Built along the Nanxi River and nestled between lush mountains in China, you’ll find Nanxi River City. This tiny, strange looking metropolis is the most narrow city in the world. It’s been making both Chinese and International residents scratch their heads for years.
Why would anyone choose to create such a narrow, inaccessible place to live?
But the locals whose families have been here for more than a century say they wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
Welcome To Yanjin, The Narrow City On The Nanxi River
Yanjin County, which is the name of the county that’s also called Nanxi River City, is regarded as the world’s most narrow metropolis. It’s built alongside the Nanxi River and between China’s Yunnan Province’s rugged mountain district.
When you look at the city from above, it’s actually hard to believe it exists in real life. The town is shaped like a bit of a sandwich. The Nanxi River runs through it (no Brad Pitt though) and large buildings have been built on either side.
While its narrowness is what makes people wonder about it, that’s also what makes it so distinctive. It looks like something you’d see in a fantasy film, or even the product of a building simulation video game.
Sichuan Province provides a border to Yanjin County. It’s a prefecture-level city, in charge of its own administration.
In ancient times, it was the home of the Bo People, who are famous for their hanging coffins carved from a single log.
Yanjin belonged to the Great Gate Hall of Wumeng Mansion. The local administration received it as a gift in 1727. The city of Yanjin was then formed in 1917.
Is Yanjin really the world’s narrowest city?
For years, drone footage of this city has gone viral on social media in China.
The settlement is only 30 metres wide at its narrowest point. At its broadest point, it’s over 300 metres wide. A major roadway surrounds the city. Despite this, the area is still quite inaccessible. There are not many bridges in the area, so transportation is tough.
Yes, Yanjin is the world’s narrowest city! Many of the residents build their homes on the riverbanks because the land here is such a valuable commodity. Slender pillars form stilts that can protect these homes when the water level rises from flooding.
Visiting The Nanxi River City
With just one main road passing through and surrounded by the mountains on all sides, the county is not accessible to many people. Due to its infrastructure, the city is not able to do much in terms of economic development.
It’s hard to believe that the population of this small settlement is roughly 450,000 people!
If you’d like to check it out, we recommend hiring a guide that can help you with both language and travel. There’s more info here if you’d like to learn more about visiting this incredible, narrow city in China!