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Lijiang Travel Guide

Visit Lijiang

Lijiang History
There is a fairyland in southern China where blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains, and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by a friendly group of people. Life in this fairyland is so peaceful that fairyland called Lijiang.

Lijiang has been a political and cultural centre since the first Yuan Emperor Kublai Khan established his reign here. In Tang Dynasty, the economy of Lijiang reached a peak with the development of the Ancient Tea-Horse Road which made a great contribution to both commercial and cultural communication between Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces. The city now also plays an important role in commerce between Yunnan, the rest of China, Tibet and India.

More than 20 minority ethnic groups live there. Each of these ethnic groups has a unique culture and history, which match into the beauty of the land, setting an example of a harmonious relationship between man and nature. There is one that Lijiang is home to the Naxi, descendants of Tibetan nomads and is one of the world’s few remaining matriarchal societies.

Lijiang Highlights
Lijiang Ancient Town
The world famous Old Town of Lijiang is located in Lijiang City. It is a UNESCO Heritage Site. The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. Lijiang possesses an ancient water-supply system of great complexity and ingenuity that still functions effectively today.

The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents. Its architecture is noteworthy that the buildings in the town incorporate the best parts of the architectural traits of Han, Bai, and Tibet into a unique Naxi style. Naxi people pay much attention to the decoration, the commodious and applied houses are mostly timber and tile structure compound with a garden, each has engraved vivid figures of people and animals on doors and windows, beautiful flowers and trees in the garden. Living in such a beautiful and comfortable environment is a real pleasant thing.
What’s more, Shuhe Ancient Town, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lugu Lake and Baisha Mural are also worth visiting.

Lijiang Facts
Lijiang is a prefecture-level city in northwestern Yunnan Province. It has an area of 21,219 square kilometers and a population of 1,137,600. Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, the city centre of Lijiang enjoys a subtropical highland climate. Without too much change from spring to winter, the weather of Lijiang allows visitors to get there at any time. Lijiang has a clear annual distinction between the wet and dry seasons. The wet season spans May to October, with plenty of rainfall. From November to April belongs to the dry season. The sunshine in Lijiang is abundant all the year don’t forget to protect yourself from the strong radiation from the sun.

What to do

Shops here sell various kinds of decorations and handicrafts including jewels, paper lanterns, beautiful batiks, local handicrafts such as knitted shawls of the Naxi Group and other selections of Naxi and Tibetan clothes. The most popular items are Naxi bracelets and necklaces carved with ancient Dongba hieroglyphs. All these can easily be found in the Old Town and at the shopping center in the Square Street.


The colorful nightlife in Lijiang will give you a new understanding of the mysterious cultural practices of the local ethnic groups. For the young girls, what they like best would be shopping. There are a lot of small stores in Lijiang, selling various kinds of interesting handicrafts or snacks. These stores will be open till 12:00PM. The bars in Lijiang, which are decorated in different styles, are a highlight of Lijiang. Xinhua Street, which runs along the water in the Old Town, is famous for its local bars. Every night, travelers from around the world gather there to tell their stories and to enjoy the fascinating night scenery of Lijiang.


Lijiang has a wide range of places to eat and here you will find Naxi, Chinese and Tibetan food. The Naxi people, who have lived here for many generations, have developed their own cuisine using the rich local ingredients. Their dishes, with a refreshing flavor intermediate between Han Group and Tibetan, are a must to try if you are visiting Lijiang. Authentic Naxi cuisine consists of a number of tasty snacks that can be easily found in the streets. Jidou Liangfen- a kind of jelly made from chick pea, Baba- a kind of fried potato cake that is eaten with seasoning or others such as Bingfenliangxiao and butter tea are also popular with visitors.

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