The dwellings of the ethnic minority of Bai in Dali, Yunnan Province always make a strong impression on the traveler. Gradually, the Bai style architecture came into being. Over many years the Bai craftsmen practiced creating traditional Chinese dwellings, all the while cultivating a breathtaking architectural style to call their own.
Yan's Compound in Xizhou is the most representative of Bai-style residences, about 13 kilometers (8.08 miles) from Dali City. The compound covers an area of about 3,066 square meters (0.76 acres), built around the 1920's. As a whole, it is divided into four parts and each part is cleverly linked together. After visiting this impressive compound, one will ameliorate the admiration for its magnificence and the Bai people's architectural gifts.
Upon entering, one's eyes will fall upon the principal house with it's screen wall and two wings. According to the tradition of Bai-style architecture, the screen wall should face east in order to make use of the early morning sun and reflect the light into the inner rooms. Additionally, the screen wall, adorned with elaborate caligraphy and paintings, is considered as a talisman; the Bai people believe it brings good blessing.
Walking inside, one will see the second and then the third parts, each of the parts is enclosed by four houses with four small rooms built between each of the houses; a unique architectural style in Dali called "sihe wutianjing". The final house of the compound embraces a modern, western architectural style.
"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. 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.
|Classical residence of the Bai Ethnic Group || |
|Courtyard inside the Compound |
The Bai architecture and culture will fascinate the traveler. This stop in Xizhou is one not to be left unexplored!
How to get there: Take the bus of "Dali to Xizhou" and get off at its destination and from there you can walk to the Yan's compound.
|All Inclusive Ticket: ||CNY60 (including the admission fee and the fee of some performances) |