Jianshui is without any doubt the most beautiful city in South Yunnan in the Honghe Prefecture, 210 kilometers away from Kunming.
At first sight, Jianshui may look similar to any other Chinese town. Nothing is less true. Jianshui holds a village atmosphere, with old streets and traditional houses such as around the Chaoyang Gateway Arch in Jianshui Old Quarter. Besides, climatic conditions are pleasant; neither hot in summer nor too cold in winter.
Jianshui is situated at a height of 2,285 meters and is surrounded by mountains. Jianshui got established in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) and is one of the earliest developed cities in south Yunnan that enjoys the fame of being an ancient cultural city and an important gateway. Folks, among which were the Yi and the Hani, traveled through Jianshui from north to south and the other way around.
Yunnan was under control of the State Yi Nanzhao - based in Dali - since the eighth century. Around the year 810 Nanzhao State built the city Jianshui, then called Huili. In the Yuan Dynasty, the city got renamed to Lin'an, a garrison town and already walled. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) its name was changed to Jianshui. For more than seven centuries it remained a strategic town in the south of Yunnan. The importance of the city is visualized by its constructions such as the Confucius Temple.
Since 1988 the city can be visited by foreigners. The city is mainly inhabited by Han people, but around the city, you will find many minorities such as Yi, Hui, Hani, and Dai.