Lijiang Charming village illuminated by the glacier

Lijiang Travel Guide of China

Things to do in Lijiang

  • Lijiang Old town

    Lijiang Old town

  • Shuhe Ancient Town

    Shuhe Ancient Town

  • Impression Lijiang

    Impression Lijiang

  • Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

    Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

  • Tiger Leaping Gorge

    Tiger Leaping Gorge

  • Black Dragon Pond

    Black Dragon Pond

The top sites in Lijiang

Lijiang is one of the most beautiful regions of Yunnan with its wonderfully preserved traditional village at the foot of the mountain, which is one of the finest in China. Combining ethnic peoples, traditional architectures and natural landscapes, it is a small retreat near Shangri-La and Tibet. In Naxi village, cultural identity is strong despite the strong Han influence in many places. This harmonious blend has earned the old city and some surrounding villages UNESCO heritage sites.

Lijiang Overview

Located at an altitude of 2,500 meters in Yunnan, Lijiang City has a rich history in ethnic diversity. Already well developed in the Song dynasty, the region welcomed a number of small minority groups that were fleeing northern invasions of Genghis Khan. It was there that the Naxi people arrived 1,400 years ago. Lijiang, considered the center of the Naxi country still hosts a large population of this ethnic group, although they tend to avoid tourist development of the city.
However, Lijiang, it is not only the home of the Naxi people, it is also a region whose architecture was able to combine Naxi elements to the influence of Qing and Ming. Several villages are listed as World Heritages by UNESCO for traditional dwellings they contain and the organization of the old town with a maze of canals and alleyways. Moreover, these small towns and the city of Lijiang are located in a spectacular natural setting with the snow covered peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in plain view.

The Naxi People

The people of the Tibetan Qiang tribes have a strong culture identity. Until recently, these people lived in a matriarchal society where the women took care of their child without a relationship with the father. The men lived with his family during the day and could go to his girlfriends' home if the girl accepted. However, with the arrival of the Han in the region, women lost power and Confucian ideas that men should lead the power took the ascendance.
The Naxi people also created their own religion. This religion, called Dongba, which integrates into the lifestyle of the minority group. We found a very old text on this religion,'The Creation,' which is written in the naxi language. Still using hieroglyphs, this written language of more than a thousand year is the only one of its kind commonly used today.
The Naxi are not only known for their wooden buildings but also their music and traditional dances. These animistic beliefs took part the Naxi before the 15th century which are at the origin of the specific dances.

Must-see in Lijiang

Listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO, a tour in the old town of Lijiang where traditional wooden architecture blends with a maze of narrow alleys and canals is necessary. For more relaxation and exploration, you can also spend some time in the village of Yuhu or admire the magnificent frescoes at Baisha Village
A walking tour of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is also worthwhile and is often combined with the show of "Impression Lijiang."
Lastly, whether you’re going for a hike or a walk, the Tiger Leaping Gorge is a place that shouldn't be missed on your trip in Lijiang.

Best time to visit Lijiang

Located at a certain altitude, the temperature is neither very high or low (rarely below 0°C). However, a sweater and a raincoat is always needed. The rainy season is between May to October and is strong in July and August. It may be difficult to see the top of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain due to heavy fog during some of these times. The rest of the year is very pleasant with a drier winter than other seasons while a little cooler.

  • Best time to visit

    Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May. Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. 
  • Altitude

    2416M Altitude Lijiang
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