Lijiang City has been the top destination for overseas travelers over decades. Known as the city of romance in China, it is an ancient land with numerous cultural heritages and mesmerizing natural scenery. Read on WindhorseTour's Lijiang travel tips to help your savor the charm of Lijiang, including its top attractions, transportation, ethinic groups and local foods!
As a must go for anyone visiting Yunnan, Lijiang is easily accessible by air and by land. With domestic flights from most cities in China and well mentioned highways connecting other parts of Yunnan, get there and get away is super convenient. There is no direct rail link to Lijiang, so you cannot reach there by train.
Get to Know Lijiang City
Lijaing is the capital of China's southwest Yunan Province. Covering an area of 20,600 sq. km. (8,000 sq. mi.), it is located in the joint of the Yunnan and Guizhou Plateau and borders Sichuan province and Dali City in Yunnan.
With a total population of 1.1 million, Lijiang is a converge pot of 12 ethnic groups including the major three: Nakhi, Yi, Lisu.
Its history can be dated back to the Warring States Period (475 to 221 B.C.) and the local economy reached its peak with the development of Tea- Horse Road in Tang Dynasty.
The climate in Lijiang is not as mild as Kunming City - its an annul average temperature is 12. 6 ~ 19. 8 C (55 ~ 68 F), which varies a lot in a day and a year.
If you come here at different time of a year, you will enjoy different kinds of scenic spots but remember to bring your thick clothes.
Note that most people there do not speak Mandarin Chinese, but rather something similar to the Sichuan dialect.
What to See - Lijiang Highlight Attractions
Lijiang is abundant in natural scenic spots as well as distinct cultural heritage. It boasts beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers and grassland, making this city a wonderland.
Most visitors traveling to Lijiang spend their time touring in the Old Town of Lijiang,which is typical place in Lijiang to enjoy the architectural buildings and the Nakhi culture.
Old Town of Lijiang was selected as one of the World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO in 1997. It is featured by its vast spider-web of alleyways, shops and architectural buildings.
The Old Town of Lijiang is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges, well-known architectures which differ from other ancient Chinese cities.
It is also a birthplace of the local Nakhi people which can best reflect the local culture. Learn More About Old Town of Lijiang.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is famous for its magnificent snow peaks, glaciers, alpine meadow landscapes and virgin forests. This mountain boasts its natural wonders and scenic spots, being regarded as a National AAAAA Scenic Area.
The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is not only featured by its grandness but also its changing landscapes in different time. Sometimes it is swathed by the clouds and looks like a sky beautiful girl; sometimes the peaks seem to be washed clean and take on a kingdom of ice and snow. Learn More About Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the biggest and deepest gorges in China and in the world. It is famous for its glorious mountains, natural wonders and precipitous gorge which make it a paradise for trekking and adventures.
Two mountains together with the rapid flowing water leave the gorge a magnificent and precipitous sight. Your trekking will be amazingly rewarding.
If you are standing in the middle, you will surely be overwhelmed by the breathtaking beauty. Learn More About the Magnificent Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Lugu Lake is a typical alpine lake with beautiful mountains surrounded. Lugu Lake is an enchanting wonderland.
This is a unpolluted virgin land and the water is so clean that you can even see the plant in deep water. Viewing from afar, the lake looks like a jade mirror set on the green land.
The intoxicated landscape, original and mysterious ethnic custom and tranquil atmosphere make the Lugu Lake a paradise. You will also find beautiful Mosuo girls in ethnic dresses boating on the lake and singing beautiful fishing songs. Learn More About the Lugu Lake.
Shuhe Ancient Town presents an enchanting sight of the ancient architectural buildings. Unlike the ancient buildings, all the houses here are made from stones, which make it look like caves of primitive people and more natural.
The town was built nestling under mountains and near the rivers. Rivers, roads and houses make it a dense web and link the town in a tight structure like a honeycomb.
There are many shops and all the shops are old buildings with wooden doors and blue stone in the front. Learn More About Shuhe Ancient Town.
Besides the natural scenic spots, there are also numerous cultural heritage left from the ancient time. Except for the Old Town, other cultural attractions including Stone Drum Town, Yufeng Temple, Shuhe Ancient Town, Baisha Murals, Mu's Residence, Songzanlin Temple etc.
Visiting these attractions will allow you to explore the long history of Lijiang City, and appreciate its precious cultural treasury.
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Lijiang Ethnic Groups - Festivals - Customs
Lijiang City is also featured by its peculiar local custom and interesting festivals. Although Buddhism, Lamaism and Taoism coexist in this region, local Nakhi people seldom believe in one peculiar religion.
They have their special language, character and costume, and females play an essential role in Nakhi society.
Famous local festivals include the Sanduo Festival ( Feb. 8th), the Torch Festival (May 15th) and the Mountain Worshiping Day (July 25th).
If you come here at that time, you will be very lucky to watch the grand show of local dancing, shooting and singing etc. Be ready to savor the authentic custom of the various ethnic groups!
Local Food in Lijiang
A city without tasty food simply can not be a charming one. Please rest assured that you will be rewarded with nice local food when you travel to Lijaing!
Have you heard of the 18 Oddities in Yunnan? It's 18 peculiar phenomenon and cultural customs of Yunnan. Some of them are unique local foods.
One must try food is the Over Bridge Rice Noodles - the hallmark of Yunan food. It is a soup dish and one of the favorite local dishes in Yunnan, China.
There a story about the creation of this dish. It was created by a simple farmer's wife: every day she would bring her husband lunch in the fields, and the soup would be cold by the time she arrived. She came up with a solution which became the unique dish and a Yunnan hallmark today.
Other recommended local flavors include Yunnan's Favorite Snack Erkuai, Ham Baba, Nakhi Hot pot , Lijiang bamboo shoot etc., which enable you to satisfy your appetite to your hearts' content. There are numerous restaurants, bars, cafe or night markets in Lijiang, where you can find these food and many other high quality meals.
Shopping in Lijiang is a delightful experience. You may stumble upon things that you would never want to let go! Pick something nice among a sea of unique handicrafts from local small shops.
Recommended gifts include wax printing, ivory or wood carvings, sculptures, gems and jewels, Pu'er Tea etc.. There are also boutiques and supermarkets for you to buy these local products.
Three final travel tips for you, first, bring some warm clothes with you as sometimes temperature in Lijiang varies greatly during day and night.
Second, the price level of food and accommodation in Lijaing is not as low as you might have expected compared with Beijing and Shanghai.
Third, Lijiang is very safe to visit in China, but watch out for your bags, as there are reported pickpockets in public places. This is also true among most big cities in China.
Lijiang city is a wonder land for travelers. It's ethnic flavor, natural scenery and rich history, all invites you to come and have an absolutely unforgettable trip to Yunnan! For your information, please spare at least 3 days for your Lijiang trip and 7 days for your Yunnnan trip.
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