Ancient Port (龚滩古镇)
Gongtanguzhen (龚滩古镇) is located in Youyang Tujia and Miao Autonomous County (酉阳土家族苗族自治県), southeast part of Chongqing.
It takes around 4 hours by direct bus from 龙头寺 bus stop at the city center of Chongqing to Gongtanguzhen.
The one-way bus ticket costs 100RMB.
It’s common to stay one night at Gongtanguzhen which is famous for its beautiful night view.
You can also go there by ferry but it takes more than 6 hours so not recommended unless you have enough time.
There are several cruise tours that drop in on Gongtanguzhen, which usually take around 3 to 5 days in total.
Gongtanguzhen is a village located 280km away from the Chongqing city centre.
It’s said that the village was first established back in the Three Kingdoms era.
The land in Gongtanguzhen is mountainous so not suitable/easy for living unlike plane lands.
Gongtanguzhen belonged to Fulingjun (涪陵郡) in Shu (蜀) in the Three Kingdoms era.
Water (river) transportation was important for Shu whose capital city was Chengdu (成都) in Sichuan area (四川), far from sea.
Especially Wujiang (乌江) and Apengjiang (阿蓬江) were key rivers connecting Sichuan, Guizhou (貴州), 、Hunan (湖南) and Hubei (湖北).
Thus, Gongtanguzhen located near the crossing point of Wujiang and Apengjiang played an important role as a supply port for Shu.
Merchants were tired after long river trip so stopped at Gongtanguzhen taking a rest and changing goods.
Thanks to the mountainous landscape and location, Gongtanguzhen was safe with little chance of invasions from other countries.
Therefore, Gongtanguzhen developed well just focusing on its function as a supply port.
At peak, Gongtanguzhen port’s cargo throughput reached above 500k.
In Gongtanguzhen, buildings are constructed over other buildings like a cup tower, which makes the unique appearance besides the river.
The roads (stone pavements) are crossing up and down again and again like a maze, which is exciting.
A lot of merchant ships visited Gongtanguzhen so restaurants and hotels were developed in Shu period.
Also, merchants carried various kinds of food from different part of Shu, which established the unique Gongtanguzhen cuisine.
Famous Gongtanguzehn cuisine is as below.
- Stuffed Tofu (酿豆腐:Niangdoufu): looks like a normal tofu at first appearance but actually a lot meat and vegetables are stuffed inside
- Buckwheat Baba (荞麦粑粑: Qiaomai baba): sweat sponged snack made of soba wheat
- Gongtan Green Pee Noodle (龚滩绿豆粉: Gongtan Ludoufen): healthy noodle containing green pee
Today a lot of cruise tours stop at Gongtanguzhen for one night.
Gongtanguzhen is one of China’s AAAA sightseeing spots and is chosen as a historical and cultural city.
You can enjoy the great nature in the silent village with rich history and tasty cuisines.
There are some cruise tours that starts from city centre of Chongqing, then stops at Gongtanguzhen and ends in Guizhou.
If you plan to visit cities other than Chongqing, this kind of tours is a good choice!