Songpan Ancient Town

350km from Chengdu, the ancient town of Songpan was named Songzhou in ancient times. It was built in Hongwu Period (1368-1398) of the Ming Dynasty. Since ancient times, it was not only a military fortress in the northwest of Sichuan Province, but also an important trading post for the "tea and horse trade" among Tibetan, Qiang, Hui and Han people with a long history.


Chinese name: 松潘古城

Location: Jing’an Town, Songpan County, Aba prefecture, Sichuan Province, China

Entrance fee to the Old City Wall is RMB150

Opening hours (to get in Old City Wall): 09:00-18:00

Suggested tour duration: 1-3 hours

Songpan Ancient City


According to the records of Songpan County, in the 12th year of Hongwu Period of the Ming dynasty (1379), general Ding Yu, a general of Pingqiang, sent a letter to emperor Zhu Yuanzhang, suggesting that a military guard should be set up in Songzhou after he pacified the rebellious army of Dong tiali and marched north to Songzhou.

During the reign of emperor Yingzong of the Ming dynasty (1436-1449), a popular uprising took place in Songpan. Those who stand on the top of the western mountain can observe the layout of the city. After the uprising was pacified, the western city wall was built from the foothills to the hilltops. In the fifth year of Emperor Jiajing (1526), the outer city was extended for more than 1,000 meters. So it took about 60 years to finally build Songpan City.

Songpan is also an important historical monument to the revolution. The CPC central committee held five important meetings during the long march, two of which were held in Songpan Ancient Town.

What to See

Songpan Old City Wall

One of the best-preserved city walls in China, Songpan Ancient City Wall was built in Ming Dynasty, 10 meters high, 30 meters wide and 6,200 meters long. It was constructed with tens of thousands of 50-cm-long and 12-cm-thick black bricks, each brick weighed 30kg. The mortar was made of glutinous rice, lime and tung oil, making the wall solid and sturdy. Located in the east, south and north of the city, the top of the three gates are in the shape of a half-moon. The stone on the foundation of the gate is carved with various reliefs of ingenuity.

Songpan City Wall

Remains of Anent Battlefield

Since ancient times, Songpan has been an important frontier town for soldiers. Today, a large number of historical passes, garrison and beacon towersand other ancient battlefield relics can still be found along the Minjiang River Valley and the Fuljiang River Valley.

Ancient Bridges

Inside Songpan Ancient Town, a swift and clear river, flowing from the eastern end, passing the central road to the south, along with the ancient bamboo buildings on both of the banks, makes the whole town lively and vivid.

Tongyuan Bridge is a wooden corridor bridge, together with the flower blossom and salix leaf constitutes a serene and beautiful rural painting during spring at high tide.


The mosque in the Songpan Ancient City is open to visitors from 5 a.m. every day, but the main hall is off-limits. It has five services a day. You can ask the local people about the schedule.

How to get to Songpan Old Town

Take the shuttle bus to Songpan County at Chengdu Chadianzi Passenger Terminal.

Other Attractions in Songpan:

  • Jiuzhaigou National Park
  • Huanglong National Park