Songpan has experienced quite a mini-construction boom over the past decade, with better transport connections and more accommodation options offering travelers a bit of comfort along with plenty of fresh mountain air. The ancient village of Songpan was once an important military post built during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618–907). Although horseback riding through the surrounding countryside is the major draw, Songpan’s unique mix of Tibetan, Qiang, Han, and Hui cultures provides plenty of local color. The charming Old Town features ornate gates, bridges, and old wooden buildings and is the perfect place to stock up on Tibetan-inspired souvenirs such as carved knives, turquoise-beaded jewelry, leather bridles, and handmade woolen blankets.
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