Lichuan, Hubei

Lichuan (Chinese: 利川; pinyin: Lìchuān) is a county-level city of the Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, in southwestern Hubei province, People's Republic of China, located 52 kilometres (32 mi) west of Enshi City, the prefecture seat. It borders Chongqing Municipality to the southwest, west, and north. It has approximately 870,000 inhabitants.



Lichuan Railway Station
Location in Hubei
Coordinates: 30°17′28″N 108°56′11″E
CountryPeople's Republic of China
Township-level divisions2 subdistricts
6 towns
6 townships
Municipal seatDuting Subdistrict (都亭街道)
  Total4,612.19 km2 (1,780.78 sq mi)
1,083 m (3,553 ft)
  Density140/km2 (370/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+8 (China Standard)
Area code(s)0718


Lichuan is believed to be the location of most (if not all) of the naturally growing Metasequoia glyptostroboides trees in existence. The genus Metasequoia, related to the giant redwoods of North America, was first described as a fossil from the Mesozoic Era in 1941. But in 1943 a small stand of an unidentified tree was discovered in Modaoxi (磨刀溪), presently known as Moudao (谋道) Town, in Lichuan County, by Zhan Wang.[2] After the end of the World War II, this tree species was officially described as the only living species of Metasequoia, and given the scientific name Metasequoia glyptostroboides. In 1948 the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University sent an expedition to Lichuan to collect seeds and, soon after, seedling trees were distributed to various universities and arboreta worldwide for growth trials.

Presently, a number of natural Metasequoia populations exist in the hills and wetlands of Lichuan. Most of these groups are small, with fewer than 30 trees each; however, the largest of them, in Xiaohe Valley, is estimated to consist of around 5,400 trees.[2] Outside of Lichuan, a few trees are also said to exist in the Hunan Province.[2]

The Tenglong Cave is located within a few miles from Lichuan.

Administrative Divisions

There are two subdistricts, seven towns, and five townships under the city's administration:[1][3][4][5]

Subdistricts (街道)

Two subdistricts:

Towns ()

Seven towns:

Townships ()

Five townships:


China National Highway 318 runs through Lichuan on its way from Enshi to Wanzhou, Chongqing. G50 Shanghai–Chongqing Expressway also passes to the south of the city centre.

Until the opening of the Yiwan Railway in 2010, there were no railways in Lichuan (or anywhere in Enshi Prefecture). Now Lichuan Station has regular service to Chengdu, Wuhan, and points beyond. In the future, Lichuan will become a junction where the future Yuli Railway (the line from Lichuan toward Chongqing) will join the Yiwan Railway mainline (from Yichang via Lichuan to Wanzhou, with further connections to Chengdu).

Proposals have also been made for the construction of a tourist scenic railway between Lichuan Railway Station and the region's popular tourist attractions, the Tenglong Cave and the Enshi Grand Canyon Scenic Area (恩施大峡谷景区).[6]


  1. 利川市历史沿革 [Lichuan City Historical Development] (in Chinese). 6 August 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2019. 2004年末,利川市面积4612.19平方千米,{...}2010年第六次人口普查,利川市常住总人口654094人,其中:都亭街道80586人,东城街道40001人,谋道镇44236人,柏杨坝镇60771人,汪营镇60984人,建南镇47264人,忠路镇59539人,团堡镇59580人,凉雾乡43379人,元堡乡23067人,南坪乡35593人,文斗乡50015人,毛坝乡25913人,沙溪乡21674人,福宝山生态综合开发区1492人。 2013年,撤销毛坝乡,设立毛坝镇(鄂民政发[2013]6号)。调整后,全市辖2个街道、7个镇、5个乡:都亭街道、东城街道、谋道镇、柏杨坝镇、汪营镇、建南镇、忠路镇、团堡镇、毛坝镇、凉雾乡、元堡乡、南坪乡、文斗乡、沙溪乡。
  2. Langlois, Gaytha A. (2005), "A conservation plan for Metasequoia in China", in LePage, Ben A.; Williams, Christopher James; Yang, Hong (eds.), The geobiology and ecology of Metasequoia, Volume 22 of Topics in geobiology, Springer, p. 369, ISBN 1-4020-2631-5
  3. 利川概况 [Lichuan Overview]. 利川市人民政府网 (in Chinese). Retrieved 6 January 2019. 全市总面积4600余平方公里,东西宽92公里,南北长105公里,辖2街道、7镇、5乡。
  4. 2017年统计用区划代码和城乡划分代码:利川市 [2017 Statistical Area Numbers and Rural-Urban Area Numbers: Lichuan City] (in Chinese). National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China. 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2019. 统计用区划代码 名称 422802001000 都亭街道办事处 422802002000 东城街道办事处 422802100000 谋道镇 422802101000 柏杨坝镇 422802102000 汪营镇 422802103000 建南镇 422802104000 忠路镇 422802105000 团堡镇 422802106000 毛坝镇 422802200000 凉雾乡 422802201000 元堡乡 422802202000 南坪乡 422802203000 文斗乡 422802205000 沙溪乡 422802400000 佛宝山生态综合开发区
  5. 2011年统计用区划代码和城乡划分代码:利川市 (in Chinese). National Bureau of Statistics of the People's Republic of China. Retrieved 2013-02-21.
  6. Wang Gongshang (王功尚); Li Yuhui (李玉辉). 恩施有望开建内地首条森林旅游观光铁路 [Enshi is looking forward to the construction of the mainland's first forest scenic tourist railway]. 荆楚网-楚天都市报. Retrieved 2013-12-25.
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