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Guilin Daxu Ancient Town History And Highlights

Built in 200AC, Daxu Ancient Town is prosperous in Ming and Qing Dynasties, reaching its peak in the period of the Republic of China. Six hundred years ago, Daxu Ancient Town was the largest country fair in Guangxi top four country fairs owing to its scale( the other three county fairs are Luxu in Binyang County, Rongxu in Cangwu County and Qiaoxu in Gui County).

Situated in the eastern bank of Li River, Daxu Ancient Town locates in the southeast of Fuzi Cave and the north of Mopan Hill. It is 23-kilometer-voyage away from Guilin( it is only 15 kilometers away from the present Guilin city centre). Daxu Ancient Town was the waterway junction but also the country fairs hub. In its eastern area, Xin River in Chaotian county is bound with Ma River in Fuli; in its western area, people can arrive Yongfu County along the Xiangsi River; in its northern part, Li River flows through Guilin, Xing’an, Yangshuo, Pingle and Wuzhou. Not only can it reach Hunan Province, but it arrives in Guangzhou. In Ming and Qing Dynasties, Daxu had been a business hub for various business lines. Businessmen set up their chambers, and some of them were famous, such as Guangdong Chamber, Hunan Chamber, Jiangxi Chamber and mosque. During the period of the Repblic of China, there had been eight streets as below: Laoxu Street, Diling Street, Long’an Street, Xinglong Street, Tangfang Street, Gulou Street, Siying Street and Jianshe Street. What’s more, there were ten or more ports along the Li River. There was a saying that sailing against the current, you can arrive in Guilin; while floating down the river, you can reach Guangzhou. And the shops were composed of the Great Four, Medium Eight, Small Twenty-four. All of these demonstrates the prosperity of Daxu Ancient Town in ancient times.

The old street stretches for 2 kilometers along the Li River. The street is paved with the flagstone. In the two sides of the street, the old houses are maintained perfectly. Some old handicraft workshops still are kept well, such as bamboo weaving workshops, straw sandals workshops, traditional funeral supplies stores, traditional Chinese medicine clinics and old barbershops. Originally built in Ming Dynasty, Wanshou Bridge, a single-arched stone bridge, still stands in the southern Daxu Ancient Town. All the old buildings in the town witness the history of Daxu Ancient Town.


Flagstone street
Flagstone street is covered by 15,000 pieces of flagstone. It was constructed along the Li River in the early Ming Dynasty. The street is 2.5-kilometer long and 2-meter wide. Most parts of the street are paved with flagstones, while 0.5 kilometers of it is covered by pebbles.

The two-floor houses on the two sides of the street are built by gray bricks and gray tiles in Ming or Qing Dynasty styles. Every house is built reasonably for residential and commercial use. All of them are composed by front yard, patio, drawing room, wing-room and backyard. In general, the house near to the street is used for doing business. There are stairs to the second floor. Going inside, flowers are usually planted in the patio which is beneficial for lighting. The tall and spacious drawing room is seated behind the patio. The statues and ancestral tablets are worshipped in it. Also it is the main place for the host to relax themselves and entertain their guests. Wing-rooms are on the both sides of the drawing room. All the doors and windows are carved with patterns. At the back of the drawing room, there is a door leading to the backyard which is close to the river. Kitchen and washing room are built in the backyard. People always get water and do the laundry in the river by walking down the stone steps. As the houses are constructed in brick and wood, the doors are a row of wood. In the morning, when the door is taken away, everything in the houses opens to the world; while in the evening, after resetting the door, they cut off the outside. All the houses have been kept for hundreds of years.
Wanshou Brige
Initially constructed in Ming Dynasty, Wanshou Bridge, a single-arch bridge, was reconstructed in the 25th year of the Reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty(1899). It crosses the Ma River(Jiansha River), bordering on the Siying Zhou in the east and flagstone street in the west. The bridge is 29.6 meters long with a central span of 16.8 meters. It has a width of 7.1 meters. In each end, there are twenty or more steps. The bridge with balustrades is paved with flagstones. Four vivid and magnificent stone lions(destroyed) guard the four corners of the bridge respectively. The bridge is very beautiful.

Here is the travel guide of Daxu, you could have more tour information here.