Xizhou (literally means happy town) Ethnic Minority Village has been an old dwelling of Bai Ethnic Group for a long time. The small town is a nowadays a quiet place with a population of about 32,000. It is located 38 kilometers north to the ancient city of Dali. Now the town is surrounded by rice paddies and well known for the well preserved Bai traditional buildings.
Xizhou features about 200 national heritages dating back to the Qing Dynasty. The houses are among the best examples of traditional Qing architecture in China. Unlike many other ancient towns and areas in China, this town has not been highly commercialized and developed for tourism. It is said that if you want to understand Dali and Bai Culture, you can’t miss Xizhou.
A large amount of the buildings are some of the best examples of traditional Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) architecture in China, and they have a distinctive Bai touch of more decorations including colorful pictures, gardens, and marble decorations.
Yan's Compound built around the 1920's is a representative of Bai-style residences. Located 38 kilometers from Dali City, the compound covers an area of about 3,066 square meters (0.76 acres). As a whole, it is divided into four parts and each part is cleverly linked with each other. Visiting this impressive compound, tourists are always being amazed by Bai people's architectural talent of architecture.
Upon entering the compound, you could see the principal house. According to the tradition of Bai-style building, the screen wall should face to the east in order to make use of the early morning sun and reflect the light into the inner rooms. Additionally, the screen wall, adorned with elaborate calligraphy and paintings, is considered as a talisman, which is believed by the Bai people to bring good blessing.