Have you dreamed of being a star in drama or movie?
In Hengdian World Studio you can.
Many of you may not heard of Hengdian 横店, it is located in Zhejiang China. The city has the biggest film shooting base in the world, many big movies and popular dramas were filmed here. In China, Hengdian is familiar with the local people. Mainland tourists, especially from Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou area, love to pay a visit here during the weekends.
There are a number of shooting base or studios based on different themes. On our second day in Hengdian, we visited one of the highlights here the Palace of Ming and Qing Dynasties. 明清宫苑
Get your costume ready!
Imitation of Forbidden City in Beijing
The Palace Garden of the Ming and Qing Dynasties is one of the most classic scenic spots in Hengdian Film and Television City. It was exact same size ( built 1: 1 ) based on the Forbidden City, and it is also the largest film and television shooting base in Hengdian!
4 Major Architectural Series
The interior includes four major architectural series: the Beijing Palace, the Royal Garden, the King’s Gate, the Hutong House, and other landscapes, including Qipan Street, Qianbu Gallery, and Wenwu Terrace.
Remember to visit the palace from left to right so you don’t miss all the excitement.
Yanxi Palace 延禧宫略 Shooting Scene
If you have watched the recent hit drama, “Yanxi Palace”延禧宫略, you can really find a lot of familiar shooting scenes here.
Avoid China’s Public Holiday
It looks the same as the Forbidden City in Beijing except, fewer people during my visit as it was winter month. There are peak and off-peak. Peak period is during China’s public holidays. If possible, try to avoid these periods.
- Labour Day 1–5 May 2020
- Dragon Boat Festival Likely 25–27 Jun 2020
- National Day of the People’s Republic of China Likely 1–3 Oct 2020
- Golden Week 1–7 Oct 2020
How much time do you need in Ming & Qing Dynasties Palace?
The Ming & Qing Dynasties Palace is very huge and you could spend hours walking in this 720,000 sq km – 961 meters in length and 760 meters in width complex. We went in from 9.30 am and came out at around 1.30 pm.
It took us about 4 hours.
Who should rent the Bicycle?
There are bicycle renting at the entrance, we hesitated for a while if we wanted to ride the bicycle. The seller lowered the prices from RMB 100 (SGD 20.00) to more than half but we still walk away. We didn’t want to rent the bicycle because we don’t know where we should stop and park and we don’t want to spend time searching for our bicycle in case we forgotten where we parked the bicycle.
I saw some young people renting the bicycle and ride around the palace, it seems quite fun. If you have 4 strong and young adults, it should be fun to ride the big bicycle.
How do I feel?
It feels so good to walk inside the palace studio with the traditional costume. I feel like stepping back to the Qing Dynasty. Most importantly, I felt like a queen or Niang Niang 娘娘 that is how you call it in Chinese. 🙂
Background Music of Famous Hit Drama
The whole atmosphere was just awesome with the music of famous hit drama like 甄嬛傳 Zhen Huan Chuan.
Costume renting is available inside the palace, the price isn’t cheap, about RMB 50 (SGD 10). A photographer will help you take the picture on the dragon chair.
I suggest you bring your own costumes as the costumes there do not look very clean and nice. The clothes are big as one size fits all. I also don’t like the photo is only taken indoor. You are not allowed to wear the rented costume to go outside and shoot pictures.
Highest Point in Qing & Ming Dynasties Palace
You should not miss the highest point of the Qing & Ming Dynasties Palace. If you watched the Yanxi Palace drama, there was a scene where the Queen killed herself by jumping down the rooftop. You can actually go up there and you will see a beautiful view from the top (the rooftop view is awesome)! During my visit, I could not go up due to some restoration.
You can see how the drama is being filmed
If you are lucky, you will meet some celebrities as real drama is shooting here. You can view how the movie or drama is being filmed and please do not make any noise. You are not allowed to use your handphone to take pictures while the filming is going on.
There are several scheduled performances in the Ming and Qing Palace every day. You should check the performance schedules at the entrance so you don’t miss any.
There were four performances in the Palace Garden of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, divided into two performances each morning and afternoon. But I suggest you still check on the daily schedule as it may change.
There are many limitations if you were to visit the real Forbidden City in Beijing, many of the halls are not allowed to enter and can only look from outside. However, over here there aren’t many rules, you can go into each hall and check out what they eat and how the princess or queen taking their beauty bath.
You are not allowed to go in only if there are film shooting.
You can fulfill your dream as an actor or actress here!
Mirco Movies are available just made for you!
These micro movies focus on shooting customized films for tourists. It allows tourists to experience film and television tourism in-depth and also provides a fun “acting addiction” for ordinary people with the actor dream. The price range from a few hundred yuan to a few thousand yuan (RMB) to make your film. You can get your production within half an hour.
There is a little ring for horse riding. We choose a white horse to ride. You need to pay to ride on the horse, it is not included in the entrance ticket.
Eating & Dining
There aren’t many eateries in the Ming & Qing Dynasties Palace once you entered, but there are snacks and drinks available but cost a little more than outside.
Have you heard of Heng Piao 横漂?
Heng Piao 横漂 refers to people from other places who participate in film and television drama shooting in Hengdian. Every year, about a hundred film and television dramas are filmed in Hengdian, and Heng Piao are the people who came from all over China waiting to be crowds actors. Their dream is to start as a crowd’s actor and eventually end up with the main role in the drama. There are only a small percentage of successful cases for Heng Piao but not all turn out good. Some think that being a crowd actor is easier than farming in the field back home and the crew also provided free meals if you get the role that day. Pay isn’t high but most importantly they think it is fun and interesting and maybe can turn out to be superstar one day. 🙂
Wenwu Arena 文武台
Wenwu Arena is where the heroes or warrior fight in the olden days. All sorts of competitions held here.
You are allowed to play with all kinds of ancient weapons here.
How to visit Hengdian World Studio?
You can catch a high-speed train from Shanghai to the nearest station Yiwu义乌. It takes about 2 hours to reach Yiwu. Yiwu is famous for its small commodity trade. (If you watch the Chinese drama, you often heard of Yiwu – where the poor from the countryside often seek opportunities here.) Once you arrived in Yiwu, you need to catch a taxi or bus to Hengdian. If you have 3-4 pax, it is easier to catch a taxi and it cost about RMB 150-20 /SGD 30-40. We paid about RMB170 ( SGD34).
- We came from Suzhou high-speed rail -> Yiwu taxi -> Hengdian
- Alternatively, if you are coming from Shanghai high-speed rail -> Yiwu taxi/bus -> Hengdian
- Or you can also travel from Hangzhou high-Speed rail -> Yiwu taxi/bus-> Hengdian
Free Shuttle Buses in Hengdian
There are free shuttle buses in Hengdian city that will bring you to most of the studios and sites. Once you check-in the hotel, a free transport card will be given by the front desk. Show it to the bus driver to get the free ride. If your hotel does not provide the free transport card, you can pay RMB 1.00 (SGD 0.20) to get on the bus. Have the money ready as there is no change given.
Who should visit Hengdian?
- Chinese drama lovers
- Those who want to experience the life of Niang Niang (Queen) – just like me 🙂
- Those who want to know what is drama shooting
- Photography lovers
- Hanfu lovers
- Those who hope to bump into their favorite celebrities or idols. In Hengdian, you can and a very high chance to see the celebrities.
There are a number of studios in Hengdian with a different theme and Ming & Qing Palace is one of the biggest of all. The size is exactly the same as the Forbidden City in Beijing.
If you love Chinese period drama, you have to visit Hengdian. The whole city is lifely because of the movie/drama industries here.
In Hengdian, you can experience a drama based journey and fulfilled your Princess or Queen’s role.