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Old Town of Lijiang
Old Town of Lijiang (formerly called Dayan Town), is one of the well-preserved ancient cities in China, located in the county of Lijiang. Since its construction in the late Song and early Yuan dynasties, it has a history of 800 years. In 1997, it was successfully included in the list of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, making it the must-see attraction in Yunnan for all the tourists.
Embraced by Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, large scale of fertile fields in the southeast, this town is just like a big ink slab; thus, it earns the name “Dayan town”( In Chinese, Dayan means a big ink slab). With numerous streams and brooks flowing through this town, Lijiang has an ingenious ancient network of waterways. When walking along cobbled streets, you may find waters running besides you, bridges and arches in Ming Dynasty style everywhere. Since people here are mainly from the Naxi ethnic group, you are likely to see many traditional Naxi houses made of adobe bricks and wood, and courtyards in typical Naxi architecture style; in addition, there are still many aged women in their traditional costume.
At the core of the ancient city is the famous Square Street, well-known as a major bazaar for local people, where shops and stalls can be found anywhere. People gather here for their necessities. For tourists, they can also find various interesting ethnic products and unusual antiques. The roads here are mostly paved with stone boards. The twists and turns of small lanes, narrow cobbled streets and the gurgling canal will make you a different experience.