The charm of Lijiang

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The Yunnan Province, one of the Chinese provinces of which we have already spoken, showing for each of them a number of interesting photos. In particular, just about Yunnan, during the month of April we “visited” the Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna.

Today, we go back to this province in the far south/west China to show an interesting city/prefecture and its charming old part, named Lijiang.

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It’s surrounded by beautiful mountains among which stands out the Yulong Xueshan, – Jade Dragon Mount – which reaches 5.596 meters above sea level; Lijiang is located at 2.400 meters above sea level in the heart of the province which borders Myanmar, Laos and Vietnam.

This pretty town, in the past it was called Dayan, has the “title” of prefecture because before the start of the third millennium, the Chinese government decided to include in the municipal territory some extended rural areas surrounding this town.

The Naxi ethnic group has a language with Tibeto/Burmese origin, and this diversity has characterized the history, the culture and the architecture of Lijiang. It’s unique and, above all, different from other cities in China. This Naxi people has gone through all the changes brought by the Beijing government, maintaining the integrity of its culture.

Lijiang was founded in the thirteenth century, during the Song’s Dynasty. Here a lot of channels dominated by romantic bridges were built. Today this water system supplies water to the whole town.

Today, following the frenetic development of China in recent years, the town has two distinct faces in contrast to one another … in fact, the charming old part with its historic buildings is “forced” to live with the modern part and its skyscrapers surrounded by a myriad of shopping centers.

With the terrible earthquake of 1996, almost a third of Lijiang was destroyed. That tragic disasters also marked the revival of the ancient town of Dayan, in fact, in 1997 UNESCO included it, together other ancient villages of Basha and Shuhe, in the List of World Heritage and the Chinese government pledged to protect and safeguard this charming historic gem of the province of Yunnan.

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(All the photos are taken from Google.com, and all belong to their original owners)