Chuxiong is about 127 km west of Yunnan's capital city of Kunming on highway GZ65. Chuxiong City is nestled between mountain ranges on all sides in a plateau region at 5800 ft (roughly 1750 meters). Chuxiong City has a population of 130,000 inhabitants, and the entire Chuxiong Automomous Prefecture has an estimated 2,542,530 inhabitants.
Chuxiong is the first stop from Kunming on the way to Dali and Lijiang. Dali is 180 km northwest of Chuxiong, or about a 2.5 hour drive on GZ65. Lijiang is about 6 hours from Chuxiong, and Lugu Lake is about 11 hours north, on the Sichuan border.
Yis Ancient Town began to be constructed in 2005, covering a total area of 245 Mu (Chinese acre). The ancient town takes the style and the sentiment of Yi Minority as principal factors, adopting features of other minorities of Yunnan and the gardens of Jiangnan (China’s south part of Yangtze River). Visitors could enjoy the Yi’s primitive customs, delicious food, songs and dances and the torch festival, etc. The courtyard inns would also be great experience of Yi’s living style.
Yi Ren Gu Zhen (literally, "Ancient Town of the Yi People") is an ancient town and tourist attraction in the northwestern "new town". There is nightly dancing and music with people of the Yi ethnic minority (who are one of China's 55 ethnic minorities). The Yi people's authentic, hand-made garb can be purchased in this community, along with many other hand-made items.
As of early 2007, the recently constructed Xin Long Jiang Guang Chang Mall features a Jack Jones clothing store, an Only clothing store, a Tissot retail store, and many other high-end items for sale. These international commercial outlets were nonexistent prior to 2007, and are most likely a sign of the prosperity of the city due to its central location between three major tourist attractions in Yunnan (Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang).
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