Welcome to Hóngjiāng Old Town
This little-known town (洪江古商城; Hóngjiāng Gǔ Shāngchéng) boasts an extraordinary history as a Qing dynasty financial and trading centre, due to its fortuitous location at the confluence of the Yuán (沅江; Yuán Jiāng) and Wū (巫水; Wū Shuǐ) Rivers. At one time it was the main opium-distribution hub in southwest China. Dating as far back as the Northern Song dynasty, the surrounding city is mostly modern now, but the past lives on in the remarkable old town, which is still home to a few thousand people. When arriving or departing by bus, look out for the delightful old white pagoda on the south side of the river to the west of town.