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Yunnanyi, home of horse caravan

By : InKunming | Published: 2012-August-17

Yunnanyi, a small village located at Xiangyun County, 46 kilometers from Dali, is regarded as the home to horse caravan in Yunnan Province.

Yunnanyi, a small village located at Xiangyun County, 46 kilometers from Dali, is regarded as the home to horse caravan in Yunnan Province.

"Yi" refers to courier station set up for the supply of relay horses or for couriers to have a rest on their way to deliver documents in the old days. Yunnanyi village, with a history of 2100 years, was served as a courier station for horse caravan initially. Hence, it gets the name " Yunnanyi."

Even though the sceneries here are not as beautiful as those in Dali, the village records the history of horse caravan that can be dated bake to Ming and Qing Dynasty .

All courier stations, architectures, and quadrangle dwellings are well preserved here.

It takes one about three hours to get to Yunnanyi by driving along Kunchu (Kunming-Chuxiong) and Chuda (Chuxiong-Dali) highway. The village is located near highway 320 (Stilwell Road).

Stepping into the village, one would see a slate-paved path stretching to the crop field. Being different from others, the path is pitted with numerous potholes left by horses in ancient times, which are all about five or six centimeters deep, presenting in the shape of horse's hoof.

Old dwellings are scattered on both sides of the path. Walking along the path, you may encounter with few cattle or horses strolling the on the road, which feels like entering into a new space. Being tired of the the hustle and bustle of city, one would prefer to enjoy the rurality at here, a land of idyllic beauty.

The most prosperous era of Yunnanyi can be date back to Ming and Qing Dynasty. As a key position along the Silk Road and Tea-horse Road in ancient Yunnan Province, Yunnanyi had nearly 30 caravansaries and 10 inns, where were all crowded with people and vehicles came from different places everyday for freight distribution,according to local villagers.

All the things, ups and downs of this village, are seem to relate to horse caravan. Qianjia yard, which is located at the end of the village, is the largest courier station that has gone through a tortuous journey.

Several street lamp has lightened the night of Yunnanyi, which seems to tell us the resplendence of the small place in former days.

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