Baisha Village, Yunnan, China

History: Built during the Tang dynasty (AD 618 – 907)
Trivia #1: Was the political, economic and cultural centre in Lijiang
Trivia #2: The ancient hieroglyphic Naxi language is still in use today

 

If you want a less commercialised glimpse into an authentic Naxi town in Lijiang, Baisha Village (or Baishazhen) is the place to go. It is a refreshing change from the touristy Lijiang Old Town – Baisha Village is generally a lot quieter and its pace of life is much slower. Here you, can see villagers sipping tea, having a quiet smoke by the corner and basically, just going about their own lives in a very relaxed, yet contented manner.

Baisha is also the first settlement of Naxi ancestors. The ancestors of the Naxi people crossed the Jinshajiang River, came down from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and finally entered Lijiang Basin. The first place Naxi tribes arrived in Lijiang was Baisha. Here, Naxi Ethnic groups set up the first settlement and created their Dongba culture.

baisha-village-map             Photo credit: Google Map

Located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Baisha Village is about 8km from the north of Lijiang Old Town. Admission is free, and the ancient village is available all day round. If you want to visit the famous Temple Murals, a fee of CNY 30 is required.

You can easily hop on a taxi for about CNY 40-50 or take the pubic bus, bus line no. 6 at Qixing Street. Alternatively, if you prefer to cycle, it will take you about 40 minutes.

A tea house customer, Naxi master calligrapher and menu showcasing local traditional fare:

Below: An elderly Naxi villager who gladly posed for a picture. She is 89. Or maybe even older.

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Baisha Village, one of the oldest villages in Lijiang, was the birth place of the powerful Mu clan, which subsequently ruled Lijiang with its family of governors. The ancient town has survived a few dynasties and in its heyday during the Song dynasty (AD 960 – 1279), the town was the economic, political and cultural epicentre in Lijiang.

Slow and peaceful.

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A rare shot of myself: I look like I was savouring the bread – it was freshly baked with simple garnishing (spring onions, garlic, butter). Washing it down with the yak butter tea, our lunch was simple yet fulfilling.

Travel Story Contributor:
Daniel Chen
Singapore

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