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Lijiang Overview

Lijiang, a popular destination in Yunnan, is considered as a fairyland blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by a friendly group of people. It is great to enjoy a quiet and pleasant holiday in its Old Town which is graced by well preserved ancient buildings and the Naxi culture.

‣ Where is Lijiang

Lijiang is located in the northwestern portion of Yunnan and borders Sichuan. It is about 180 kilometers north of Dali. It is in a region where the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau converge.

‣ Basic Information of Lijiang

● Chinese Name: 丽江

● Key Words: Naxi Culture, Lijiang Old Town

● Area: 7,485 square kilometers   

● Population: 1,216,000

● Zip code: 674100 

● Dialing code: (+86) 0888 

‣ History & Today of Lijiang

While the geographical position of Lijiang City is remote, it has the advantage of ensuring a pleasant year round climate and a wide variety of tourist resources in the 20,600 square kilometers area. The earliest recorded history of the city can be traced back to the Warring States Period (476 BC-221 BC) but with the advent of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the local economy 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.

At present, Lijiang City is an attractive tourist destination in Yunnan Province that exercises jurisdiction over four counties and an Old Town District. This is the main region inhabited by Naxi Group, one of China's 55 minority ethnic groups. In its long history, the local residents have established their splendid Dongba Culture which has absorbed aspects of the culture of Tibet and the Central Plains along the middle and lower reaches of the Yellow River. The various souvenirs marked with these Dongba hieroglyphs are very popular with visitors from home and abroad.

‣ Climate of Lijiang

Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, the city centre of Lijiang enjoys a subtropical highland climate. Winters are normally mild, dry, and the sunniest time of the year, with a highs of 13.7 to 14.8 °C (56.7 to 58.6 °F), but due to the aridity this time of year, lows often fall to around the freezing mark. 

‣ Administrative Diversion of Lijiang

The government of Lijiang City sits in Gucheng District. Lijiang City comprises one district and four counties: Gucheng District(古城区), Yongsheng County(永胜县), Huaping County(华坪县), Yulong Naxi Autonomous County(玉龙纳族西自治县), Ninglang Yi Autonomous County(宁蒗彝族自治县).

‣ What to Visit in Lijiang

Lijiang has rich tourism resources, such as magnificent mountains and rivers, numerous nationalities, long history and brilliant culture. The city has more than 104 tourism scenic spots, the most representative are: "two mountains, one town, one lake, one river, one culture, one amorous feelings".

▪ Lijiang Old Town

The Lijiang Old Town which has been listed in the World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO in 1997. The Old Town was once the center of the city and continues to maintain the original flavor of the local lifestyle, the typical groups of buildings and the profound cultural heritage of the region.

Black Dragon Pool

Black Dragon Pool (also Heilongtan), or Jade Spring(Yuquan) Park is the main headwater of the Yushui River which goes through the Old Town. Like an ancient architecture museum, some of the famous buildings were established suburbs have under protection actually collected from other places. 

▪ Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain are tall peaks near Lijiang, which has a series of highlights to make your tour here an unforgettable memory.

Lugu Lake

Luguhu Lake is the native place of "The Females' Kingdom" composed of the Mosuo people, a branch of the Naxi nationality.

‣‣‣  More Attractions in LIjiang

‣ Minority Culture in Lijiang

• Naxi Nationality

The smart and unsophisticated Naxi people who have long inhabited Lijiang preserve the unique and profuse Dongba Culture. In fact, a great number of scholars and travelers are attracted to this mysterious place more for the culture than its charming sceneries. Dongba Culture is of a religious nature and make up the most important component of the ancient Naxi culture. 

• Dongba Painting

Traditionally, the exquisite and colorful Dongba paintings completely reveal the beliefs and good wishes of the Naxi people. Nowadays, local artisans have created a series of modern Dongba paintings that retain the essence of those from more traditional times.


• Dongba Scriptures

All the scriptures were written in the picture-like characters, so they are not interpretable by ordinary folk. These scriptures contain almost all aspects of the Naxi people, ranging from the nation's legends and history to traditional dancing and music. 

• Ancient Naxi music

Naxi Ancient Music is the crystallization of the art created by the Naxi people influenced by the Confucianism and Taoism as the representative of the Central Plains civilization.

What to Eat in Lijiang

There are plenty of places for tourists to stay and eat in Lijiang. Next to the Dayan Ancient City District, the modern Nanmen area has been built with restaurants, shops, hotels and amusements places. Next to the Shuhe Town area, the Chama Tourist Center district was also recently built with similar kinds of businesses. After UNESCO listed Lijiang as a special historical city, the number of tourists greatly increased, and people came to build hotels, shops and restaurants for tourists.

Recommended Lijiang Hotels

Five-star Hotels

▪InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort(丽江和府洲际酒店)

▪Lijiang Grand Hyatt(丽江君悦酒店)

▪Pullman LIjiang Resort(丽江铂尔曼酒店)

▪Lijiang Manxin Hotels&Resorts(丽江漫心度假酒店)

▪Four-star Hotels

▪Wang Fu Hotel(丽江王府酒店)

▪Hexi Hotel(和玺酒店)

▪Liwang Hotel(丽王酒店)

▪Three-star Hotel

▪ Ljiang Baisha Holiday Resort(丽江白沙别院)

Lijiang Trasportation

• Lijiang Airport: Lijiang Airport is located in the south of Lijiang city, 28 km (17 mi) away from downtown. There is an airport shuttle bus service in downtown Lijiang. The airport was opened in July 1995 and has flights to Kunming, Chengdu, Xishuangbanna, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Xiamen via Chongqing and Guiyang. It also offers chartered airplane service. There are flights from Kunming to Lijiang every day and is about 30 minutes flight time.

• There are bus services to, amongst others, Kunming (8 hrs), Dali (3 hrs), the Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri-La.

• There is a train service to Kunming with one overnight and two day trains, and one day train to Dali.

• Lijiang has several bridges over the Jinsha River, including the Jinlong Bridge, built in 1936, the oldest over the Yangtze.

Lijiang Travel Tips

• Best Time to Visit Lijiang

‣ Spring

Spring in Lijiang lasts from March to early June and begins relatively dry and sunny, but conditions progressively get moister and more overcast. 

‣ Summer

Summer in Lijiang is warm and damp, with June and July means of 19 °C (66.2 °F), much cooler than lowland areas.

‣ Autumn

Autumn in Lijiang lasts from late September to early December, progressively drying out. 

‣ Winter

From Jan to Feb will be cold because of the snow mountains.

• Shopping in LIjiang

Souvenirs marked with Dongba hieroglyphs are very popular with visitors from home and abroad. Exotic souvenirs from India and Nepal also can be found while wandering along the streets.

Related Articles
  • Lijiang Ethnic Minorities and Customs

    The Nakhi ​ are an ethnic group inhabiting the foothills of the Himalayas in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province, as well as the southwestern part of Sichuan Province in Chi...

  • Lijiang Tourism

    Lijiang tourism's development has expanded Lijiang's opening to the outside world.

  • Custom and Culture

    Naxi Ancient Music is the crystallization of the art created by the Naxi people influenced by the Confucianism and Taoism as the representative of the Central Plains civilization

  • Lijiang Introduction

    Lijiang includes the heritage site of Lijiang Ancient Town as well as picturesque nearby surroundings.

  • Administration Distribution

    Administrative Division: The government of Lijiang City sits in Gucheng District.

  • Lijiang Geography

    ​Lijiang City is located in the northwestern portion of Yunnan and borders Sichuan. It is in a region where the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau converge.

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