Lijiang Ancient Town, also called Dayan Ancient Town, became known to the world after the devastating earthquake in 1996. While the memory of the earthquake is fading away, Lijiang is better known nowadays as the home to Dongba culture and the Naxi ethnic group, the transit depot of the Silk Road and the Ancient Tea Horse Road, the paradise to run away from busy life.
Due to the high altitude (about 2,400 meters), Lijiang enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. Spring is the perfect time to visit Lijiang for beautiful wild flowers, while the next best season is Autumn when blue skies are high and clouds are white. Winters are warm whenever you are in the sun, and even when it rains in summer, it conveys a unique romantic charm.
Prepare well for the strong sun in high altitude areas while enjoying the warmth; hat, sun cream and sunglasses are must haves, lip balm with a high SPF sun screen is recommended as well. Layers are recommended for dramatic temperature drops during night time.
|Mean Maximum Temperature ℃（℉）||14||15||17||20||23||24||23||23||21||20||17||15||19|
|Mean Minimum Temperature℃（℉）||−0.1||2||5||8||11||14||15||14||12||9||3||0||8|
|Rainfall amount ㎜（inch）||3||6||14||19||61||168||246||216||152||66||13||3||967|
|Days with Rain（≥ 0.1 mm）||2||4||7||8||12||20||24||22||21||12||4||2||137|
|Mean Monthly Sunshine Duration hrs||260||230||248||233||225||157||134||155||139||195||227||260||2463|
Located in Yunnan province, northwest of China. Lijiang Ancient Town was firstly built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and it also shows marked traces of the Song and Yuan Dynasties. It has remained a well maintained town for the Naxi people. Bridges, paved roads, Mu’s mansion, Sifang Street and Wufeng Tower (Five-phoenix Tower) are highlights in the town. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
The southernmost glacier of China, and looking from afar, the snow-covered Mountain looks like a silver dragon flying half hidden in clouds, therefore the name. Among its 13 peaks, the main peak Shanzidou is the highest at 5,596 meters. Due to the extreme variation in altitude, a great variety of plants of subtropical, temperate and frigid zone can be found at the different altitudes.
Baisha Village used to be the political and cultural center of Lijiang in the Tang and Song Dynasties. It was also the earliest gathering place for Naxi people. Exquisite murals can be seen in Dabaoji Palace of Baisha Village which have features of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, thus depicting the inclusive nature of religion in China.
He is a legendary doctor working on an amazing collection of materials and herbal remedies, and he speaks fluent English. Take a sip of herbal tea and chat with Dr. Ho about his rich life stories.
It is about 500 meters north of Lijiang Ancient Town; the river will lead you to the Pond. When the weather is good, you can clearly see Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s image on the Pond.
Day 1, If you have asked for a window seat on the flight, you must be excited about what you will see and expecting more. Wait no longer, take the private vehicle back to the hotel with your private tour guide, and now your amazing Lijiang tour starts. After check-in, your guide will show you around Lijiang Ancient Town; get to know its history and where to find good food.
Day 2, A full day tour starts after your buffet breakfast at the hotel. Drive 40 minutes to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, take the cable car up and get closer to admire the snow-capped mountain. Lijiang Impression Show, using the mountain as the setting, is an optional add-on you should not miss. Lunch is arranged at Baisha Village, and after lunch, you will admire the murals dating back to the Ming dynasty, and pay a visit to Dr. Ho’s clinic. Head back to Lijiang Ancient Town to take great photos of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain mirrored on Black Dragon Pond Park.
Day 3, Before being transferred to the airport, you can either have a good rest at your hotel, or get up early to feel the tranquility of the Ancient Town early in the morning. You might also see local people wash Sifang Street the with water that is released every night. The bustling morning market visit is a bonus. Pack up your suitcases, and your guide will escort you to the airport for next flight.
Note: Most of the popular destinations do not have trains to Lijiang.
|Cities||Distance to Lijiang (km)||By Air to Lijiang||By High-Speed Railway to Lijiang|
|Beijing||3102||4hrs||No direct train|
|Xi'an||2459||3hrs||No direct train|
|Shanghai||3177||4hrs||No direct train|
|Chongqing||1618||2hrs||No direct train.|
|Kunming||517||1hrs||No direct High-Speed train. Traditional train about 10 hours|
|Category||Hotel Name||Hotel Class||Why Recommend||Ranking on Trip Advisor|
|International Chain||InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort||5-star||
|Grand Hyatt Lijiang||5-star||
|Banyan Tree Lijiang||5-star||
|Best Value||Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa||5-star||
|Palace Hotel (Wang Fu Hotel)||4-star||
|Boutique||Zen Garden Hotel||4-star||