Why is Lijiang Ancient Town Special?
Lijiang Ancient Town was built at the end of the 13th century (in the Song Dynasty), with a history going back more than 800 years. It is the best-preserved ancient town in China and well-known for its ancient buildings, bridges and the distinctive Naxi culture.
Lijiang Ancient Town Highlights
Lijiang Ancient Town, also known as the Dayan Town, lies in the northwest of Yunnan Province. The beauty of the Old Town is due to its ancient folk buildings, orderly system of waterways and bridges.
The Old Town was built leaning against the foot of the Yulong Snow Mountain, and along the river with roads paved with red stones. The countless small branches of springs are threading among the stone-paved lanes. Thus, it has gained a beautiful name "Suzhou in Highland" and "Eastern Venice".
Buildings and Bridges
It is also one of the few places in China with well-preserved old style folk buildings. These houses are traditional buildings with carved beams and painted rafters. Through the town runs Jade River, across which there are 354 bridges, linking streets and lanes. Many were built during the 14th to the early 20th centuries. These bridges are densely scattered with a variety styles and features, adding beauty to the old town.
Lijiang Ancient Town is both a historical and a cultural town. It is home to people of more than 2O minority ethnic groups. Each of these ethnic groups has a unique culture and history. Most of these are Naxi people engaged in traditional handcraft industry and business activities such as bronze, fur, textile and wine manufacture. Known as the "soul of Lijiang", the Town formed a part of the cultural heritage of China presented by the Naxi cultures.