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Daxu Ancient Town, an Important Stop along Lijiang River

 
Situated in the middle section of Lijiang River’s north bank, the 193.78km2 Daxu Ancient Town has served as a key water transportation hub and trade center during the past over 1000 years. First built in 200AD, it  evolved into a bustling business center in Song Dynasty (960-1279).  
 
Ming (1368-1644) and Qing dynasties (1636-1911) witnessed its robust development and the early 20th century saw its unparalleled prosperity. Nowadays, it ranks as one of the Top Four Ancient Towns in Guangxi Province.
 
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Daxu Ancient Town(大圩古镇)
 

Stretches 2km long, the narrow and crooked Daxu Street cuts through this town in a west-east direction and is lined by weathered and well-preserved old residences on both sides. Surrounded by rivers on four sides, Daxu Ancient Town strings places include Guilin, Yangshuo, Pingle, Wuzhou together and serves as a corridor to Hunan and Guangdong province. Arrays of ancient handicraft shops, the showcases of local traditions and culture, deserve sightseeing by yourself.
 
 
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Daxu Ancient Town


During the early 20th century, businessmen from all over the country flocked into this town to trade, bringing the most diversified and complete commodities. Many business mansions were erected successively. Among them, Guandong Business Mansion and Hunan Business Mansion are most notable. At that time, 8 big business avenues and over 10 docks had come into shape, and on the most prosperous market day, over 10,000 people had gathered in this town by boat.

Must-see

Residences of Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911)

Catering to the theory of Fengshui, residences in Daxu Ancient Town are no-exceptionally fashioned in the most living friendly and reasonable layout: backed by mountains and facing the river. Along the 2km long Daxu Street, rows of two-story residences scatter neatly. Though aged, they still remain intact. Each residence addresses the practical use and aesthetic value simultaneously, and each house caters to the needs of living and trade perfectly. Generally speaking, the residence here comprises of one front door, patios, one master house, several side houses and one backyard. The first floor facing the Daxu Street is used as shop. Even today, you can see those time-honored handicraft shops running their one  thousand year’s old business: herbs, snacks, handmade shoes and hats as well as providing hairs-cut and funeral services. In a town when each brick has a history older than the United States, life is really casual here. For those spared afternoons, sip a cup of tea or just wonder around to take some photos will be a nice pastime.

Longevity Bridge(Wanshou Bridge)
 
Sitting at the intersection of Mahe River and Lijiang River, Longevity Bridge was constructed in Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and repaired in 1902 of Qing dynasty (1636-1911). Featuring primitive appearance, this stone arched bridge offers a spectacular view of Snaill Hill along Lijiang River.
 
 
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Longevity Bridge


Ancient Tombs: in 2001, a rare-seen tomb clusters were unearthed accidentally in this town. Seven ancient tombs are displayed in the shape of Big Dipper, with sizes corresponding to the brightness of these seven stars. The relationship between these ancient tombs and big dipper still remains an unresolved riddle. Plenty of clay potteries, boxes, bronze swords and axes have been  excavated in and around these tombs. Archaeologists speculate that they could be the tomb from Warring States Period (475BC-221BC) to Western Han Dynasty (202BC-9AD).

Travel Tips:

Location: the middle section of Lijiang River, southeast of Father and Son Rock, north of Mill Mountain. 23 km away from downtown Guilin and 30km from Lingchuan County(灵川县城)

Cuisine: Rice Wine and Lingchuan Dog Meat. Featuring pure and lingering taste, Daxu Ancient Town’s homemade rice wine has become famous near and far as early as Ming dynasty.

Festivals: Dragon Boat Festival, Guilin Branch Drama

Nearby Scenic Site: Father and Son Rock Millstone Hill Bear Village

Admission Fee: free

Transportation: it is only 23km from downtown Guilin. Take the bus in Gulin Long Distance Bus Station, you will reach there in 40minutes. The fee is around half a dollar.
 
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