Wenchuan County, also known as “Lungu County” in Tibetan, is a county under jurisdiction of Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture. It is one of the four counties inhabited by Qiang people in China. It was called Miang-Si in Han Dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD).
The county seat of Weizhou Town is at the intersection of Minjiang River and Zagunao River in northern of this county. It is 1,325 meters above sea level, 146 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu, and 246 kilometers away from prefecture capital of Barkham City. National Highway 213 and 317 pass through the city.
Wenchuan County is adjacent to Pengzhou City and Dujiangyan City in east, Chongzhou City and Dayi County in south, Baoxing County and Xiaojin County in west, and Li County and Mao County in northwest and northeast.
Wenchuan County is a plateau mountainous area and resource-rich area. Dujiangyan-Wenchuan Expressway, Wenchuan-Barkham Expressway, National Highway 213, 317, and 350 all run through its entire territory. It is a passage to travel northwestward from Sichuan. It has gradually developed into a logistics distribution center in the three provinces of Sichuan, Gansu and Qinghai.
Best time to travel
Throughout a year
Subtropical monsoon climate
Most popular sites
Jiangwei City Ruin is a representative and important site in the upper reaches of the Minjiang River. It is located on the mountain behind the present Wenchuan Middle School in Weizhou Town, Wenchuan County.
Jiang Wei (202-264 AD) was a general of Shu Kingdom during Three Kingdoms period. He once went to Wenchuan to settle the border chaos. Jiangwei city ruin contains the remains of the Neolithic, Han and Song dynasties. The relics found in Song Dynasty remains in 2003 provided important materials for understanding the culture, economic exchanges and the management of the central government in this area at that time.
Luobu (Turnip) Village Scenic Spot, 150 kilometers away from provincial capital Chengdu, 18 kilometers away from Wenchuan County, is located on the south bank of Minjiang River in Yanmen Township on a mid-mountain plateau with an altitude of 1970 meters. The entire scenic spot is composed of Luozhai Village, Xinzhai Village, Xiaozhai Village, and Suoqiao Village. It is the largest and oldest Huangni Qiang Tribe discovered so far
The village is an absolutely village where Qiang people live together only. Luobu (Turnip) Village is located on a terraced terrace with a gentle and wide terrain. It is the largest flat land in the middle of the mountain in Minjiang Grand Canyon, and it is also the most ideal place for a bird’s-eye view of Minjiang Grand Canyon.
Yingxiu earthquake site is located at the entrance of Niu Miangou above Baihua Bridge in Yingxiu Town, and Caijiagang Village from Lianhuaxin to Xuankou Town. The earthquake site is mainly composed of Tian-beng Stone, Baihua Bridge, Xuankou Middle School. It was the epicenter of 5.12 Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.
Wenchuan Earthquake began to tear the earth from here. Accompanied by a loud sound of terror, millions of cubic meters of rock fragments poured down from the steep cliffs, causing a turbulent flow of rocks, zigzag-shaped along the valley and the mountains on both sides of the valley. Forming a rock flow nearly 3 kilometers long and 9 mountain hitting surfaces. The original Niu Miangou was instantly increased by 30 meters. At the intersection of Yingxiu Town, Wenchuan County, there stands a huge stone with the words “5.12 Epicenter Yingxiu”, which are particularly eye-catching. This boulder broke down when the mountain collapsed during the earthquake, and now it has become a landmark street sign for the epicenter of Yingxiu.
Jionglan Pagoda is located on the bank at the intersection of Minjiang River and Shouxi River. It is a Fengshui Pagoda, one of the eight scenic spots in Xuankou Town, and a prefecture-level cultural relics protection unit.
Jionglan Pagoda is a nine-level dense eaves brick tower with a height of 21 meters. The plane of the tower base and the tower body is a regular hexagon, and the surface is painted with white mortar. The base of the tower is slightly retracted from top to bottom. The base is 2.6 meters long and 6.5 meters high. There is an arched door on the southwest side with height of 2.4 meters and 0.80 meters wide. The eaves of each layer of the Jionglan Pagoda are overlapped and projected out with bricks. The height of each layer decreases from bottom to top. There is a small arched window in the middle of each layer and the top is a hexagonal spire.
Wolong National Nature Reserve is located in the southwest of Wenchuan County, 130 kilometers away from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Wolong Nature Reserve is the third large national nature reserve in China. The largest nature reserve in Sichuan Province. It has the most complex natural conditions, and the most rare animals and plants in the nature reserve. The protected area is 60 kilometers wide from east to west and 63 kilometers long from north to south, with a total area of 200,000 hectares. It mainly protects the natural ecosystems of the southwest alpine forests and rare animals such as giant pandas.
Geography and climate
Wenchuan County is located on southeastern edge of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the upper reaches of Minjiang River, the northwestern edge of Sichuan Basin, and the southeast of Aba Prefecture.
Wenchuan County is the largest concentrated settlements of Qiang ethnic groups, as well as one of the four counties inhabited by Qiang ethnic groups in China. The county is 84 kilometers wide from east to west and 105 kilometers from south to north, with a total area of 4,083 square kilometers.
The terrain of Wenchuan County slopes from northwest to southeast. The Longmen Mountains and Qionglai Mountains are located in its northeast and southwest respectively. The Longmenshan fault zone is still active nowadays
In its western part, there are mostly high mountains over 3000 meters above sea level, and the exit of Minjiang River in Xuankou in its southeast is only 780 meters above sea level.
Its northern part is a high mountain area, with plenty of sunshine, drought and little rain;
Its southern part is a middle-low mountain area with a humid climate and abundant rainfall.
The unique mountain climate is suitable for development of forestry in the south, and the development of ecological fruit industries such as “Wenchuan Sanbao” (sweet cherries, crisp plums, and fragrant apricots) in its north.
Wenchuan County presents a relatively complete vertical climate zone, which can be divided into 8 different small natural climate zones. The southern area is humid (Xuankou, Yingxiu area) and the northern area (Weizhou, Miangai area) tends to be very dry.
Annual average sunshine is more than 1600 hours, and annual average temperature is 12.9℃.
Minjiang River runs through the western part of the county and is 88 kilometers long. It is mainly composed of rivers such as Zagunao, Yuzixi and Caopo, with a drainage area of 1,429 square kilometers.
Population and ethnicity
As of 2015, the total population of Wenchuan County was 111,935, of which 39.5% were Qiang, 20.4% were Tibetan, 38.7% were Han, 1.1% were Hui, and 0.3% were other ethnic groups.
How to get to Wehchuan County
The easiest and quickest way is to take vehicle to Wehchuan County from Chengdu, which is only 146 kilometers and the drive takes about 2 hours.
Chengdu Shuangliu Airport
Add: Shuangliu District, Chengdu
Contact: +86 28 85205555
Airport code: CTU
Altitude: 495 meter
Chengdu Cha Dian Zi Bus Station
Add: No. 289, Section 5th, West Third ring road;
Jin-Niu district, Chengdu
Contact: +86 28 87506610
Altitude: 460 meter
Distance from Wehchuan County to
- Chengdu : 146 kilometers, about 2 hours’ drive
- Li County: 56 kilometers, about 1.2 hours’ drive
- Heishui County: 161 kilometers, about 3.5 hours’ drive
- Kangding City: 410 kilometers, about 6 hours’ drive
- Zoige County: 335 kilometers, about 6 hours’ drive
- Barkham City: 204 kilometers, about 4 hours’ drive
- Huanglong scenic Area: 233 kilometers, about 4.5 hours’ drive
- Langmusi: 420kilometers, about 7.5 hours’ drive
In the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC-9 AD), Wenshan County was established and 5 counties including Mian Si were under its jurisdiction. Mian Si was the county seat
In 106 BC, Sichuan was Yizhou, and Mian Si belonged to Shu County of Yizhou.
In 221 AD, “Han” kingdom was rebuilt in Shu, which was called “Shu Han” in history. Wenshan County is still established
In 280 AD, Wenshan County was subordinated to Yizhou,
In 347 AD, Han Dynasty was destroiedy, and Wenshan Jun (County) was still setup
In 486 AD, Wenshan Jun (County) governed the three counties of Duan, Qiji, and Yanguan.
In 568 AD, Wenshan County was moved from Du-an to present Weizhou Town, and Wenchuan County was restored.
In 583 AD, Wenzhou and Fuzhou were changed to Shu zhou,
From 907 AD to 965 AD, the scope of Wenshan County has been reduced, and the areas west of Weimen and Minjiang in Maowen County were occupied by Tubo kingdom
During Song Dynasty (960-AD 1279), Wenchuan County was still established, and under jurisdiction of Tonghua County, Maozhou.
Yuan Dynasty (AD 1271-AD 1368), Wenchuan area was occupied by Mongolian army
During Ming Dynasty (AD 1368-AD 1644), Wenchuan County was still located and belonged to Maozhou.
In Qing Dynasty (AD 1636-AD 1912), Maozhou was still established, and under jurisdiction of Chengdu Mansion.
In the 2nd year of Republic of China (1913), Wenchuan County belonged to Chuan Xi Dao(Region).
In 1950, Wenchuan County government was established, and be placed under Maoxian Prefecture.
In 1958, Wenchuan County and Mao County were abolished, Maowen Qiang Autonomous County was established, and the county governed Weizhou Town.
In 1963, Wenchuan County was restored.
In 1987, “Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture” was renamed as “Aba Tibetan Qiang Autonomous Prefecture”, since then Wenchuan County has been under its jurisdiction