Covering a vast territory, China is rich in natural and cultural heritage. To date, more than 40 sites are inscribed on the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Committee under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Hongkong Post has issued stamp sheetlets in the World Heritage in China Series since 2012 to showcase some of the many natural and cultural gems of our motherland.
The Old Town of Lijiang is featured in Stamp Sheetlet No. 2 of the World Heritage in China Series. Lijiang, also known as Dayan Town, is located in Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County in Yunnan Province. It occupies an area of 3.8 square kilometres on Yungui Plateau, which is more than 2400 metres above sea level. First built in the late Song Dynasty and early Yuan Dynasty (late 13th century), Lijiang is a famous ancient town set in an idyllic landscape, embracing the picturesque scenery of a mountain city and a waterside village. Characterized by a harmonious fusion of different architectural styles of the Han, Bai, Yi, Zang and Naxi nationalities, the historical town is an important cultural treasure trove for the study of Chinese architecture.
In this stamp sheetlet, the soaring Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is used as the backdrop. The cloud-wreathed and snow-capped mountain is the southernmost snow mountain in the Northern Hemisphere. Its main summit reaches an altitude of 5596 metres, offering a spectacular and ever-changing view. On the lower left of the stamp sheetlet is Mu's Mansion. Situated in the southwest corner of the old town, Mu's Mansion was originally built in the Yuan Dynasty as the office of a hereditary prefect surnamed Mu in Lijiang. It not only bears witness to the history of Lijiang, but also embodies the civilisation of the ancient city. Featured on the stamp is Wanjuan Pavilion of Mu's Mansion. With a collection of well over a thousand volumes of Dongba scripture, Dazangjing (Buddhist sutra) and other scholastic gems, the pavilion houses the essence of a cultural heritage of two thousand years. The 100-Year-Old Bridge is portrayed on the right of the stamp sheetlet. There are many water courses in the old town and bridges of different sizes can be seen everywhere. Being near to mountains and waters, the Old Town of Lijiang blends well with the natural environment. Its scenery is most enchanting.