Guilin is a picturesque city, aft-lauded as “Guilin’s Landscapes is the best under the Heaven”. The city is surrounded by rivers and lakes, and dotted with karst hills, a cityscape typical of a mesmerzing Chinese painting.
But Guilin’s fame doesn’t totally rely on its natural beauty, it also boasts several sites of historical importance and cultural value. Daxu Ancient Town (大墟古镇) is one of them, which used to be off-beaten path. Now Daxu Ancient Town has become a popular travel destination which attracts those who are interested in Chinese history, traditional buildings and culture.
So if you are planning Guilin tour, you may consider adding Daxu Ancient Town on your Guilin travel schedule. Basically a trip to Daxu Ancient Town from Guilin city center takes about 3-4 hours. It is located about 19 km southeast of Guilin city center. The 40-minute public buses leaves from the back gate to Guilin General Bus Station (桂林汽车总站) and heads for Guanyan (冠岩) and stops at Daxun Ancient Town. Pay 10 yuan bus fare on board and the ticketing office doesn’t sell the tickets for Daxun Ancient Town. No entrance fee.
“Daxu” literally means “a big market”. Daxu Ancient Town used to be one of the four ancient market towns in Guangxi Province. The ancient town developed from Song Dynasty ( 960 -1279), prospered in Ming and Qing dynasties ( 1368 -1911) and reached its peak during Republic Era of China ( 1912 – 1949 ).
Daxu Ancient Town’s only street runs along Li River for 2 km (on the east bank of the river), flanked by tradtional one- and two-story wooden houses. Walking on the stone-flagged street brings you back to the past when it was a busy trade and market town. Today, the town is well preserved and still inhabited by the locals from generation to generation.
Now follow me to have a glimpse of the ancient town.
The ancient town attracts more and more foreign tourists nowadays and I happen to meet some of them, a busload of tourists from Spain.
They are talking and laughing, every much intrigued by the ancient Chinese houses and handicrafts.
The large original stone paved street tells us a historical past.
The two-story wooden house has ornate wood carvings and western style of handdrails.
You will see some local food culture, herbal medicine and crafts arts are still preserved till today like distillery, bamboo craft and many more.
It is a leisurely place. Most of the inhabitants are seniors and kids with doors open, living an easy and slow pace of life.
The Longivity Bridge is a single arch stone bridge, originally built in Ming Dynasty and rebuilt in 1899. The bridge is firm with many stone steps at the confluence of Li River and Ma River.
The 2 km stone flagged and cobbled street is interesting for a tw0-hour stroll, immersing yourself into the traditonal Chinese life – its historical culture and tradtional buildings.
There used to be 13 docks along the street on the water edge at its peaks when it served as the local trade and commercial hub. Today, you can see some of them alive with water transportation and bambbo rafting activities.
Any questions, just drop a line.