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Have You Seen the World's Narrowest City? It's In China

At its narrowest point, the city is only 30 meters wide.

At its narrowest point, the city is only 30 meters wide.

Land in the city is a precious commodity and many of the houses are situated entirely on the banks of the river. The apartments are built on stilt-like thin pillars.

Yanjin county is widely considered to be the world’s narrowest city. The city is built along the Nanxi river and is situated between the steep mountains of China’s Yunnan Province.

Looking at the county from above, it’s hard for people to believe that Yanjin city exists in reality. Nanxi river flowing in the middle and tall buildings constructed on both sides make the city look like a sandwich. But this is exactly what makes the city so unique. It looks more like something people expect to see in a fictional movie or a game.

At its narrowest point, the city is only 30 meters wide, whereas its widest part is around 300 meters. The city is crossed by one main road on each side and it stretches for many kilometres with the river. Interestingly, it doesn’t have too many bridges.

There is another noticeable particularity to the city. Land in the city is a precious commodity and many of the houses are situated entirely on the banks of the river. The apartments are built on stilt-like thin pillars to protect them when the water level rises due to flooding.

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Drone-shot footage of the narrowest city has been going widely viral on Chinese social media for years. After watching the video, many asked why anyone would want to live in such a city, especially when one of the most powerful countries, China, has so much more appropriate land. The city has remained colonized for more than a hundred years, and many of the residents wouldn’t think about living anywhere else.

With just one main road passing through and surrounded by the mountains from all sides, the county is not accessible to many people and due to the infrastructure, the city is not able to develop economically.

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first published:August 13, 2021, 18:46 IST