If you want a China vacation deals to visit ancient towns, the following ancient towns should be added your travel list.
1.Baoshan Stone City, Yunnan
In addition to Dayan Ancient City, there is another old city in Yunnan Province, Baoshan Stone City, located by Jinsha River Canyon, about 120 kilometers north of Lijiang. Because it was built on a huge mushroom-shaped rock, the city is called “stone city.”
Baoshan Stone City is the original habitat of the Naxi Ethnic Group. Naxi people migrated here during the Northern and Southern dynasties (420AD-589AD) and built the city during 1277-1294 in Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). Their own language, houses and architecture have been well preserved in the city, reflecting the true life of the Naxi people.
One side of the city is a stone slope going straight to the Jinsha River, and its other sides are steep cliffs. With only two stone gates in the north and south for access, the whole city forms a natural strategic pass. Houses were built according to the terrain of the rock, and all the cultivable hillsides around the city have been turned into terraced fields.
Now over 100 Naxi families are still living in the city. They are very friendly to tourists and always greet the visitors with genuine smiles.
If you are stuck for idea where to go agter Banshan Stone City, you can choose Shangri-La tours.
2. Sideng Street, Yunnan
Located in Shaxi town of Yunnan Province, Sideng Street is the only bazaar along the tea and horse route that survived the wars and chaos throughout the centuries.
From the neolithic age to Ming and Qing dynasties, the tough geography and environment around the town made it an important communication center on the route. People had to pass the town before heading north to Tibet and south to the Central Plains. As time went by, Shaxi became a distribution center where businessmen from Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Asia exchanged goods. Fur and feathers and Tibetan herbs were transported on horseback from Tibet to the town and exchanged for much-needed goods like salt and tea.
Sideng Street was one of the busy bazaars in Shaxi Town and the only well-preserved trading center along the historic route. It was included in the 2002 World Monuments Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Sites on October 11, 2001 by the World Monuments Fund.
In today's Sideng Street complex, the Bai ethnic-style buildings, with the structure of shops in the front and yard in the back, are standing alongside the stone-slab roads. In the east of the complex, there is an intact ancient theater built during the Qing Dynasty, a stage and a pavilion with three layers of eaves. In the west of the complex, there is a Buddhist Temple from the Bai ethnic group called Xingjiao Temple. Built in 1415 during the Ming Dynasty, the temple has more than 20 murals painted by Zhang Bao, a famous Bai painter. It is a miracle that the architecture of the temple is still in good condition after 600 years.
There used to be three gates of Sideng Street complex, but now only the east gate remains. The imprints of horses' hoofs can still be seen there.
Yunnan is always contained in popular China travel package. If you have a chance to visit Yunnan, these towns should not be missed.
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