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Mu Residence (Mu Fu)

Lijiang, China

One of the dominating buildings in the old town of Lijiang, Mu’s Residence is less like a home and more like the Forbidden City in Beijing. It belonged to the rulers of the Naxi ethnicity and was built on a grand scale before it was demolished in conflicts. The recreation effort was only limited to half the area of the original residence but is still as opulent as it was in its original form.

Since motor vehicles are not allowed in Lijiang, you will have to navigate your way by foot or by bike and reach Yudai Bridge. A good way is to start from Sifang street and walk westward along the small river and you’ll hit the right spot. Across the bridge is the entrance to the residence. There is a RMB60 admission fee (free for children under 3.9 feet) and timings are from 08:30 to 17:30. Spring is the best time of the year to go when the abundant flora and trees are in full bloom in the neatly trimmed gardens. It is better for you to hire a guide or otherwise do your research as there are next to none signs in English, explaining the history of the place.

The complex is divided in to two areas i.e. the living quarters and the buildings where state matters was carried out. The latter are built first and sit in an east to west axis. Upon entry, across a gaping courtyard, sits the Yishi (Meeting) Hall, a grand place surrounded by white marble fencing. Most of Tusi Mu’s official business was conducted in there. Notable are three steles or tablets that are acknowledgements by Ming emperors of the devotion of Mu to the country. Next in line is the Wanjuan Pavilion, a sort of library containing multiple sutras, texts and paintings. Behind that is the Hufa Hall, a place for religious ceremonies and sacrifices. There are other buildings and halls as well for worship, holding banquets and relaxing. At the end and to the west you come face to face with Shizi mountain.
The residential buildings are built to the north of the official area. Their courtyards, placement and décor are very close in style to that of the Imperial Palace. On the other hand, engravings and accents in design are closer in style to the palace of Ming. This beautiful blend makes it the best of both worlds for the tourists that come here. The gardens are especially beautiful, and tourists love to meander here and enjoy the calming atmosphere. Also, unlike the crowd, restrictions and the rush in the Forbidden City, Mu’s residence is more laid back, allows access to most of the areas and you can really immerse yourself in the grandeur that these influential people enjoyed in the past, since Naxi was an area rich in gold and resources.

Once you’ve had your fill of the place, be sure to go to the top part of Jade Garden and breathe in delightful views of Lijiang!

Mu Residence (Mu Fu) Mu Residence (Mu Fu) Mu Residence (Mu Fu)

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