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Lijiang Travel Guide

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  • Naxi People in Lijiang
    Naxi People in Lijiang
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    Dayan Naxi Ancient Music
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    Black Dragon Park
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  • Lijiang Old Town
    Lijiang Old Town
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Lying at the confluence of the Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan borders, Lijiang is one of the four well preserved ancient towns in China, along with Sichuan's Langzhong, Shanxi's Pingyao and Anhui's She County. As a UNESCO World Heritage site, it attracts many visitors by well-worn cobblestone streets, narrow, twisting waterways and canals and old, textured trees. The city embraces a history spanning more than 1,300 years and features some of the most beautiful, lush scenery in the province, sitting atop a summit of more than 8,000 feet.

During the Warring States Period (476 BC - 221 BC), Lijiang was one part of the Qin Kingdom, called Shu Jun (County). During the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD), it belonged to Yue Jun. In the Three Kingdoms Period (220 - 280), it was governed by Yunnan Jun. The Naxi people, the currently major local residents, moved to this region during the Southern Dynasties (420 - 589). The Lijiang Ancient Town began to take shape since the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 - 1279). 

With pleasant weather year round, the beautiful Lijiang River is a fantastic attraction for you to visit at any time of the year. The climate type here is the highland monsoon climate, thus the annual average temperature is low and the day-night temperature range is large. Most part of Lijiang Region is cool in summer and warm in winter, with the mean yearly between 12.6 to 19.8 degrees Centigrade (54.7 - 67.6F). The rainy season is from May to October, especially, there is much rainfall during July and August.  

Preserved as an ancient town yet boasting many upscale restaurants, cafes and eateries, it is noted for being one of the most relaxed places in the province. Especially, the Sifang Road is the main artery where a hub of activity hums along each day. Here you can explore a network of small cobblestone paths, walkways and interconnecting roads with interspersed stream systems flowing with clean water. Transportation is convenient here: buses, taxis and bicycles are the most common and can get you anywhere in the area you wish to go. 

Traveling in Lijiang, visitors are suggested to allow for at least a couple of days to really appreciate the surroundings. One of the best views here is to climb steep town stairs up gentle hillsides for a wonderful view overlooking the entire area. Sunset is one of the most breathtaking times to walk along the banks of the Lijiang River. With a mountainous background, a misty sky and small fishing boats floating effortlessly along, there is little that can draw you away once you arrive.

One of the most well known natural scenic spot is the Majestic Jade Dragon Mountain, which provides an ethereal backdrop to all activities and a protective feeling over the friendly community. In addition, day trips to Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangri La are popular as are rafting and trekking expeditions amid panoramic vistas of Chinese countryside. However, merely exploring the town and its people is a big highlight. The Donga people, an ancient culture, and the Naxi people live together in harmony and peace here.

 Photos: Lijiang Old Town, Baisha Village, Yuhu Village

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  Recommended Kunming Tour Itineraries:  
Kunming Extension Tour: 9 Days of Kunming - Dali - Lijiang - Shangri-La - Kunming
China Yunnan Tour: 15 Days of Kunming - Lijiang - Kunming - Lunan - Xingyi - Huangguoshu Waterfall - Guiyang - Kaili - Rongjiang - Congjiang - Zhaoxing - Sanjiang - Longsheng - Guilin - Yangshuo - Guilin

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