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China’s top 10 ancient cities

August 24, 2012

No. 10: Bing’an Ancient Town, Guizhou

The People’s Daily Online has just posted what they call: “Top 10 ancient cities: China’s best kept secret.” Here’s their write up for the site in the number 10 spot:

Located next to the Chishui River, Bing’an used to be an important gateway betweenSichuan and Guizhou during the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.Excluding the newly constructed suspension bridge, the town was only accessible byboat. This heritage of inconvenient transportation has preserved the town’s traditionalculture and structures.

It was difficult to locate an area of flat land to build residents’ houses because the townwas founded in a mountainous region. However, locals quickly adapted existingtechnologies, such as stilted houses with wooden frames, to satisfy basic military andeconomic needs. If viewed from across the river on the highway, a large number ofthree-to-five storey houses supported by hundreds of logs can be seen. There are fourstone gates on each side of the town, making Bing’an more a solid castle than a town.

The new suspension bridge spans the Chishui River. Standing in the middle part of thebridge, you may get a panoramic view of Bing’an town and the lofty mountains around.It is the best location to take photos.

Along the bluestone slabs covered with moss, the old buildings shaded by woods takeyou back in time to ancient China. Recording the history of the town, the old houses,walls and eaves look like faded pictures.

The rest on their Web site.

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