Xizhou Village located in Dali, is a little and quite town 18 kilometers north of the ancient city of Dali, is surrounded by rice paddies and is mainly known for the well preserved Bai traditional houses.The Bai minority are much in evidence at Xizhou, Green mountains, winding creeks and fertile land make for a lyrical and carefree life here.
Xizhou Village is not only a historically famous city but also a typical commercial center of Bai Ethnic Nationality. The old houses and streets are well preserved. Visitors may still find traces of past glory.
However, during the history, Xizhou has been important many times. Xizhou Village was a military stronghold during the Nanzhao Kingdom. The town is surrounded by rice paddies and Cangshan.Before 1949, Xizhou was the main center for Bai commerce, and many families were extremely rich. It grew and flourished in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) along with the fortunes of Dali renowned tea merchants that traded to Tibet.
Xizhou has about 200 national heritage listed private houses dating from the Qing Dynasty, and these houses are among the best examples of traditional Qing architecture in China and are exquisitely detailed. During this century, Xizhou was a haven for Chinese intellectuals, fleeing the Japanese invasion.
At the entrance to Xizhou, a magnificent structure catches the attention of visitors. You will see a two-storey building made of wood and brick. The first floor is a corridor, leading you into an atmosphere of traditional culture featuring part-time study in the countryside.The second floor is an attic of horizontal inscribed board. Not far away is a banyan tree with flourishing leaves and branches.
One of the reasons that the architecture in this town is so well preserved is that the Japanese didn’t invade this area. It was part of the Nationalist stronghold in southwestern China. There was even an American radar station located there that can still be seen. While during the Cultural Revolution, an army garrison protected this town.
Nowadays,bai people in dali still live in most of the national heritage listed extensively decorated private houses. While some houses are open to the public, such as the Yan family house. If you want to understand Bai Culture and Dali, it will be important to pay a visit to this town.With a more mixed population and cosmopolitan background, it is now a "must" for the travelers. You can enjoy lovely ethical clothes, fairylike programs, decorative architectures, gifted garden parties and wonderful handicrafts there.
In Xizhou , visitors also have the opportunity to appreciate the genuine tea ceremony of the Bai minority. The host begins by presenting a bitter tea which stands for the hardships in life. Then, a sweet tea of sesame and walnut symbolic of happiness in life. Finally, a bitter, sweet, and spicy tea symbolic of pondering life.Sandaocha" is a traditional regional tea ceremony consisting of three unique tea flavors, and is an experience not to be missed in Yan's compound.
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