Jianshui County Overview

Jianshui owns its reputation with Jianshui ancient town and profound Confucius culture in Confucius temple. Jianshui Overview is a relatively comprehensive introduction to Jianshui county. It can help you have a more comprehensive understanding of Jianshui from the basic information, geographical location, climate and so on.

Basic Information

Geographical Location

Located at the north bank of the Red River in south Yunnan Province, Jianshui borders Kaiyuan City in the east, Shiping County in the west, Tonghai County in the north and Yuanyang County in the south, with a area of about 3789 square kilometers. 

Jianshui County lies on the south of Yunnan province, the south edge of of east Yunnan plateau, and Tropic of Cancer runs through the south of Jianshui. The terrain is high in the south and low in the north. The mountain area in Jianshui covers 3381 square kilometers, accounting for 89% of total area. The area of basin is 408 square kilometers, the largest basin is Jianshui basin, followed by Qujiang basin and Miandian basin. The highest peak in Jianshui is Wulao Peak of Huanwen mountain(焕文山五老峰), 2515 meters above the sea level. Atu village on the Honghe river bank, only 230 meters above the sea level, is the lowest point in Jianshui. 


Jianshui County is located in low-latitude area, and the Tropic of Cancer runs through its south. Jianshui enjoys a subtropical monsoon climate, possessing long sunshine duration and frost-free season, as well as high effective accumulative temperature. Influenced by the changes of seasons and terrain, the climate presents three-dimensional climate characteristics of hot and rainy in summer and mild and rainless in winter.

Best Time to Visit Jianshui

Because there is no severe cold in Jianshui in winter, tourists can travel to Jianshui all the year round. However, the best time to visit Jianshui are March to April and September to November, when the temperature and rainfall are favorable. 

Administrative Divisions

Jianshui County has jurisdiction over 4 towns and 8 townships, namely, Linan Town(临安镇), Qujiang Town(曲江镇), Nanzhuang Town(南庄镇), Xizhuang Town(西庄镇), Qinglong Township(青龙乡), Chake Township(岔科乡), Miandian Township(面甸乡), Potou Township(坡头乡), Guanting Township(官厅乡), Puxiong Township(普雄乡), Panjiang Township(盘江乡) and Dianwei Township(甸尾乡).

Top Attractions in Jianshui

  • Jianshui Old Town, one of the national historic and cultural towns of China.
  • Zhu Family Gardena local residence with distinctive features.
  • Jianshui Confucius Temple, the third largest Confucius temple after Shandong Qufu Confucius temple and Beijing Confucius temple.
  • Tuanshan Village, built in Qing Dynasty, regarded as the Gem of Chinese Civil Houses.
  • Double Dragons Bridge or Shuanglong Bridge, also called the Seventeen-Archway Bridge, is a large stone bridge with three towers and 17 archways.
  • Jianshui Swallow Cave, renowned for millions of Pacific Swifts living in the cave.

Recommended Hotels in Jianshui

★★★★★ ★★★★ ★★★
Heyuan HotelLinan HotelTing Zi Yun ResortHanlinyuan Boutique Hotel Tongxin HotelFuyuan Hotel Jianshui HotelJianshui Guotai HotelRed Sky InnJianshui Story Inn


There is no airport at Jianshui County. You are supposed to get to Kunming first, and then there are two ways you can get to Jianshui: one is long-distance bus from Kunming to Jianshui bus terminal, which takes about 3.5 hours. There are more than 10 buses every day. The other one is train from Kunming to Jianshui railway station, which takes about 2 hours by train. 

Local Specialty

Jianshui Shopping list includes Jianshui purple pottery, bird's nest, Jianshui pomegranate, steam pot, lion cake, tofu, preserved tomatoes and so on. You can also taste local food like Jianshui grass shoot, roasted tofu, steam pot chicken, Jianshui rice noodle.

Ethnic Culture

Jianshui is a county with multi-ethnic groups. It is home to many ethnic groups, including Han, Hani, Yi, Dai, Hui, Miao, Zhuang, Lisu, Lahu, Wa, Naxi, Shui, Yao, Man, Dulong, etc. Among them, Han has the largest population, about 2/3 of total population, followed by YiHui, Hani, Dai and Miao, etc. Different ethnic groups own different ethnic cultures, which form diverse and colorful ethnic minorities culture in Jianshui county. The culture in Jianshui is a multi-ethnic fusion pattern, main customs include "festival lantern", "long street banquet", folk song of Yi "four tune(四大腔)" and so on.

More Jianshui County Culture


Jianshui was also known as Butou(步头) or Badian(巴甸) in ancient time. In Nanzhao kingdom of Tang dynasty, Huili city(惠历城) was built, which was translated as "Jianshui" in Chinese and belonged to Tonghai government office(通海都督府). During Dali kingdom of Song dynasty, Jianshui belonged to Xiushan prefecture(秀山郡). In Yuan dynasty, Jianshui prefecture(建水州) was eastablished and it was called Lin'an in the Ming dynasty. In Qianlong period of Qing dynasty, Jianshui prefecture was changed to Jianshui county. With a history of more than 1200, Jianshui was the political, military, economical, cultural center of south Yunnan since Yuan Dynasty.

More History of Jianshui County

Natural Resources

Mineral Resources

By 2014, the main metal mines in Jianshui were manganese, lead, zinc, iron and antimony. The reserves of metal mineral resources in Jianshui were 26,700 tons of iron ore, 395,900 tons of manganese ore, 28,000 tons of ferroalloy, 440,000 tons of lead, 399,000 tons of zinc and 51,000 tons of antimony.

Biological Resources

By 2014, the wildlife resources in Jianshui county were relatively rich, with a forest area of 22000 mu(about 90 square kilometers) and a living tree volume of 4.73 million cubic meters. Among the plants in Jianshui, spinulose tree fern is the first class protected species in China. Plants under the second class state protection included mengkundor, tulip tree, camellia, solitary fishtail palm, etc., and plants under the third class state protection were jackfruit, crape myrtle, toon, yunnan cycad, etc. Among the wild animals in Jianshui, the first class protected rare animals were loris, cloud leopards, black-crowned gibbon, white-cheeked gibbon, red-bellied tragopan and so on; The second class protected animals were green peacock, jungle fowl, lady amherst pheasant, silver pheasant, otter, pangolin and so on. 

Water Resources

Among the main rivers in Jianshui, Lujiang river(泸江河), Qujiang river(曲江河), Tachong river(塔冲河) and Nanzhuang river(南庄河) belong to Nanpanjiang river system, while Batou river(坝头河), Malang river(玛朗河) and Longcha river(龙岔河) belong to red river system.