Zhaohua has the reputation of being one of the best-preserved small towns in Sichuan province, but recent construction of new housing with no regard for tradition detracts greatly from the overall ambiance. It does retain, however, its ancient flagged main street, three of its original gates, and an old well still used by nearby farmers. You can walk from the east gate to the west gate in eight minutes and stop in to see some of the Qing dynasty wooden houses that are still standing (right top). Although accessible by van, it is best reached on foot on Hike 12 along a nice stretch of flagstone (below left) that runs almost into town and provides fine views of the Jialing River. For photos of the current almost total transformation of Zhaohua, click on the link below: Zhaohua 2008 update.