Yacheng Ancient Town, Sanya, Hainan, China


Yacheng (Yacheng 崖城) is a town near Sanya, Hainan, China. It is located 45 km west of Sanya downtown area.
Yacheng is a quite popular tourist destination and a famous ancient town. It is the southernmost township in ancient China, noted for its profound cultural background, the well preserved residential houses build in 1910s or 1920s, the southernmost Confucius Temple in China and the unique local traditions and customs. It has been called the "Famous Historical and Cultural Town of China".
From Xia, Shang, Zhou Dynasty, the area of Yacheng was officially recorded as part of the Baiyue Region of China. In Qin Dynasty (BC221-BC207), the area of Yacheng was a remote area of Xiang Shire. In Han Dynasty, Yacheng was the administrative town of Linzhen County. Yacheng was established as the provincial administrative capital of Yazhou State in Liang Dynasty (AD502-557) in the period of Southern and Northern Dynasties. From Song Dynasty (AD960-1279) to 1954, it was always the political, administrative, commercial and military center of the local shire or county which has various names in different dynasties and periods.
– The Old Street
In front of the gate of the Confucius Temple of Yacheng, there is a famous old street with a history of 300 years. It was built in Ming Dynasty (13681644), and then gradually grew into a prosperous local high street. According to the official local history record, in 1752, there were already to big market at each end of the old street. More than 30 stores and shops were open everyday on the street. Among them, there are cloth shops, wine store, jewellery store, and book stores. On market day, it would be very crowded on this commercial street with people gathering here for browsering the shops, shopping in the groceries, and having fun from villages nearby.
The buildings on both side of the street have distinctive style of the old Cantonese-style architectures, with a quite wide open corridor in front of the doors of every shops and shelters for rain and tropical sunshine. This style is under great influence of the architecture style in countries of South-east Asian. The first floor can be used as spaces for shops and stores, the second floor can be used as apartments or offices. Yacheng is the sole place with such kind of old street in Sanya. Sometimes, film producers still use this old street as backgrounds for the making of some specific nostalgic or historical films.
– The Confucius Temple (The Academy of Confucianists)
The Confucius Temple (The Academy of Confucianists) is the biggest official school of the highest level in Hainan Province. It is also the southernmost The Confucius Temple in China. It was originally established in Song Dynasty and undergo a last overhaul in 1872 (during the Tongzhi Reign of Qing Dynasty). The majority of the temple is well preserved and protected.  The design of the lotus columns reflects the architecture style of Song Dynasty while the wood base of the roof features the architecture style of Ming Dynasty. It is a very beautiful and magnificent ancient building complex in Yacheng.
– The Southern Gate (Wenming Gate)
This gate is the southern access of Yacheng town and the construction began in Song Dynasty. The rampart was initially made of pressed soil. In 1198 (during Song Dynasty), it was rebuild as a brick-wall gate. In 1436 (in Ming Dynasty), the gate was expanded with more military annexes. In 1843 (in Qing Dynasty), it got the name of Wenming Gate.
– Yingwang Tower
Located in the west of Yacheng town, this seven-floor octagon tower was established in 1851 due to the suggestion of the local governor and the generous donation of local people. The 15-meter-tall tower is made of bricks. The tower began leaning several decades ago. Local people nickname the tower the Miniature Leaning Tower of Pisa of Yacheng.


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