Exploring Furong, China: Journey Through History and Nature in This Ancient Town


Jan. 23 2024, Published 12:26 p.m. ET

Low-angle view of a pedestrian staircase leading up through ornate wooden buildings in Furong Town.
Source: iStock

Furong, aka Furong Ancient Town, aka Hibiscus Town, is a charming historical town nestled in the northwestern part of Hunan Province, China. If you’re planning your next trip to China, Furong is a place to consider.

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It's often referred to as the "Ancient Town Hanging on the Waterfall" due to its breathtaking scenic location, surrounded by lush mountains and graced by the magnificent Furong Waterfall cascading through its center.

Read on to learn all about Furong, China.

Furong Ancient Town's waterfall at night lit up with purple neon lighting and town lights around it.
Source: iStock
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Furong, China, is an ancient town with an incredible history.

More than 2,000 years old, Furong Ancient Town's well-preserved buildings and architecture allow visitors to travel back in time, giving them a glimpse into China’s rich history and traditional culture.

The town is home to the Tujia people, China's eighth-largest ethnic minority, per China Highlights. According to a YouTube video by the channel Walk China, Furong Town had a registered population of 34,000 at the end of 2019.

While Furong's picturesque beauty alone is enough to entice wanderlust travelers to embark on a trip here, there are also many other reasons to visit.

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Furong Ancient City enjoys breathtaking natural beauty.

Furong's crown jewel is undoubtedly the majestic Furong Waterfall. This 60-meter-high, 40-meter-wide cascade plunges into the You River, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Zhangjiajie Tour Guide says the waterfall is at its most glorious during the region’s rainy season (June to August). It’s also the largest waterfall in the area, and Zhangjiajie Tour Guide claims that walking behind it is like “placing oneself in a crystal palace.”

Close-up view of the ancient wooden architecture still visible in Furong Ancient Town.
Source: iStock
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The traditional Tujia architecture is something to behold.

Funrong’s unique architectural style is evident in the wooden stilted houses lining the narrow lanes. Per CGTN, these cliffside dwellings are known as “diaojiaolou.” Adorned with colorful decorations and intricate carvings, they offer visitors a glimpse into the Tujia way of life.

Furong offers a unique opportunity for cultural immersion.

Immerse yourself in Tujia culture by attending traditional performances, including vibrant dances and soulful folk music, which Hanfu Story says takes place throughout the day.

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Visit Our China recommends sampling local delicacies like ginger candy, which you can find on Wuli Flagstone Street, and "rice tofu", a popular snack that’s made with soy sauce, oil, and vinegar.

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Furong Ancient Town is a national 4A-level scenic spot.

Walk China also notes that Furong Town has been a national 4A-level scenic spot since 2012. Along with the waterfall, visitors can also enjoy the Xizhou Copper Pillars, Tusi Palace, and a stone cave.

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How to travel to the ancient town of Furong, China:

According to Top China Travel, a two-hour bus ride from Zhangjiajie or Jishou will get you to Furong Ancient City.

Rachel Meets China notes that you should check the bus schedule in advance, as they don’t run that often. She also recommends staying over in Furong, as the city is something to behold at night.

Top China Travel advises travelers who plan on adding Furong to their destination bucket list to visit during the warmer months (April to October). They warn that coming in winter (November to February) is extremely cold.

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