Xizhou ancient town: Cultural and historical charms
Xizhou ancient town is located in the north of Dali City in the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, and situated to the east of the Cangshan Mountain and west of Erhai Lake. Historically it was an industrial and commercial town, and it has retained a large number of traditional Bai minority buildings.
Since it’s inclusion on the first list of towns with Chinese characteristics, Xizhou ancient town has repaired its old dwellings and courtyards without compromising the original style of architecture. By striking a balance between cultural heritage preservation and tourism development, the ancient town is once again brought to life. Today, Xizhou is a well-functioning scenic spot with its ancient charm intact, as well as a window on local history and culture for the visitors.
The splendid history and culture of the ancient town have attracted both domestic and international tourists. The American Brian Linden came all the way to settle here, and transformed the Yang family courtyard into a homestay hotel known as the Linden Centre. During the 2019 Chinese National Day holiday, tourists and villagers joined at the Linden Centre, to dance and sing around a fire. "Xizhou's traditional architecture is the bearer of culture, while I'm just the tour guide showing its charm to the tourists," said Linden.
Yang Xiaowen is the general manager of the Dali Tourism Ancient Town Development Co Ltd, which develops and operates Xizhou ancient town. "It is culture that has given Xizhou its soul and injected vitality in this characteristic town," he said.
(Duan Jianxin, Photo by Zhang Tong and Yang Zheng)