Lijiang Old Town
LiJiang Old Town is listed as World Cultural Heritage Site.
Lijiang Old Town has a long history dated back more than 800 years and was once important trading place along the Old Tea Horse Road . This ancient town is surrounded by the Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north. These mountains shelter the town from the cold wind from northwest. Lijiang old town situated below the Jade Dragon Moun-tain, the snow-capped mountain was reflected in the interlaced rivers that flow under the old town, with its own traditional building styles, turns out to be a unique view.
The old town itself is famous for its complex and ingenuous waterway systems that still functions effectively today. Many bridges mostly built during the Ming and Qing dynasties are still very well preserved. The streets paved with the local stone slabs are not getting muddy in the rainy season and being free of dirt in the dry season. There are more than 350 bridges, such bridges are built at the key points in order to connect the streets and lanes in Lijiang Old Town. The shape of the bridges varies to fit the form of curved, or straight roads. Thus corridor birdges, stone arch bridges, stone slab birdges, or chestnut-tree wooden bridges have been built.
The streets in Lijiang Old Town are pave with bluestone slabs in a unique artistic forms. With streets next to rivers, the Old Town integrates with the scenes of bridges, flowing rivers, oasis, buildings, willows, thus create a wonderful uniques water-base town with rich scenery of South China.
The scenic spots of Lijiang Old town includes Waterwheel at Jade Dragon Briege, Sifang Street, Dashi Street, Mu's House.
Sifang Street is located in the center of the Lijiang Old Town. The surface of the street is paved with five flower stones. This is pace where yourist can find many souvenir
shops and store that selling broneze ware, silverware and other traditional artworks. Sifang Street is the tourist gathering place.
The traditional resident in Lijiang Old Town is Naxi ethnic group with traditional Dongba culture. Naxi people are skilled in medicine and the culture is passed on through literature and art. The unique architecture in Lijiang Old Town differs from other ancient Chinese cities. Residential houses are made of timber with central court yards. The architecture has been noteworthy for blending of elements from several cultures that have come together over many centuries.
Lijiang old town is the only town that takes the Naxi culture as main part and also a political, commercial and cultural center of Naxipeople; the folk-custom and Dongba cultures are being well kept. All of the custom, cultures and Naxi musec have already created a harmonious living envi-ronment for human.
Perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, Lijiang Old Town has retained ancient city of high quality and authenticity. It is a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains, plentiful sunlight, and culture rich people. In December 4, 1997, Lijiang old town (including Dayan, Baisha and Shuhe) has been listed in UNESCO as World Heritage site.