Thursday, July 23, 2015

Travel through Philately - Old Town of Li Jiang 丽江古城 (Hong Kong Post)

I shared the 3rd from a Hong Kong Post series on World Heritage in China here, and had the first here, so where is the 2nd? Here it is!

There is still no lack of beautiful scenery in China despite the pollution as a result of their industrialization, and one of them was the Old Town of Li Jiang. Even though there were redevelopments targeted at wooing tourists, enough of the original remnants remained to exude an atmosphere of a historical town.

Hong Kong Post's World Heritage in China series #2: Old Town of Li Jiang

Li Jiang Old Town's inscription to the UNESCO list was backed by over its fascinating history, being once a confluence of trade in the Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail. The town's history can be roughly traced back to the Southern Song Dynasty in 13th century AD.

A view of Li Jiang Old Town (image from Wikipedia).

During this period, the ancestors of a ruling Nakhi family moved their main center from Baisha (白沙) to the foot of the Mount Shizi (狮子山), building houses surrounded by city walls and moat, setting the base for the town. When the Mongols invaded, the family capitulated and the town became an administrative center. During the rise of the Ming Dynasty, the region came under their rule and a prefecture was established.

Through active trading, the Nakhi people in Li Jiang exchanged skills and knowledge from the Han Chinese throughout the era, even keeping them from extinction in the modern age. The houses were built from timber and mud brick, and one of their distinctive features are the detailed flower and birds carving decorating the windows.

Those thatched rooftops are one of the distinctive image of the old town (image from Stuck In Customs Smugmug).

An out of the town image of Li Jiang (image taken from Stuck In Customs Smugmug).

Date of Issue:         22 August 2013
Denominations:      HK$10
Stamp Size:            38.5mm x 51.5mm
Minisheet Size:      140mm x 90mm
Perforation:            14 (one elliptical perforation on each vertical)
Paper:                     Paper with security fibres
Printing Process:    Lithography and Embossment
Printer:                   Joh. Enshedé B.V., The Netherlands
Designer:                Gideon Lai

  1. UNESCO World Heritage List
  2. Wikipedia - Old Town of Li Jiang

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