Qing Mu Chuan Ancient Town (青木川古镇) is located in northwestern Ningqiang County (宁强县) in Hanzhong Area (汉中) of southern Shaanxi Province, western China. This place is also on the border with Gansu and Sichuan Provinces. The famous Jiuzhaigou scenic zone is 227 kilometers to the west of Qing Mu Chuan.
Qin Mu Chuan History
The place's name and the forming of the town have very long history. According to some historical documents, initially, Qing Mu Chuan was belonging to the residential area, where Han Chinese and ethnic Qiang had been living, located in ancient Sichuan area. In the Ming Dynasty, the royal court standardized Chinese places' names and the remote Shaanxi village was renamed Yong Ning Li (永宁里). In late Qing Dynasty, the village called No. 18 West Ning Qiang Zhou Road (宁羌州西路18牌). After founding the new China in 1949, local people named back it Qing Mu Chuan, because there was a giant green tree stood. Qing Mu means green tree and Chuan means Sichuan Province.
During the first half of twentieth century, the political situation was quite chaotic in China. It gave an opportunity to some bad guys to rise up. Wei Futang (魏辅唐) was an unemployed man but he was smart enough to be very powerful that he ruthlessly plundered the wealth in the old village by setting up an armed force and established a political regime, which was independent from the central government. Wei was a poor peasant and had two elder brothers. He killed a local militia leader and seized the power. He grew opium poppies, bought many guns and associated with armed groups stayed at the border of Shaanxi and Sichuan Provinces. So, they became a strong militia group in southwest Shaanxi Province. He owned many houses and had six wives. He did not take opium and not allow his soldiers to take too. He emphasized local cultural development, he run schools and opened theaters. Poor students were sent study outside the town by the aid of Wei Futang. However, he did not go out the village all his life. Before 1949, Qing Mu Chuan Ancient Town was prosperous, western style businesses, shops, teahouses and restaurants were many.
In December 1949, the People's Liberation Army liberated Qing Mu Chuan Town, and Wei Futang and his army surrendered. He was found guilty of brigandage, and sentenced to death in 1952.
Qing Mu Chuan has once been an important pass to ancient Sichuan Province and the vital area of the old Shu State. It was a strategically important place and merchants gathered there to do trade. In 1950, a regiment of People's Liberation Army garrisoned in Qing Mu Chuan village, expelled the Nationalist forces and guarded to ensure the successful establishment of the new government.
Qing Mu Chuan Geography and ClimateToday Qing Mu Chuan Ancient Town has an area of 208 square kilometers and about 8,000 inhabitants, with rich natural resources and forest covers about 15,000 hectares of land. About 35 sorts of plants can be found, of which five of them are the only testaments left today from the Ancient Tropical Zone of the Tertiary Period (65 million to 1.8 million years before present). There are many First Grade National Protection Animals, including giant panda, golden monkey, macaque and takin (a kind of wild ox). Scientists praise it as the natural gene vault of endangered species.
Furthermore, edible fungus, Chinese black mushroom, walnut and some raw materials for Traditional Chinese Medicine are produced here. Mineral resources are rich, too.
Qing Mu Chuan Ancient Town situates about the middle China, though Chinese call Shaanxi is in western China. It is quite difficult to find this place on a Chinese map. Unlike the city of Xian or Chongqing, Qing Mu Chuan has relatively mild weather all year round. The average daily temperature in the coldest month, January, is four degrees Celsius, and the hottest month, July, is 27 degrees Celsius. The rainy season starts from May and ends in October.
How to Get Qing Mu Chuan
Because the nearness of Qing Mu Chuan Ancient Town to Jiuzhaigou Scenic Area, Hanzhong area is a place to be visited during a Jiuzhaigou tour, which is a golden route in a typical China tour. Therefore, the coach starts at Hanzhong to Jiuzhaigou will stop at Qing Mu Chuan town everyday.