Dayanzhen Ancient Town
The old town of Lijiang is also called
Dayanzhen, famous for its scientific architectural layout.
Crisscrossed by crystal-clear rivers and meandering
cobbled streets, it has a high research value and is
a treasure in the field of urban construction in China.
Lijiang Town was built at the end of
the Song Dynasty and the beginning of the Yuan Dynasty,
leaning on the Lion Mountain in the west and Xiangmian
Mountain in the north. Surrounded by green trees, it
looks like a big ink stone. Hence its name Dayan which
means a big ink stone. The town has the Sifang (Square)
Street as the centre, with radiating lanes arranged
in good order, and three rivulets ( the east, the middle
and the west) running through the town. Thus is formed
the unique aspect of an ancient town of "every house
being surrounded by a stream, and willows upon willows
making it surpass the south of the Yangtze." The streets
are paved with variegated stones, which make them neither
muddy in the rainy season nor dusty in the dry season.
In addition, a downpour which washes the dirt away reveals
the gleaming variegated drain of the paving stone.
The ancient town is also famous for
having no walls. It is said that the hereditary ruler
of Lijiang used to be surnamed Mu, to have Mu encased
with a frame or a wall would be Kun, which means in
Chinese siege or predicament. That is why the town has
had no walls, and the graceful surrounding mountains
serve as such instead.
The ancient town looks unsophisticated
and picturesque, having both the benefit of a watery
and a mountainous environment, thus gaining renown from
both domestic and foreign tourists. A professor of Shanghai's
Tongji University praised it for being "an epitome of
the splendid Chinese national tradition in terms of
architectural style and disposition."
Related tours: All of our Yunnan
tour packages to Lijiang include
the visit of the ancient town.