From the shamanistic Naxi people to the matriarchal Mosuo, with the most diverse population of ethnicities in China, Lijiang is about as colourful, eclectic and charming as a little city can get. An intricate network of babbling waterways and canals lattice the ancient, paved streets in the UNESCO Heritage Site of Lijiang’s Old Town.
At the foot of the Tibetan plateau this quaint city of timber courtyard homes provides not only a melting pot of local cultures, but also stunning mountain views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Old Town provides an endless array of shops and photo opportunities, and when you tire of tourist shops, simply turn off the main path and wander down a grey cobblestone back alley to step back in time to the well-preserved early days of trade along the southern Silk Road. Otherwise, take a bike ride along the flat, farm-speckled Baisha valley to enjoy the verdant countryside and meet with friendly locals.
Lijiang proved to be one of the highlights. While lacking the sophistication of large cities, the beauty of the area, excellent hotel, interactions with Naxi culture, clean air & no high rises make this city a must.
Explore lijiang through the eyes of a local
Lijiang’s position on the Tea and Horse caravan trail to Tibet has been the chief reason for its historic prosperity. Home to the largest Naxi population in China, Lijiang is a relaxing spot to interact with some of China’s ethnic minorities.
We customize each of our itineraries based on your interests and traveling style. The itinerary below forms a base to start the conversation.
Naxi architecture, comprising one and two storied timber courtyard homes with upturned tiled rooves, is incorporated in the beautiful resorts here.Learn More
Perched on a hill overlooking Lijiang's old town, Amandayan’s 35 suites are arranged within the traditional timber courtyard homes of the Naxi people.
Banyan Tree Lijiang
When Banyan Tree opened in Lijiang in 2006, it was the first five star resort to do so in China; it earned itself a reputation that defines and enhances the brand to this day. Naxi architecture is incorporated within a range of villa and town houses with views onto Jade Dragon mountain.
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suggested guide: jack
Fine Dining & Authentic Cuisine
Experience the finest in Chinese and Western cuisine
Lijiang "baba" or flat wheat breads, salty or sweet, are a delicious Naxi snack often savored for breakfast. "Crossing the bridge" rice noodles will remind you of a Vietnamese pho. A focus on fresh, local ingredients result in a series of salads, such as lotus leaf or chick pea salad. You will also be able to try lots of mixed mushroom dishes.
- Population: 1.25m (2010)
- Many ethnic minorities, predominantly Naxi, Bai, Mosuo, Yi, Lisu and Pumi.
- 120 BCE – 1450 – Lijiang, is a center of silk embroidery and the most important trading town along the Southwestern Silk Road route, also called the Ancient Tea and Horse Road
- 658 – 1107 – Baisha Old Town is the political, commercial and cultural center of the Naxi population and other ethnic groups
- 658 – The Dabaoji Palace of the Baisha Fresco is built
- 1961 – Lijiang Autonomous County is established
- December 4, 1997 – Lijiang’s Old Town is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Located in the northwestern portion of Yunnan at the bottom of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
- Elevation: 2,400m (7,874ft)
- Main Rivers: Lijiang River
- Total area coverage: 21,219 km2 (8,193 sq mi)
After your time spent exploring lijiang you may want to consider these other recommended destinationsHelp Me Decide
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China’s capital for 11 centuries boasts the Terracotta Warriors and a Muslim quarter that dates to the time of the Silk Road.