Travel Diary- Hengdian

It's Easter long weekend which happens to coincide with my university mid-semester break and that means I can finally give myself a long overdue break. I warned you guys that blogging this year would take a hit, blame uni, an internship and a side project that I'm starting (more on this soon, like hoping 1/2 months soon-fingers crossed). For the next month the posts should be more regular because I aim to write like 5 posts tonight, which shall be released each week to keep you guys busy as I stress over uni assessments and exams. 

Back to the diary...

After visiting like 9 cities this summer (yes it was a really long time ago I know), I would have to say that this place was hands down my favourite. I have to admit that I am a very biased woman, I am an absolute sucker for Ancient China and the respective culture, etc. and so I would describe the experience as akin to that of kid in Disneyland or Universal studios- yes such a parallel can and must be drawn. Hengdian World Studios is unfortunately-and sadly- in the middle of nowhere, but it is the place where all the Ancient Chinese drama/film productions are shot and there is the off chance that you might be able to catch a glimpse of a star filming. Unfortunately I picked the worst time to visit as no one I knew/liked was filming but I did get some good photos so enjoy~

Oh I should also add that everything in Hengdian is man-made; it was literally farmland before some Chinese entrepreneur had a brilliant idea of making life-sized replicas of Palaces and what not. Now the guy is like a millionaire/billionaire so I guess he did pretty well. 

Old Guangzhou/Old Hong Kong (广州街 香港街)

Hong Kong way back then...

Ming Qing Palace aka the replica of the Forbidden City in Beijing (明清宫苑)

This is the shoot location for all the Ming and Qing period dramas, think Huan Zhu Ge Ge (Return of Princess Pearl) and Bu Bu Jing Xin, Zhen Huan, etc. And if you didn't know any better, but for the mountains in the background, you'd probably think that these photos were taken in Beijing.

So contrary to what my friends thought when they first saw these photos, I was not drunk but instead my mother thought it would be cool to reenact a scene from a drama that we both love (Bu Bu Jing Xin) especially because this was where it was filmed. 

Dream Valley (Night Visit) 梦幻谷 

Heed my advice and skip this place, it's the most expensive 280 RMB or roughly AUD55 and unless you love rides then you're only coming here for the 2 night shows which were nice and all but not worth the money. Tours don't usually include this in their package so it is an add on.

Qing Ming Shang He Tu 清明商河图

Absolutely loved this place, it was where the Korean drama Empress Ki was shot for any drama fans out there like myself. It would have been absolutely picture perfect were it not for the fact that there was a crane in the background and you could also see the ferris wheel from the Dream Valley (above location)

Some small stars shooting a drama

Drama production 

Did anyone order some cherry blossoms?

Or fake meat?

One of the shows that occur daily, Chinese acrobats are in a different league but these were pretty average only because Chinese people are held to very high standards

See what I mean by that crane 

Spot mother!

This is my last name so I guess this whole place belongs to me :)

Qin Palace  秦忘宫

Most recently this is where Fan Bing Bing's The Empress of China (武媚娘传奇)was shot and if you've watched the drama try to recoil which famous scenes were shot here. 

I thought the 8 dragon pillars (see below for a full shot) and the 99 steps were pretty amazing especially for like BC China. Basically if you couldn't be bothered reading the text in the photo, leading up to the main palace are 99 steps in total (we counted) and that is separated into 3 sections. With each step you cannot see where the steps end as in the flat level entrance into the palace and if you turn back the view also changes each time. That is to signify that with each step you are getting ahead in life or rising to a higher position and it is only when you reach the top that you have finally 'succeeded'. I don't know about you but I found that incredibly deep. I actually took like 20 photos to see what the view would look like but I thought that you guys might be like WTF is with all the same photos so I just chose 2.

At the bottom

Almost there but not quite as we still can't see the top properly


Another one of those shows, this time it was depicting the coronation of the Emperor

8 Dragon Pillars

Goodbye Hengdian because you will be sorely missed

So all up there are 10 places to visit within Hengdian that are open to the public, the ones that I went to were the most popular and the ones that tours take you to. If it is your first time in Hangzhou/China  of if you're not familiar with the country then I suggest going with a tour; I mean yes they never give you enough time but the one I went with didn't rope us into buying stuff so that was a major plus. The reason why I suggest that you don't DIY it is because Hengdian itself is like 2.5 hrs from Hangzhou city centre and Hengdian is massive like each location is a good few minutes by car and doing it by food it is unimaginable. Also the ticket prices will add up and going via a tour means you get discounted prices. For those curious I went on a 2-day tour with include the hotel stay. I went to the first 3 locations on the first day and the last 2 on the second day (I had a lot of time to explore these ones) and if you're planning on doing an overnight trip (which I suggest) there are a lot of hotels in the area. 

If you're a huge fan of Chinese dramas/movies and what not and you're there for the star spotting (guilty as charged) then I recommend that you baidu the drama/movie to know exactly where they're shooting. You should also hire a drive preferably from Hangzhou because the drivers in Hengdian profit big time from giving people rides. For example an aunty of mine went to some mountain to see if there was a star that she liked there and it cost her 500RMB/AUD 100 for the ride one way. 

If you have any questions regarding Hengdian or just my trip in general (more posts to come I promise) then just email me at: 

Price list as below:


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