The old town of Lijiang city, located in the Lijiang autonomous county of the Nakhi (Naxi) ethnic minority in Yunnan province, is also called Dayan town, praised as the “Oriental Venice” and “Suzhou on the Plateau”. It is situated in the cental part of Lijiang dam, the only town built without a city wall among Chinese historic and cultural towns. The old town of Lijiang, a largely Nakhi settlement, was first constructed in the Southern Song Dynasty some 800 years ago. The old town, with an elevation of 2,476 meters on the Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, covers an area of 3.8 square meters. It has been a well-known confluence for trade and important town since ancient times. At present, there are over 6,200 households residing in the old town, with a population of 30,000, accounting for 30% of the total population engaged in the traditional handicraft and commercial activities, such as the manufacture of copper and silver ware, textile, and brewing industry.
Lijiang old town enjoys a long history blessed with beautiful scenery, simple and natural. It is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, possessing both a mountainous town style and the charm of a water village. Residents of Lijiang old town blend the essence of various ethnic minorities, such as Han, Bai, Yi, Tibet with the distinctive splendor of Nakhi. Lijiang is an exceptional ancient town set in a dramatic landscape which represents the harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions to produce an urban landscape of outstanding quality. It is of great importance in the research on Chinese architecture and culture. Besides, the ancient town of Lijiang, entailing rich cultures of various ethnic minorities, embodying the prosperity and development of Nakhi, is vital historical reference in the study on the development of human culture.
In December 1986, the old town of Lijiang was designated as a famous ancient historical and cultural city of national caliber. In 1997, UNESCO put Lijiang on the list of the World Cultural Heritage Site. It is a dreaming garden for people longing for a haven of peace different from today’s modern cities. Here, you can slow down your walking pace, appreciate the picturesque scenery along the street in tranquility, and at this time ordinary scene of skyscrapers, siren of cars, and bothering have been thrown away.
Beautiful Scenery of the Lijiang Ancient Town.
Lijiang City Guide
Lijiang scenic spots
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain | Lijiang Old Town
| Tiger Leaping Gorge | Baisha Village | Shuhe ancient town
Mu fu | Baishuihe River | Haba Snow Mountain