Yunnan · Lijiang · Lijiang
Judian 巨甸

A history trading post on the upper reaches of the Yangzi.
Picture: A Naxi trading post on the Yangzi.
Judian: A Naxi trading post on the Yangzi.

Following the road upstream along the Yangzi from Shigu comes Judian, once a Naxi trading post in an area that was contested between the Tibetans and the Chinese. Unprotected by a wall, the town suffered frequently at the hand of bandits and Tibetans.

Joseph Rock wrote:

Chü-tien, [...] situated at an elevation of 6,450 feet, is a dusty, miserable place; the upper or northern half of the town had been burned by Tibetan brigands. Like their ancestors whose depredations are recorded in the Mu Chronicle, the Tibetans still invade this territory, burn, rob, and loot to their hearts’ content, for there are no more native Shih-men guards to keep them back, as in the days of old. These hordes can only be held in check by troops which are occasionally rushed up from Ta-li [Dali] with machine-guns, usually much too late and after the Tibetans have done their depredations and have retreated into their mountain fastnesses, where the Chinese soldiers are unable to pursue hem. [Joseph F Rock, 1947, p. 289]

The old town, more a large village, remains, but a modern market street to the south handles the business. About four kilometers to the northwest are the ruins of Judian's Tibetan temple, not much more than an adobe wall, but still testament to a much larger Tibetan influence in historic times. The temple might have been destroyed not during the Cultural Revolution, but during clashes between Tibetans and Chinese at the beginning of the 20th century.

Travel Notes

Judian has at least two good hotels. Transport is mostly by minibus. The direct road to Weixi is difficult to drive, so most vehicle choose the much longer route via Tacheng to Weixi. To make a connection to Zhongdian, take a minibus to Qizong where busses between Weixi and Zhongdian pass. There is a ferry crossing about 2km north of town.


Judian Busses

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