Lijiang ancient town is located on the foot of the Yulong snow mountain and in the middle of Lijiang basin. It is surrounded by green hills and filled with blue lakes, just like a huge jade ink stone, which is “Yan” in Chinese pronunciation. So it was named ” Dayan Town”.With long history of 800 years, the ancient town was originally built in the late Southern Song Dynasty and had the important political and military status in history.
It is the only ancient city without walls in Chinese famous historical and cultural city. Do you know why? Because the family name of the hereditary rulers in Lijiang was Chinese character “MU”. If the wall around the town was built and the rulers’ family lived in, it would like the Chinese character MU changing to the “KUN” with the meaning of being trapped. What’s more, this expresses the open-minded character of Naxi people.
large water wheel on the border between ancient city and new city is the symbol of the ancient city of Lijiang. It is used to transport water and to make use of hydropower to grind grains and crops. Besides it is the Chinese Characters written by Jiang Zeming, there is an eye-catching pillar, we call it”Dragon Post”, which means the water dragon and indicates the wish to avoid the fire in the town. Near the ancient city of large water wheel there is a large screen, broadcasts songs with special features or the most popular songs, such as famours song of “naxi net to “.
The town is defended by three mountains and different parts of the town are linked by Yu Rivers. It is naturally laid out. The Yu River consists of West River, Middle River and East River. The rivers go through the streets, alleys and flow along the houses, forming more tributaries. The scenery of the small bridges over the flowing streams is calld as”the Gu Su city on the plateau” and“ Venice in the east”. The layout of body vessles, the style of “winding, deep, narrow and convenient” and well-arranged design are reserved in Chinese ancient town rarely. It had been listed as the world cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 1997. The roads here are parallel to the streams, and the door of each house is facing a stream. Whatever street and whatever lane you go in, there is a small stream with small bridges across here and there. As a saying indicates: A house beside a stream with a small briage across it makes a wonderful scene which you can find only here”. That’s why we regard Dayan town to be the “Oriental Venice”.
In the centre of the ancient town, here is the Sifang street. It is a place for country fair trade. Since ancient times, Sifang street has been a collecting and distributing centre of all kinds of products with travelers and traders going and coming everywhere.
Lijiang ancient town‘s mu’s residence was hereditary mu’ s yamen , Five phoenix tower was built in the Ming dynasty during wanli 21years (AD 1601), the building of which was 20 metres high. Because its architectural form looks like five flying colourful phoenix ,so was named “the five-phoenix towers”. Here are also white sand local-style dwelling houses and a group of shu river residential buildings.
Lijiang is a city with classical natural style and long history. It was laid out strewn at random have send, have mountain view, and abound of lasting appeal of river and lake.Lijiang residence is harmony of the han, bai, yi, Tibetan ethnic essence, and has a unique style of the naxi nationality，which is very unique！