Xi'an, China, January 22, 2015 (Newswire.com) - To modern people, small towns always seem fascinating by the peaceful and tranquil energy, which is hardly to find in big cities. There are many small towns in China that owns beautiful natural scenery, traditional cultural heritage, and unique local folk customs. Here are five of them that enjoy high reputation in China.
Old Town of Lijiang, a town in Yunanan Province, is dated back to Southern Song Dynasty. It was built in that time and the first emperor of the Yuan Dynasty named Kublai was on the throne into the southern part. In Ming and Qing dynasties, it extended to the larger areas. Lion Mountain, Elephant and Golden Row Mountain surround the Old Town of Lijiang. And also there is a square in the central part. In 1986, Old Town of Lijiang was listed as a national historical and cultural city. The whole town is decorated by warm sunlight and clean streams. The roads are made by stones in local area. They do not be muddy in the raining days and also is not full of dust in the dry days.
Pingyao in Shanxi Province is a well-preserved Ming Dynasty town, surrounded by a completely intact 6 km Ming dynasty city wall. During the Qing Dynasty, Pingyao was the financial center of China. What's unique here is this well-preserved ancient city with its grand, solemn city wall, its residences and shops, and even the government office all in the style of the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911). In 1997, when it was declared a World Cultural Heritage site for its Old City, Pingyao gradually opened up to the outside world and more and more people have come to have a look at this old city representing the prosperous past of Shanxi during the Ming and Qing eras.
Yongding, a county in Fujian Province, is the home of many Hakka families and is known for its unusual architecture called Tulou (Hakka Earthen Fortresses). These large, circular edifices were built by the Hakka, one ethnic group in China. The architectural art of Tulou enjoys great admiration among architects worldwide. The older examples of this style of construction consist of interior buildings enclosed by huge peripheral ones holding hundreds of rooms and dwellers. With all the halls, storehouses, wells and bedrooms inside, the huge towerlike building functions almost as a small fortified city.
Zhouzhuang, one of the most famous water townships in China, situated in Kunshan City which is only 30 kilometers southeast of Suzhou. The town features crisscrossing water lanes, ancient bridges and buildings built on and over the rivers. In an area of half a square kilometer, 60 percent of the Zhouzhuang's structures were built during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved ancient residential houses, the elegant watery views and the strong local colored traditions and customs. Zhouzhuang has been called the "Venice of the East".
The ancient town of Dali, was set up in 1383 in the Ming Dynasty. It has a history of more than 600 years. There are 25 ethnic minorities, which have created a unique cultural heritage amidst the area's picturesque surroundings. This ancient town was once a vital communications hub where the population was dense. Many trade caravans gathered here and the markets were prosperous. On both sides of the street, there were numerous shops, inns, tea houses and restaurants, very bustling and exciting. Now, Dali still remains its original looks. The shops here mainly sell some locally-made handicraft articles: marble products, straw weaving wares, embroideries, wax printing clothes and other ornaments. Small retailers also sell some antiques, ancient paintings, old coins and silver wares.
Explore, touch, and gaze upon the magical crystals at Harbin. Located in Northeastern China, Harbin attracts visitors from all over the world to the Harbin Ice and Snow Festival, getting its popular nickname 'Ice City.' This chilling yet mesmerizing festival provides visitors a whole new perspective of ice and snow in this winter playground. Yabuli International Ski Resort not far from Harbin where the snow is neither too hard nor too powdery, on which tourists can enjoy a pleasant ski. The period from November to late March of the next year is the best time to ski at Yabuli Ski Resort.
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