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The Yan's Compound of Bai Minority in Xizhou

xizhou-minority Located at only 18 kilometers north of Dali, Xizhou faces Erhai on the east and rests on Cangshan in the west. It's a historically famous city that contains incredibly well preserved Bai architecture. Examples are Yan's compound, Hou's compound and Dong's compound.

xizhou-minority01Bai houses are very distinctive. Entering Xizhou, capacious courtyards and peaceful streets treat visitors with the calmness and elegance that were typical in ancient times. The Yan compound lies in the central part of Xizhou. It is made up of five courtyards from north to south, including Sanfangyizhaobi (compounds with three houses on each side and a screen wall facing the main house), Sihewutianjing (compounds with four houses in the center and five light wells in each corner) and an independent three-storied western-style building. Each of the houses puts great emphasis on designing the front gate of the compound, because it shows the owner's economic status and also is the symbol of bringing honor to the ancestor. Doors, windows and walls are designed delicately and beautifully. The doors and windows are engraved with the figures of different birds and flowers. The walls are decorated with wash paintings. All of these reveal the superb skills and creative talents of the Bai Nationality.

Besides visiting Bai-style architecture, visitors also have chances to touch the living styles of the local people, taste their special food, and drink their unique tea. "Three Courses of Tea" is very dainty; it's different from other Chinese tea. The first course smells a little bitter; the second course is a bit sweet (adding candy and walnut pieces in it); and the third course is memorable (with condiments in it). Maybe you have drunk black tea, green tea, jasmine tea or other kinds of Chinese tea, but "three courses of tea" is a unique experience. It's just like life, bitter first and sweet later. One must taste slowly. One can also enjoy Bai singing and dancing performances, and take part in some local evening activities. In the daytime, visitors can go to the commercial center to buy what they want, such as marble wares, which enjoy great popularity among the visitors.