Lijiang has the best preserved ancient town in
– its old town has been listed in the World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO in 1997. It maintains the original flavor of the local lifestyle, the typical groups of buildings and the profound cultural heritage of the region. Lijiang and environs are inhabited by several ethnic nationalities with interesting cultures. They include the Naxi, which have the largest population in this region. China
Perched at bottom of the Himalayas and the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, this remote town in southwest China’s Yunnan Province is a show-stealer for its amazing landscape and rich culture. Nestled in a valley ringed with snow-capped mountains, springs, lakes and frothy rivers, nature’s touch extends into Lijiang County. The Old Town is full of cobbled streets, crisscrossing canals flowing with water, swaying willows and gaily–hued blossoms. Every so often, a bridge – stone, flat, arched, wooden, roofed – pops up and along it trundles local folk in traditional dress.
Note: Please be informed that though it has a good reputation among both Chinese and foreigners, Lijiang has become very commercial as tourism has developed in recent years.
What to see
The Dayan Old Town with streets paved with the local stone slabs, many stone bridges and arches gives the city a magical atmosphere. Take time to explore also the small streets off the main tourist paths.
The Mansion of Mu Clan – located just in the old town – provides a fascinating insight into the local culture and traditions of Lijiang.
The Black Dragon Pool - located in the north of the town - offers an excellent view of the Yulong Snow Mountains.
Visit the Mosuo People beside the Lugu Lake, which are called the last “Kingdom of Women” on earth.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: offers expansive mountains views and snowy scenery. You can scale the 5,500m mountain on your own without much trouble. There are two chairlifts, the first one goes up halfway the mountain, while the second, the highest chairlift in Asia, lifts you up to 4506m. Don’t let the stunning views of glaciers and peaks distract you too much – be aware of signs of altitude sickness; sickness; symptoms include dizziness, headaches and a feeling of sluggishness. We do not visit this mountain in are group tours to this area but you are welcome to visit it on your private tour with us to this area.
Best time to Visit: Winters are a little chilly while summers bring the most visitors, this means spring and autumn are the best times to visit. Please be aware that because this area is famous, Lijiang can get crowded all year round. The best time to visit it is in the early morning, when most people are still sleeping.
Be aware of altitude sickness. The best defense is to not to go suddenly from one altitude to a much higher one.
Climate: At an altitude of over 2,000m, the weather is pleasant all year round. But bring something warm in case you climb the highlands or feel chilly at night.
Transportation: Flights from Kunming to Lijiang take about 45 minutes. The Lijiang Airport is 27km from south of the city and takes 25 to 30 minutes to reach by car.
Food: Lijiang cuisine is a blend of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles. Charming hole-in-the street outlets offer delicious baba any time of the day. Best eaten in the mornings, this thick flatbread of wheat, served plain or stuffed with vegetables, meat, lard, extracted ham cubes or condiments such as sugar mixed with pure mountain water, cooked on a flat frying pan with slow fire is a Lijiang specialty. For local fare, a “Naxi sandwich” will have goat cheese, tomato slices between baba slices. For the more adventurous, deep-fried grasshoppers, dragonflies and other insects are also offered. Gulp them down with a selection of wine. Lijiang is also known for its three-river ham. Butter tea is a common drink in the area and a favorite of the ethnic Naxi and Tibetans.
Souvenirs: Much of the souvenirs available in Lijiang are related to the ethnic groups that populate the area. Hot items include copperware, leather and fur goods, carpets and rugs, and painted scrolls with poems written in calligraphy. Yunnan is also known for its flora and fauna, many of which are used in teas or medicines. Hand-woven hand-weaved cloths are another local specialty.