A town brimming with culture and tradition
With a history dating back at least 800 years and possibly as far back as the Song Dynasty, Lijiang guards the division of the Jade River into three streams, from which canals and waterways were cut to flow along the old town streets. A book by an American commissioner brought the town some fame in the 19th century and foreign tourists began to return in the 1980s. Local people opened restaurants and cafes, which helped attract people to the lifestyle and beautiful surroundings. The well preserved Lijiang Old Town, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, is home to the famous Bar Street, where ancient traditions and modern fashions are combined. The local Naxi People, one of China’s 55 ethnic groups, are from this area, and you can see their influence in the food and culture. Lijiang is an area of natural beauty, offering scenic locations including the stunning Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Black Dragon Pool and Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Here we have selected a few of the sights and experiences that you really should see on a visit to Lijiang.
Lijiang Old Town
The old town is centred on the busy Old Market Square, and the surrounding lanes are criss-crossed by a series of canals that once brought the city’s drinking water from the Yuquan Spring. Several wells and pools are still in use around town, and where you see three pools together, they were separated into pools for drinking, washing clothes and washing vegetables.
Black Dragon Pool
On the northern edge of town is the Black Dragon Pool Park, with its view of Yulong Xueshan one of the must-see sights southwestern China. The Dongba Research Institute is part of a renovated complex on the hillside where you can see traditional Naxi cultural artefacts and scrolls.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
This is the most southerly snow-capped mountain in the Northern Hemisphere outside of the Andes, soaring to about 5,500 meters to the sky. Those who climb to the top will be rewarded by the most amazing panoramic view of the area.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Quite simply, the deepest and most beautiful gorge east of the Tibetan Plateau, and one of the most acclaimed hiking route in China. This is a place not just for hikers, but for those that appreciate stunning landscapes.
A selection of our tours to Lijiang
China Group Tour Nature
Beauty of China
20 day tour from £4,098
Explore lesser known Yunnan, enjoy pandas in Chengdu, and the must-see sights in Beijing, Xian, Shanghai, and a Yangtze cruise
China Tailor Made Couples
Explore Yunnan Province
15 day tour from £3,325
Explore Yunnan with this 15 day itinerary discovering the region's dramatic beauty