone masonry skill. The houses here use stones instead of tiles to cover the house as there is no mud around. there are numerous examples of ancient housing, though some of this is in serious disrepair and undergoing renovations. Ladies garments normally comprise of colourful long, loose gowns with Chinese embroidery and laces. Ladies wear long scarfs also covering their heads. ;
Here once lived in exile the richest man in the world called Mr Shum. His wealth caused the Emperor to wish to kill him. Mr Shum gave all his wealth to the Emperor in exchange for an exile here. Tourists can see the house of his son where Mr Shum lived for a few years.;
The village is easily reachable, about 25 km or half an hour from Anshun. The village is popular for its ginger infused tea served by local women is indeed refreshing. There is a Ground Opera performance at 11:00 that is worth watching if you get there at the right time. Bathrooms are at the entrance, so go before you go.;
Visitors can hire a minibus in the Anshun minibus area near the railway station for ¥200 for a trip that takes about 30 minutes. You can then hire a guide at the entrance for ¥80 for 2 hours, which might be a good idea as the route winds through the village. ¥30.
- Yunfeng Bazhai 云峰八寨 Yunfeng Eight Villages, South of Xixiu District, Xixiu District, Anshun 561000. 08:00-18:00. Yunfeng Bazhai is a scattering of traditional villages about 20 km northeast of Anshun. Introduced by the mildly interesting Tunpu Culture Museum (屯堡文化博物 馆 through ticket ¥50; 08:00-18:00), which serves as the point of entry, the village of Yunshan (云山), at the top of a steep set of steps from the road a 15-minute walk from the museum, is a gem. Hung with bright yellow dried corncobs and red lanterns, protected by a wall and a main gate and overlooked by the Yunjiu Shan (Cloud Vulture Mountain), the settlement is a charming and unruffled portrait of rural Guizhou. At the heart of the almost deserted village stands the rickety Money God Temple (Caishen Miao), opposite an ancient pavilion.;
These eight villages are close to each other, and mostly are preserved very well. Most houses are made of stones, even with stone slabs to make roofs for the house. As expected, villagers are the descendants of the soldiers from 600 years ago. They still keep on their traditional costumes, hairstyle, language. With so many army descendants everywhere, it is surprising that there are any minorities left.;
From Yunshan itis a 15-minute walk along the road to the village of Benzhai (本寨), also at the foot of Yunjiu Shan. With its old pinched alleyways, high walls, carved wood lintels, stone lions and ancient courtyard residences, Benzhai is brim-full of history and is also stone and slate and undergoing restoration. There are a lot of old women in local dress who are very happy to be photographed. It is great whether you are a photographer or not. The village has lovely stone houses with slate roofs. The slate is laid out to form a diamond pattern, which is visually interesting and good for photos. ;
Do not miss the chance to walk up to Yunjiu Temple (云鹫寺) at the top of Yunjiu Shan for some of the most extraordinary views in Guizhou. You can walk virtually all around the top of the temple for a sublime and unparalleled panorama of fields and peaks ranging off into the distance. In spring, flowering bright yellow rapeseed plants (youcaihua) add vibrant splashes of colour.;
To reach Yunfeng Bazhai, take a bus (¥5, 40 minutes, every 25 minutes, 07:00-18:00) from Anshun’s east bus station. The last bus from Yunfeng Bazhai to Anshun leaves at 18:20, passing through Benzhai. Coming from Tianlong, hop on a bus from the main road to Qiyanqiao (七眼桥; ¥5, 20 minutes) and then take a motorbike (¥10) for the 10-minute journey to the museum and the villages. ¥70.
- Canola Fields (油菜花). From Anshun East Bus Terminal buy a ticket to Le Ping (乐平) which can trace its origins back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and has been fortified by stone constructions. The women's costumes and accessories are especially beautiful. Knee-length robes with wider sleeves are typical of Tan Bao women's dressing styles. The robe's neckline, cuffs and front are embroidered with colourful designs. They are very good in their embroidery. Ten minutes’ walk upwards from the main entrance of Yunfeng Eight Village is a beautiful golden sea of canola fields. This is a good option in case you miss the rapeseed blossoms at nearby Luoping in Yunnan. The last bus from Le Ping to Anshun is at 18:00.
- Xingwei Stone Expo Park, Middle Section of Xihang Avenue, Development Zone, Anshun, China. A very well-organized indoor museum with displays of beautiful stones and wood carvings. The number of items on display was huge and the items are of very high quality and wide variety and are the private collections of a rich Chinese local. Not quite as authentic as the stone and carving wholesale market in Guilin but interesting all the same.
- The Fuwen Miao temple (府文庙), Hongxueba Lu(黉学坝路). The temple is a charming Confucian temple in the north of town with some stunningly intricate cloud-scrolling carvings on the twin stone pillars before the main hall. The building itself is slightly crumbly and dilapidated and the grounds overgrown, but that just adds to its charm. Admission ¥10.
- Hongshan Reservoir (虹山水库(Hongshan Shuǐku)). Hongshan Reservoir is popular with locals for paddle boating in summer and polar bear swims in winter. Southeast of the Confucian Temple, Buddhist Donglin Temple was built in AD 1405 (during the Ming dynasty) and restored in 1668. Located down a lane off Zhonghua Donglu, the resident Buddhist monks welcome visitors warmly to this temple. Longwang Miao is another working Buddhist Temple, just off Zhonghua Beilu.
- Anshun city walls (安顺城墙遗址(Anshun chengqiang yizhi)). A modest chunk of the former Anshun city walls (安顺城墙遗址;) stands opposite the Fènghuángshān Dàjiǔdiàn on Tashan Donglu, where a revealing photo on the wall depicts Anshun during Republican days, before the advent of concrete, road widening and socialist aesthetics.
The old part of Anshun, which lies in the northern of the centre area, is a nice place for an evening walk.
Festivals and eventsEdit
A few minor festivals are held in the Anshun area, though they are generally not as spectacular as those held around Kaili. None of them are worth the trip to Anshun alone, but if you happen to be in town already, they are a pleasant diversion and certainly a nice excuse to get out and explore the countryside. Always double-check dates with local tourism officials before heading off into the wilds to attend any of the following festivities as dates are known to change from year to year, as well as the location. Tiaohua Flower Dance Festival Held in Miao villages during the first lunar month. The main location in Anshun is Flower Dance Hill, a few kilometres northwest of town; festivities occur from the 4th to the 6th of the first lunar month. Other gatherings are held at Machang and Gaofeng villages (Pingba County), halfway between Anshun and Guiyang, and in Qingzhen town.
Sanyuesan At Pogong (Guanlǐng County), 80nkm southwest of Anshun, and at Huohua (Ziyun County), 100km south of Anshun, on the 3rd day of the third lunar month. The festival has different significance depending on what minority group is celebrating it, however, all groups mark it with singing and dancing.
Sìyueba ‘Ox King’ Festival Held at Jiuzhou and Shuangbao villages, both about 25 km east of Anshun, on the 8th day of the fourth lunar month. Liuyueliu is a Bouyi festival at Luohe (Ziyun County), 67 km southeast of Anshun, and Lazhai (near Huangla town), 56 km east, on the 6th of the sixth lunar month. Activities include ground opera and singing competitions. Eating New Rice Festival Held at Huolong and Dagouchang villages, 55 km east of Anshun, south of the main highway, sometime during the seventh or eighth lunar months. Newer festivals include the Guizhou Batik Festival, a state-sponsored festival set up to display (and flog) batik to the tourists from the 28–29 September. Authorities have also introduced the annual Guizhou Anshun Aviclub General Aviation Flight Carnival, which will hold promotional events for air travel.
The region produces a lot of batik (蜡染画; làrǎn huà), some of the batik you see in Dali and most of it in Yangshuo is from Guizhou. There are also various other handicrafts. There are a group of stores selling these and other tourist bric-a-brac along the west side of the main street just north of the bus station. The train station is at the south end of the same street.
The stretch of Zhonghua Nanlu near Zhonghua Donglu is where the city's big commercial stores and shopping centres are located. The Wholesale Market of Small Goods in Anshun (Anshun Laran Shichang; Zhonghua Nanlu; 中华 南路) is the city's main market and probably the most interesting place to prowl. For a peek at the more contemporary side of Anshun, Gufu Jie is a street of trendy clothing stores and bakeries, and snack stalls that get so packed on weekends it is hard to move. Several ethnic groups across southwestern China have been traditionally involved in creating batik. For almost 1,000 years, the Bouyi around Anshun have been using batik as a background to embroidery on clothing, and since the establishment of a factory in Anshun in the 1950s, have come to monopolize the indigenous textile market. The designs, which were originally of abstract plants and animals, are drawn with wax on cloth. The cloth is then dyed in indigo before being boiled to remove all traces of the wax, leaving the pattern in white on a blue background. The earlier monochromatic batiks have now given way to multi-colored, mass-produced designs, which include stylized representations of zodiac animals, scenes from Bouyi legends, and mythical creatures. Today, Anshun's batik is in great demand across China.
There are lots of places to eat in Anshun, but precious little to recommend. There is a food market down an alley off Zhonghua Nanlu, just south of the Bank of China. There are some bakeries and several hole-in-the wall places on Gufu Jie. There is also a huge supermarket on Zhonghua Nanlu, perfect for picking up snacks for day trips. Be forewarned: dog is eaten in these parts… lots of dog. You will often see the skinned animals boiled and propped up outside restaurants as an enticement to customers.
There are twin rooms for ¥100 just on the left when you leave the train station.
There is a lot of midrange accommodation in Anshun that is geared to Chinese tour groups, which is generally drab and undistinguished. Anju Binguan (220 1359) has budget rooms right next to the station but the bathrooms are tiny. Directly opposite is the Xixhiushan Binguan (221 1888) has doubles for ¥200-300 but the rooms are ridiculously cramped. Bathrooms are exactly the opposite – sparsely outfitted and often the same size or bigger than the actual sleeping area. Gongdianju Zhaodaisuo on (332 9124) Zhonghua Nanlu; 中华南路; only has basic little budget rooms with Chinese toilets and cubby-hole-like showers with no doors. Henghuangshan Dajiudian (Golden Phoenix Mountain Hotel (322 5663) with is garish classical Greek façade on Tashan Donglu; 塔山东路58号) has similarly priced rooms that definitely starting to show their age.
Among foreign tourists, the two most popular choices are the two western branded properties.
- Set on the edge of the beautiful Hong Shan Lake, but still in the city center, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Anshun is adjacent to the municipal government, and offers easy access to highways, the train station and airport. Huang Guo Shu Waterfall is only 40 km away, and the Wen Temple of Anshun is within walking distance. Friendly staff greet you on arrival with a signature, warm chocolate chip cookie. Ask for a room overlooking the lake. They are slightly more expensive than the standard US$60 rooms, but are definitely worth it. The sunrise over the lake is breathtaking, and a fantastic way to start the day. Popular with business travelers on Hilton Honours Benefits. The view from the Executive Lounge is especially impressive. On the downside, even up here on the non-smoking floor, so of the rooms have really strong ashtray odours. A walk around Hong Shan Lake waterfront reveals swimmers in the lake and locals doing exercises. Ask the Concierge for directions to Gu Fu Jie at night, which is a buzzing food street. Tel: 851 3366 9666 No.42 Hongshanhu Road.
- Howard Johnson Hot Spring Resort Anshun is 3 km from the airport and very convenient the high-speed railway station. Rooms and public areas are tastefully decorated with examples of local culture and characteristics. There is even a sky garden so that you can enjoy the surrounding mountain scenery By the time you read this, the hot springs will be open and operational. Special family suites make the place very suitable for those travelling with children.
219 Xihang Road.
- Bank of China (中国银行; Zhongguo yinhang cnr tashan Xilu and Zhonghua nanlu; 09:00 - 17:00)
- China Post (Zhongguo Youzheng; cnr Tashan Donglu and Zhonghua Nanlu) Tucked in next to the China Telecom building.
- China Travel Service (CTS; Zhongguo Luxingshe; Tel: 323 4662; Tashan Donglu M-F 09:00 - 17:00) No English signs outside. Look for a blue sign with yellow Chinese characters.
The long-distance station on the corner of Zhonghua Nanlu and Huangguoshu Dajie has a handful of handy destinations, and the bus stand in front of the train station has buses for numerous provinces in the southeastern part of China. These are much reduced with the arrival of the high-speed train but still represent a budget optiuon for immigrant factory workers and masochistic backpackers.
Destination Price Duration Frequency Departs
Foshan ¥260 19hr daily 12:00
Fuzhou ¥360 32hr daily 12:00
Guangzhou ¥240 20hr daily 12:00
Shenzhen ¥280 22hr daily 12:00
Xiamen ¥320 28hr daily 12:00
Local buses depart every hour from Anshun's East bus station (¥5-10, 30 to 40 minutes, every 20 to 30 minutes from 07:00 to 17:00). The last bus returns to Anshun at 17:00. From March to October, minivans to microvans run all day between Longgong and Huangguoshu (¥15-30, 30 minutes), leaving when full. They run infrequently, if at all, the rest of the year, but there are always plenty of taxis at the Huangguoshu parking lot that you can take.