Fengdu Ghost City
A few hours north of Chongqing on the north banks of the Yangtze River sits one of the most bizarre (and bizarrely popular with Chinese tourists) sites in China: Fengdu Ghost City. This temple complex atop a hill overlooking the river offers a vivid representation of the three tests that the dead must pass to enter the netherworld.
Ancient Chinese literature often dips into the realms of ghosts and the supernatural, and Fengdu is referenced heavily in works like Journey to the West. Buddhist and Taoist teachings blend with Chinese folklore to create a fascinating cultural study. There’s a pleasant hike up to the temple or a gondola for those who don’t want to walk. Once at the peak, the temple grounds make for a pleasant stroll. Fengdu Ghost City is almost always a stop on Yangtze River cruises.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fengdu Ghost City is a popular spot for anyone with an interest in Chinese religion and folklore.
- Cable car tickets are sold separately from general admission; choose between a one-way or round-trip ride.
- Give yourself at least two hours to explore the site.
- Due to many steps and uneven terrain, the site is not accessible to wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Fengdu Ghost City is on Ming Mountain, 107 miles (172 kilometers) from Chongqing. While most travelers visit Fengdu Ghost City as a part of a river cruise itinerary, it’s also possible to visit independently by taking Bus Line 109 to the scenic area.
When to Get There
The temple complex is open daily from 9am to 5pm. Try to visit during the spring (April and May) or autumn (September and October) when temperatures are most comfortable.
Nothing to Be Done Bridge
One of the most interesting features of Fengdu is this Ming Dynasty bridge that’s considered a link between the real world and the netherworld. Protocol for crossing the bridge depends on your age, gender, and marital status. According to local lore, virtuous visitors can pass over the bridge without trouble, while villainous individuals will fall into the pools below.