The town in Yiliang County was first built during the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and flourished in Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1616-1911) dynasties. It was an important line of communications connecting Yunnan and Sichuan. Owing to the mingling of commercial culture of more than a thousand years, rich and generous cultures of Shu State and ancient Yunnan have been crystallized here. Niujie now has five winding streets and more than 800 houses with a combination of Western and Chinese styles, among which more than 400 are residential houses of Ming and Qing dynasties. More than ten temples and ancestral halls built during the Qing Dynasty are still well preserved.
The pass is 20 kilometers from Yanjin county town. The Wuchi Road (wuchi means five chi, and 1 chi is equal to 1.09 inches) in the scenic area was built in the Qin Dynasty (221-226 BC); today the ancient road is around 300 meters long and 1.2-1.3 meters wide. Dozens of marks of horse’s hoof on the stone steps are remained. Since the Qin Dynasty, the Wuchi Road was an important passageway connecting Yunnan and Sichuan, and a main road of the south Silk Road. It is of great value for the study of the history of transport development of Yunnan and Sichuan, and the history of the ancient south Silk Road as well. The other places of cultural interest are Tang Tablet Pavilion, the engravings on the rocks inside the pavilion and the ancient suspended coffins.
Suspended Coffins of Bo People
Suspended Coffins of Bo People is a custom of the funeral rites of the ancients. The coffin of the dead was placed in a cliff of strategic importance or suspended on the precipice at the foot of a hill and beside a stream. That means the soul of the dead could go up to Heaven at an early date. Even today traces of this peculiar burial rite can still be found in Dousha Town. The remains of nine suspended coffins here are well preserved, known as the museum of suspended coffins.
Makou Karst Cave
Only about 10 households live in Shipanyishe, Makou Township, Zhaotong, which sits majestically on the high slabstone. The town is at an elevation of more than 2,000 meters above sea level, with one side backing on the mountain and the other facing the Jinsha River. The scenery is peculiar and diversified. At the same time there is a large karst cave in Makou Township. Owing to the geological structure, a rock structure is formed in the cave. It looks like a brick-laid rock structure; hence it’s called “Underground Great Wall”. The geothermal hot spring is also the local specialty and worth trying.
Old Street of Zhaxi
The old street located at Zhaxi Town of Weixin County was divided into two parts, common people section and rich people section. Right now it has become a busy street with country fair trade. In the section of the common people, beautiful earthenwares, antiques and iron wares and also sundry goods are sold in the inclining, low and old wooden houses; some of the old houses are used as places for people to write letters on somebody’s behalf; and the sound of singing lingering in tea houses. In the section of the rich people, the houses, in French-style, old but elegant, are used as shops selling daily necessities. The arches of the doors and windows are covered by various kinds of billboards. Though it is an old street, it is still busy today with crowds of people during the weekends and market days.
Stone Carvings on Guandou Mountain
The stone carvings in Weixin County were made in the Ming Dynasty and were burned several times. The remainings are 64 statues, more than 300 reliefs, god shrines, tablets and plinths, the fine and excellent artistic stone carvings of ancient times in Yunnan. They are valuable heritages for the study of stone carving art and ethnic religious culture.
Tablet of Meng Xiaoju
The tablet is in the pavilion in the Experimental High School of Zhaotong District, Zhaotong City. The form, diction and handwriting of the tablet are of the pattern and prevailing custom in the style popular in Eastern Han Dynasty. Its handwriting is simple and powerful, known as a rare treasure.