Ni hao! Welcome to Lijiang!

 With several scenic treats and a rich cultural and historical heritage, Lijiang has became a popular holiday destination for both Chinese and overseas travellers. It is made up of an Old Town and a New Town, and there are a number of Lijiang hotels and other accommodation options in both locations. However, visitors always head for the wonderful sights of the Old Town which have been held when Lijiang was evaluated as a World Heritage Site since 1988.

Located at the hub of Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, Lijiang is blessed with clean, fresh air, sparkling streams and spectacular snow-capped mountains all topped off with an undisturbed landscape. Add to this the charm and goodwill of the local people to make the perfect China holiday destination.

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In February 1996, an earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale hit this area. After that major renovation activities were undertaken, removing traces of modernity and restoring authenticity. With domestic tourism on the rise, tour groups are now a common sight in the Old Town. The narrow winding alleys, the functioning canals, Chinese architecture that dates back to over 100 years and the splendour of nature in the area is a combination so charming that visitors are bound to come in droves booking onto the wide variety of Lijiang tours and activities as word gets around.

Ethnic minorities are the chief inhabitants of the Old Town of Lijiang. Their rich cultural heritage is a great crowd puller and you will find many tours in Lijiang that take you the experience the wonder of their traditional lifestyles. Many of these include an overnight stay in a local village and while your accommodation may not be as glamorous as some of the hotels in Lijiang towns centre, the experience will stay with you for a lifetime.

The town is situated at an altitude of 2,400 metres (7,874 feet) and spread across 3.8 square km. Once Lijiang's centre, the Old Town has preserved the original lifestyle of the locals, the region's remarkable cultural heritage, as well as the buildings typical of the old era. Covered with trees, the Lion Mountain lies to the west, the protect the north, while a vast plain of fertile fields rolls endlessly in the southeast. The city was given the alias of 'Town of Big Ink Slab' (Dayanzhen) due to the crystal clear water that runs through the Old Town.Elephant and Golden Row Mountains


Lijiang Old Town
is built in such a way that it maximises the lie of the land be they mountains or rivers. This has prompted a lot of research on old Chinese architectural skills. Multiracial inhabitants, a rich history and scenic location make Lijiang a very special town that offers many exciting things to see & do. Use our interactive map of Lijiang to find the exact location of some of the amazing Lijiang highlights and there proximity to your Lijiang hotel.

While Naxis are the dominant local ethnic minority in Lijiang, there are quite a few Yi and Bai people living here too. The matriarchal society of the ethnic minorities is a very interesting subject for tourists, both Chinese and foreign. Property inheritance is matrilineal and the men move into the wives' homes once marriages are solemnised.

Dali, which is nearby, has an equally complex and maybe richer cultural and historical heritage. Yet more tourists visit Lijiang than Dali. The situation used to be different in the past. Before the 12th century Dali was the capital city and held a place of pride as the 13th largest city in the world. Lijiang was just a minor town in those days. The Mongol invasion during the 12th century changed Dali's status.

Lijiang sees a fair amount of rain during the summer (June-August), though it does not seem to deter the crowds, nor does it dampen the spirit. It is easier to find a hotel in Lijiang during May-October and the weather is also much more comfortable during those months.

You can make Lijiang your base for visiting the rest of Yunnan. Shangri-La, Zhongdian or Deqin in the north can easily be approached from Lijiang. Another interesting trip that awaits you is a visit to Tiger Leaping Gorge, which is one of the greatest natural treasures in China. Lijiang is used to plenty of domestic tourists so most locals do not speak English. You need to equip yourself with basic Chinese speaking skills to get along in Lijiang.

One of the great Lijiang tour highlights is the southernmost glacier in the Northern Hemisphere - the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, locally known as Yulong Mountain. There are 13 peaks here with teh tallest one being Shanzidou at 5,600 metres (18,360 feet). The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is spread over a 35 kilometre (22 miles) stretch and it straddles a width of 20 kilometres (13 miles). Take in the view of the mountain from your Lijiang hotel in the Old Town, with the snow-covered mountains laced with fog suggesting a jade dragon resting in the clouds. It is this illusion that got the mountain the name Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

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