Tiefo Ancient Town (铁佛古镇), situated at the river crossing near Zizhong and Weiyuan, was erected in 1788.
Legend has it that the town was named for the iron Buddha temple ("tiefo" is literally "iron Buddha") that once sat within its perimeters. Nowadays there's no trace of an iron Buddha, and even with the vestiges of time, ancient streets, old buildings and walls have been remarkably well-maintained over the town's 200-year history.
Tiefo is worth a look for its well-preserved distinct architectural features—upturned roof corners, ornamental eaves, and intricate wood carvings grace the buildings of the town.
The old street's sickle-shaped construction, Qing Dynasty dwellings, and the Nanhua Palace—formerly a Cantonese and Fujianese establishment but now the Tiefo Middle School—are entirely true to their original forms.
Tiefo (铁佛古镇) is just east of Zizhong (资中), about 150 kilometers southeast of Chengdu in the direction of Neijiang on the Chengdu-Chongqing Expressway. Buses depart every half-hour between 8 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. from Chengdu's Wuguiqiao Station to Zizhong; fare is RMB38. From Zizhong hire a minibus or cab to Tiefo.
Alternatively, five trains depart daily for Zizhong from the Chengdu station. The journey lasts from 3 to 5 hours with the first leaving at 5:53 a.m. (K9472/K9469, 3 hours and 47 minutes) and the fastest journey (3 hours, 10 minutes) on the 1223/1222 departing at 5:07 p.m. Tickets are approximately RMB15 for a hard seat and RMB25 for a soft seat.