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During the Tang Dynasty, an important trade road, just as famous as the Silk Road was prosperous in southwestern China. Later called the Tea-Horse Ancient Road, this road ran through the Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. After thousands of years the road subsequently disappeared. But Lijiang Old Town, which was a vital commercial distribution center then, is an exception. The town, including its original commercial district centered around the Square, still thrives.

What to buy

Naxi bracelets and necklaces carved with ancient Dongba hieroglyphs are popular with visitors. Individually designed T-shirts can be created as locals have the capacity to paint Dongba hieroglyphics on them. Knitted shawls of the Naxi Group have been popular with female visitors for quite some time.†Other popular souvenirs include Bunong Jixiang Bells and Naxi murals.†The Bunong Bells†draw their inspiration from the bells of the horse caravans that once traveled the Tea-horse Ancient Road. TheJixiang Bell, known as the lucky bell, was a sacrificial utensil of the Naxi people.

Where to buy

The most famous and bustling shopping center of Lijiang is†Square Street. A large number of souvenir stores are located here, selling various kinds of decorations and handicrafts.

Bunong Bell
Address: East of the big stone bridge of Lijiang Old Town.

Dongba Lucky Bell
Address: 1 Xinyuan Alley, Guangyi Street, Square Street, the Old Town

Li’s Silver
Address: 43 Guanyuan Alley, Guangyi Street, Square Street, the Old Town

Sun Wood-carvings
Address: Mishi Alley, Xinyi Street, Square Street, the Old Town


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