Jianshui is a city in Honghe prefecture, Yunnan province, China.

Jianshui, an ancient town in Honghe Prefecture of Yunnan Province, is one of the national famous historic and cultural towns of China. With a history of about 1200 years and an abundant distinctive cultural heritage, the Ancient Town enjoys a great reputation as a ‘Museum of Ancient Buildings and Residential Houses’ and attracts a lot of visitors at home and abroad. It’s one of the most prevalent centers of the province and remains an important transportation crossroad. Previously, it has been known as Ling’an (Chinese: 临安).

Useful Resources

Jianshui Ancient Town

Location Profile

Jianshui was called Lin’an or Badian Town in ancient times. It is located over 220 kilometers (nearly 136.7 miles) south of Kunming. The history of this ancient town can be dated back to Nanzhao State (738-937). About the year 810 the Nanzhao State built Huili City here. Huili in Yi (an ethnic minority of China) language means ‘vast sea’, and in Han language it is translated as Jianshui. In the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) the government set up Jianshui Zhou. Later, in the Ming Dynasty, it was changed to Lin’an Fu. Under the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) it was changed to Jianshui County.

Instrumental Music

“WuShan Song”

This is a style of singing that characterizes this mountainous region. The song is structured to have five parts and is traditionally sung with multiple parts in heterophony. It is usually sung at night during the harvest season or during major festivals.

Cultural Dances

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