Lijiang is one of the most beautiful cities in China. It is a popular tourist destination that is famous for its gorgeous natural scenery, leisurely lifestyle, and ancient towns. Located in Yunnan Province, Lijiang has a lot to offer. It is home to ethnic minority cultures, lakes, and snow-capped mountains. In fact, the Old Town of Lijiang is a UNESCO Heritage Site as it was formed more than 800 years ago.
What Makes Lijiang a Well-Known Tourist Destination?
There are various reasons why Lijiang is frequented by tourists as mentioned below.
- Crucial transit point that is located on the Ancient Tea Horse Road. It has been a hub for cultural and economic exchange between different ethnic groups like Bai, Tibetans, Han, and Naxi.
- Has spectacular natural scenery that comprises majestic canyons, glacial lakes, and snowy mountains. It is the perfect place to indulge in outdoor activities.
- Offers an escape from city life. It provides the ideal environment and lifestyle to break free.
Things to Do in Lijiang
There are many things that one can do in Lijiang as mentioned below.
- Stroll along Lijiang Ancient Town
Known for its traditional customs and culture, Lijiang Ancient Town houses charming buildings and provides stunning views of nature. Thousands of tourists visit Lijiang every year as they find it to be a beautiful and peaceful place. There is just something about the narrow cobbled pedestrian streets, the old buildings, small waterways, and the old town that will make your trip to the city worthwhile. It also has numerous places where you can shop, relax, and eat.
- Head to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for Natural Views
Another great thing that you need to try out when in Lijiang is to visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to take in the spectacular views. The local Naxi people consider it to be a holy mountain. It has 13 peaks that are always filled with snow. The scenery of the area is simply fantastic. Tourists to the city need to get on the Glacier Park cable car to enjoy the scenery and get to the top. It is also possible to hike and ascend the mountain. However, it is something that is only possible if the season permits.
- Watch a Lijiang Impression Show
Get a glimpse of the lifestyles and traditions of the Bai, Yi, and Naxi people at Impression Lijiang. It is a cultural show that is held at a high outdoor theater next to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The mountains serve as the perfect backdrop. Countless amateur dancers, singers, and actors take part in the show and tend to belong to the local ethnic minority. Local folk songs are sung and traditional clothing is worn during the show.
- Visit Shuhe Ancient Village
Located just 3 km to the north of the city is Shuhe. It is a small village that features old architecture. It used to be well-known for its education and leather working industry. As the ancient village is rather unknown, it is more tranquil and rustic in comparison to Lijiang. The food and accommodation are more affordable and the streets tend to be less crowded.
- Take in the Historic Murals at Baisha Village
The next thing that you need to do when you visit Lijiang is visit Baisha Village. It attracts tourists who are drawn to its historic murals. The precious cultural and historical meanings behind the murals hold great significance. They are a blend of several religions including Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, and local beliefs. The village is 10 km away from Lijiang and is the political center and birthplace of the Naxi.
- Hike along the Tiger Leaping Gorge
The Tiger Leaping Gorge is considered to be one of the deepest gorges on earth. It is easy to access unlike the Yalung Gorge in Tibet. Situated between Haba Snow Mountain and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge is located 100 km away from Lijiang. Every step you take towards the gorge is breathtaking. It offers the best hiking trail in the country.
- Experience the Nightlife in Lijiang Ancient Town
The leisurely local life in Lijiang would be incomplete without the nightlife. There are many bars in Lijiang Old Town where you can get a taste of just about everything. There are cocktails, rum, vodka, whisky, and brandy. The biggest bar in the city is Sakura Bar. It is worth checking out.
- Relax at Lugu Lake
Also referred to as Plateau Pearl, Lugu Lake is 200 km away from Lijiang. It is a peaceful lake that lies at the border of Yunnan Province and Sichuan Province. The shore wall is located next to three peninsulas and five islands. There are small stones that pave the path. As the water is extremely clear, you will find it to be transparent enough to see 40 feet below. The Mosuo people also live in the area and are a matriarchal society where women reign supreme.
- Visit Joseph Rock’s Former Residence at Yuhu Village
In addition to the above, it is also a good idea to include Joseph Rock’s former residence in your travel itinerary while traveling to Lijiang. It is located at the foothills of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The ancient village offers a surreal experience. The residents of the village reside in unique stone houses. Joseph Rock was an Austrian-American explorer and photographer who lived in the village for 27 years where he researched the Naxi culture. His residence has been preserved to this day and you can view pictures of him.
- Explore the Laojun Mountain
Lastly, you must not forget to explore the Laojun Mountain. It is the other great mountain besides Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It lies to the west where the Yangtze, the Salween, and the Mekong flow side by side. The natural landscape of the mountain consists of streams, flowers, alpine meadows, and lakes. It is a wildlife park and natural forest which is unlike any other.
Once you have finished reading our post about Lijiang China, you will know everything that you need to do when you visit the city.