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Lijiang Travel

Lijiang Travel Guide

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Lijiang is located in the northwest of Yunnan Province, at an altitude of 2418m. It is in a region where the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau coverage. Lijiang as the hottest destination in Yunnan, is about 517 kilometers from Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province. Lied between Dali and Shangri-La, Lijiang is the must-visit city that you can put either Shangri-La or Dali into your travel list or cover three of them. Why not stepping onto the amazing paradise on plateau to relax your body and release your spirits? Just go!

Why Visit Lijiang in Yunnan?

  • Old Town of Lijiang. Listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, Old Town of Lijiang is comprised of three towns - Dayan Old Town, Shuhe Ancient Town and Baisha Ancient Town. Lose yourselves to explore in the romantic streets.
  • Time-locked Destination in Naxi Style. Lijiang has been the base of the 286,000-strong Naxi minority for about the last 1400 years. You can find Naxi architecture everywhere, hear local Naxi people speaking Naxi language, enjoy singing and dance held by the Naxi minority, and Naxi script and Dongba writings shown everywhere in the time-locked ancient towns.
  • Trade City on Ancient Tea-Horse Road. Southwest China linked with India via Tibet. It headed north through Lijiang and into the thin air of the Himalayan mountains on the way to the Tibetan capital Lhasa, before turning south to India and Burma. Travelers can trace back the Tea-horse road by visiting Shuhe Ancient Town, Lashi Lake, etc.
  • Breathtaking Natural Views Everywhere. No matter you stroll in the maze of cobbled streets of the old towns or travel out of time-honored towns, you can see the high and continuous mountains before you. Feel intoxicated by the amazing wonders - The First Bend of Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Top Attractions in Lijiang

In Lijiang, there are a lot of things to see and do. Once you are stepping on the dreamland, you’ll visit Lijiang Old Town, including Mu’s Residence, Wangu Tower, Black Dragon Pool and Dongba Culture Museum; out of Lijiang Old Town, you can explore Baisha Mural Paintings and Former Residence of Joseph Rock, etc. To go a little further, transfer to see First Bend of Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge. In Lijiang, leisure stroll and tight exploration are for you! For more attractions info, please see All Attractions in Lijiang | Top 10 Lijiang Attractions Rated by TripAdvisor.com.

Lijiang Old Town
Lijiang Old Town

Listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lijiang Old Town is ancient town for Naxi ethnic group. It is one of the four best-preserved ancient cities in China.

Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world, making it a world-famous hiking destination. It consists of Upper, Middle and Lower Gorge.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is the southernmost mountain in China and famous for its chaming sightseeing, excellent Impression Lijiang show, Dongba culture, etc.

Lugu Lake
Lugu Lake

Lugu Lake, located between Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province, is the mysterious land for Mosuo people. Diverse experience and fun are waiting for you in the “Kingdom of Women”.

Blue Moon Valley in Lijiang
Blue Moon Valley

Blue Moon Valley is the must-visit part of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The valley is in crescent shape, looking like a blue moon at the foot of the mountain.

Black Dragon Pool
Black Dragon Pool

Black Dragon Pool is just 1 km north of Lijiang Old Town. You can overlook and shoot the beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in a distance.

Dongba Culture Museum in Lijiang

Dongba Culture Museum

Dongba Culture Museum is a small museum presenting Naxi group’s graphic characters, living tools and religious musical instruments, paintings...

Shuhe Ancient Town in Lijiang

Shuhe Ancient Town

As a part of Old Towns in Lijiang listed as the UNESCO World Heritage, Shuhe Ancient Town is less crowded than Dayan Old Town, where you can fully relax.

First Bend of Yangtze River

First Bend of Yangtze River

Yangtze River makes a giant turn of a “V” shape and then flows toward the northeast, which is the famous view of First Bend of Yangtze River. 

Baisha Village & Murals in Lijiang

Baisha Village & Murals

Baisha Mural Painting is a part of the UNESCO heritage. A visit to Baisha Village, the original gathering place of Naxi group, allows you enjoy the precious murals.

Yuhu Village in Lijiang

Yuhu Village

Located at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Yuhu Village is the place where Joseph Rock lived for 27 years since 1922. Visit stone houses and his former residence.

Lashi Lake in Lijiang

Lashi Lake

About 13km in the west of Lijiang Old Town, Lashi Lake is a natural wonderland to trace the Ancient Tea and Horse Road with exciting horse riding experience.

If you want to do something different and memorable in Lijiang, you can seize the precious chance to fully experience the local Naxi ethnic culture by visiting one of their families around Lijiang Old Town. You can know Naxi people’s daily life and special customs, even try Naxi traditional costumes on your own to take photos with the families and if you like, you can join them and have dinner with them. Baisha Village is the original Naxi village with many Naxi people really living there that you can have the chance to learn how to make embroidery. For more stunning experience in Lijiang, you can turn to Top 15 Things to Do in Lijiang for more ideas and inspirations.

Lijiang Weather & Best Time to Go

Lijiang Weather

What’s your picture of Lijiang? The white cloud under the blue sky, continuous mountains stood afar, smiling Naxi people and tourists sitting leisurely to enjoy the gentle sunshine, yes, this is a normal scene in Lijiang. Lijiang has a mild subtropical highland climate with an average temperature of 12.7°C. Summer is warm and wet and winter is mild, dry and sunny. The rainy months are from June to September and the weather during these days changes a lot. The best times to visit Lijiang are Spring and Autumn.

If you want to visit during the Naxi ethnic festivals, come during Sanduo Festival on the 8th day of the second month by lunar calendar, and Torch Festival on the 24th at the six month of lunar calendar. See details about Lijiang climate, weather & season to go >>

How to Get to Lijiang & Getting around

Transfer to Lijiang

Lijiang Sanyi Airport is located 29 km from Lijiang downtown, with 40-45 minutes’ transfer. It has flights from/to Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Lhasa, Chongqing, Guiyang, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan, Hangzhou and more cities in China. International flights can connect Lijiang with Hong Kong, Taipei, Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul and more regions.

Lijiang Railway Station is about 8 km from Lijiang downtown area. Travelers can take high speed trains to Kunming and Guilin. There are about 6 high speed trains running from Kunming Railway Station to Lijiang Railway Station. The earliest one starts at 07:14 and the last one departs at 17:22. The whole train riding takes about 3-3.5 hours.

At present, long-distance buses are available between Lijiang and many other destinations, like Shangri-La (about 3.5-4 hours), Dali (about 3 hours), Jianchuan, Baoshan, Lugu Lake (5-6 hours), Tiger Leaping Gorge (about 2 hours), Kunming (about 8-9 hours), and more destinations.

Transfer within Lijiang

In Lijiang city, travelers can travel around by taxi or bus. To go further, it is suggested to hire a private car (China Discovery offers private service with experienced guide and driver to take you to all the attractions in Lijiang). To check more transfer info, please see how to get to and around Lijiang | How to Get to Lijiang Old Town.

Where to Stay in Lijiang & Recommended Hotels

Lijiang Hotels

You never need to worry about your accommodation in Lijiang. Hundreds of hotels and hostels are located in Lijiang Old Town. Hotels range from luxury 5 star to budget 3 star, including Crowne Plaza Lijiang Ancient Town, Pullman, Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town, etc. Many local hotels are also good choice for comfortable stay. Living in Lijiang Old Town, it is easily access to Mu’s Residence, Wangu Tower, Black Dragon Pool Park, Dongba Culture Museum, bars and shops. If you want to stay in Shuhe Ancient Town, there are some nice hotels for you which offer you different experience in Lijiang Old Town. For detailed accommodation info, please feel free to contact our professional travel consultants who will try their best to satisfy your likes and needs.

Learn more about: Where to Stay in Lijiang - 5 Best Accommodation Areas | Lijiang Luxury 5 Star Hotel List | Lijiang 4 Star Hotel List | Lijiang 3 Star Hotel List

Lijiang Maps - Useful Maps for Your Lijiang Travel

We have collected some very useful Lijiang maps including Lijiang City maps, Lijiang Old Town Map and Tiger Leaping Gorge Map to help you have a better understanding about Lijiang and its attractions. For more maps, please check 2024 Overall and Detailed Lijiang Maps.

Lijiang City Map

Lijiang City Map

Lijiang Old Town Sketch Map

Lijiang Old Town Sketch Map

Lijiang Tourist Map

Lijiang Tourist Map

 Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tourist Map

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Tourist Map

Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Map

Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Map

Lugu Lake Panorama Map

Lugu Lake Panorama Map

Other Hot Destinations in Yunnan

Besides Lijiang, there are some other hot destinations in Yunnan, like Dali, Shangri-la, Kunming, Yuanyang and Jianshui, etc. Check the travel guide of each destination and discover now!

Other Popular Destinations in China

China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destination among more than 70 tourist destination and regions. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China

Chinese Name: 丽江

Chinese Pinyin: Lì jiāng

English IPA: /'lijiang/

Population: 1.24 million

Language: Mandarin & Naxi Language

Tel Code: 0888

Zip Code: 674100

Time Zone: (UTC+8)

Plan Your Lijiang Tour

Usually, travelers can spend 2~3 days in Lijiang, one day for exploring in Lijiang Old Town area, one day for traveling to see Baisha Mural Paintings, Shuhe Ancient Town, Former Residence of Joseph Rock, and one day to First Bend of Yangtze River and Tiger Leaping Gorge.

Besides, if you are fond of the emerald alpine lake and mysterious matriarchal society culture of Mosuo ethnic culture, you can plan another 2-3 days to Lugu Lake to enjoy more peaceful holiday time!

It is highly recommended to combine Dali with Lijiang, Lijiang with Shangri-La in Yunnan. The classic route Kunming, Dali, Lijiang and Shangri-La tour is chosen by many travelers which takes 8 days for four destinations.

For an overall trip in Yunnan, you can extend from Kunming to Yuanyang to marvel at the unbelievable magnificent Yuanyang Rice Terraces, to Puzhehei to relax at the pleasant wonderland of lotus blossoms, to Luoping to be fond of the golden sea of rapeseed flowers, to Xishuangbanna to feel the enthusiastic Dai ethnic people and the lush tropical forest, etc. For a tailor-made tour, please feel free to contact our travel consultants who are ready to help customize your own trip.

Learn more about How to Plan a Lijiang Tour | Ultimate Lijiang Itinerary & Trip Planning Guide >>

Travel with China Discovery

We have helped many global travelers enjoy their memorable trips to Yunnan for the past few years. Among them Mr. Elie & his wife from Belgium had 15 great days in Yunnan during their 69 days China trip customized with us and shared us their special travel story. Travel with China Discovery to create your wonderful Yunnan trip memories!

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