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Lijiang Facts

Lijiang includes the heritage site of Lijiang Ancient Town as well as picturesque nearby surroundings. In 1998, Lijiang Ancient Town was inscribed into the World Heritage List by the World Heritage Commission of the UNESCO. The Commission called it 'an exceptional ancient town set in a dramatic landscape which represents the harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions to produce an urban landscape of outstanding quality.
Lijiang is the ideal destination for nature lovers and anyone interested in ancient people groups and their customs. Lijiang is located within the northwest part of Yunnan Province, in the southeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the northwestern part of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau. 

Chinese people also long for the lifestyle and the excellent environment in Lijiang and started pouring in. This started the new era of Lijiang. 
Lijiang Location Map

Basic Information

• Chinese Name: 丽江
• Location: Lijiang is located within the northwest part of Yunnan Province
• Dialing code: (+86) 0888 
• Zip code: 674100 
• Area: 7,485 square kilometers   
• Main attractions in Lijiang: Lijiang Ancient Town, Lugu Lake, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 


Lijiang City is located in the northwestern portion of Yunnan and borders Sichuan. It is in a region where the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau converge.

Diqing Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Lijiang north and south of Dali Bai minority autonomous prefecture, west of Nvjiang Lisu Autonomous Prefecture, eastern border connects to Sichuan Liangshan Yi Autonomous Prefecture and Panzhihua city. Lijiang has a total area of 20600 square kilometers, and governed Lijiang Ancient Town, Yongsheng county, Yulong Naxi Autonomous county, Huping county, Ninglang Yi autonomous county. 
Administration Distribution

Administrative Division: The government of Lijiang City sits in Gucheng District. Lijiang City comprises one district and four counties.
Population: It has a population of 1.1376 million. (2005)
Lijiang is located under the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Lijiang Dayan ancient town has nearly one thousand years of history, is the national famous historical and cultural town and the first ancient town in our country that listed into the world cultural heritage list. It fully embodies a harmony between man and nature, characteristics of multi-culture diversity. It is a living cultural ancient city yet.
Lijiang ancient city was built in the early Yuan dynasty (late of the 13th century) and Lijiang's ancestor family Mu moved the rule center from Baisha to Lion Rock now. It has been a history of more than eight hundred years. Lijiang ancient city is located in the main traffic artery of Yunnan, Sichuan and Tibet. Frequent business travel activities in ancient times made the local prosperous, soon to become famous fair and town. It is generally believed that Lijiang city first established in the early Yuan dynasty.
The late Ming dynasty Xu Xiake's Yunnan Travel Diary described Family Mu’s tusi mansion in Lijiang Ancient Town was very beautiful that just secondary to emperor’s palace. And Lijiang was filled with houses, buildings that placed closely side by side, and the fair there was very buse which showed that the Lijiang ancient town was famous at that time. Lijiang ancient town was the location of Lijiang military and government office of the Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty. Ming dynasty regarded Lijiang as Dayanxiang, in Qing dynasty it was called Dayanli, and after the republic of China it changed as Dayan town.
Custom and Culture
Ancient Naxi music
Naxi Ancient Music is the crystallization of the art created by the Naxi people influenced by the Confucianism and Taoism as the representative of the Central Plains civilization.The instrument has a flute, clarinet, reed flute, Nanhu (another kinds of erhu), Chung-hu, Dahu, Sanxian (three-stringed instrument), Pipa (four-stringed Chinese lute), Guzheng (Chinese zither), Chinese gong chimes, bell, conch, drums, Suona, trombone, cymbals, Lusheng and Kouxian etc, among them, there are a lot of instruments incoming from China mainland.
Dongba Rite
Naxi Dongba religion is Naxi primitive religion transited to a man-made religion. As many as 30 kinds of Dongba ceremonies are the main carrier of the Naxi Dongba culture, with the content of the hieroglyphs recorded in Dongba scriptures through various rituals, and passed down by religious ceremonies. These rituals try to interpret the contradiction between human and society and human and nature which is closely related to the Naxi ancestors production life and is rich in cultural connotations.
"Heaven worship", "sacrifice to wind", and “sacrifice to Ding Ba Shi Luo" and so on are representative.
God Su ceremony
"Suzu" is the Naxi traditional wedding ceremony, also called "Baomabao".
Naxi people believe that everyone has their own god- God Su. God Su enshrines in every family Su basket. Under the auspices of Dongba, god will be invited come out from the bride’s home Su basket and come to the bridegroom family Su basket, and combine with other members of the family of bridegroom, never separate from now on. Wipe ghee in the bridge and bridegroom’s head is the most important part of the ceremony.
Baisha Murals
Famous Ming and Qing dynasty temple murals is the "Lijiang mural" or "Baisha murals”. It is the crystallization of the development of Naxi national culture during Ming dynasty feudal lords economic prosperity. These murals distribute in Baisha, Dayan town, Shuhe, Zhonghai, Yangxi, Xuesong and so on more than ten of the village temple.

Owing to its low latitude and high elevation, the city centre of Lijiang enjoys a subtropical highland climate. Winters are normally mild, dry, and the sunniest time of the year, with a highs of 13.7 to 14.8 °C (56.7 to 58.6 °F), but due to the aridity this time of year, lows often fall to around the freezing mark. 

Best Time to Visit

Spring lasts from March to early June and begins relatively dry and sunny, but conditions progressively get moister and more overcast.
Summers are warm and damp, with June and July means of 19 °C (66.2 °F), much cooler than lowland areas.
Autumn lasts from late September to early December, progressively drying out.
Winter from Jan to Feb will be cold because of the snow mountains.

Annual precipitation is around 970 millimeters (38.2 in), almost all of it falling from May to October.
• Dressing Tips 

♦ Spring (March to May): The days in spring are comfortable, and also rain occurs with greater regularity as Springtime advances. By early June rain may fall just about every day. So don’t forget to bring an umbrella.
♦ Summer (June -August): Summer in Lijiang is moderate, humid and a little bit hot in most days. Although the average temperature in this season never get higher than 25°Celsius, the long time sunlight will make a summer heat as well. T-shirts with skirts and shorts are the best choice for summer when the temperature can be rather high. And remember to bring sunblock.
♦ Autumn (September to October): traveling Lijiang in autumn, you can pack bluer skies and slightly warmer weather. In October and November the temperatures are in the upper teens Celsius and the nights are crisp and chilly
♦ Winter (November to February): Pay attention to the sharp changed temperature in one day. When you wear cashmere in the daytime, you may have to put thick coat at the night. Daily high temperatures may reach 15° Celsius while night-time temperatures usually drop to just above freezing.

Lijiang is located in the northwest Yunnan plateau, Jinsha river middle reaches. With "two mountains, one town, one lake, one river, one culture, and one custom feeling" as the main representative, attracts thousands of tourists all the year round to here. Two mountains refer to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Laojun Mountain; one city is Lijiang Ancient Town, namely Dayan ancient city; one river is the Jinsha River; one culture refers to the Naxi Dongba culture; and one custom feeling is Mosuo people custom feeling. Nowadays Lijiang tourism is continuous development and there are more and more attractions, Top China Travel will combine information and recommend for you to feel the real Lijiang.
• Best Places to Visit
Lijiang Old Town –With a history of over 800 years, , along with Pingyao, Shexian County and Langzhong, are the 4 best preserved ancient towns in China. Lijiang Old Town has deep narrow bluestone alleys, gorgeous natural landscapes, rich carved old wooden houses and industrious Naxi People. It is a peaceful town of recreations, an ideal place to explore the disappearing Dongba culture, the showcase of traditional Chinese architecture style and the cultural heritage to memorize the brilliant glory of the past.

Lugu Lake –It is located about 300km away from Lijiang and is a plateau lake with a total area of 52 square kilometers, 2,685 meters above the sea level. Embraced by mountains, this lake is called the "mother lake" by Mosuo People that lives along the lake shore.
Lugu Lake has beautiful scenery, and the lake is very clear and bright blue. The mysterious Mosuo girl kingdom is suitable for understanding slowly for more than a few days, tourists can borrow bicycles riding around the lake and join in the bonfire party at night. Here still remains mysterious Male-leaving Marriages customs.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain –Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is in Yulong Naxi autonomous county, Lijiang, Yunnan province, 15 km north of Lijiang city. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, 5596 meters above sea level, is a national AAAAA grade scenic spot, Yunnan provincial nature reserve. And it is the biggest snow mountain in the south of northern hemisphere. The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has the natural landscapes of subtropical, temperate zone and Frigid Zone, constitutes a unique "the Spring Snow" subject landscape. After sun comes out, the snow is especially white, and pine is especially green.

Lijiang ancient city is a major commodity distributing center of northwest Yunnan and handicrafts production area, therefore, the southwest specialty is available in Lijiang. In the center of the Lijiang there is a nearly 6 mu of square street, surrounded is all neat shops and it is commonly known as the "Sifang street (square street)", and is the most traditional shopping mart in Lijiang.

After experiencing the Mosuo feeling, also can buy some local specialty here, such as Dongba tapestery, Lijiang Cellar Wine, etc. And Naxi murals are very worth collecting. Those murals can be drawn with Naxi pictograph according to the tourists' requirements, which can be used to furnish and decorate.


The territory of Lijiang has Lijiang Sanyi International Airport. There are many direct flights to Lijiang across the country, such as Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Changsha, Wuhan, etc., of course, most visitors choose to fly to Kunming or Chengdu and to transfer from Kunming (Chengdu) or drive to Lijiang; If time matches there are some direct flights from Shanghai and other cities to Lijiang, but the flights are less than flights fly to Kunming.

Lijiang Sanyi International Airport
♦ Address: Qihexiang, Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang city
♦ Official website: http://www.lijiang-airport.com/
Lijiang Sanyi International Airport is 28 kilometers distance from the county and it takes 50 mins fly from Kunming to Lijiang. Lijiang Sanyi International Airport is a plateau airport at an altitude of 2240 meters, the surrounding landscape environment is complex, and it is the second largest airport in Yunnan, and it was third international airport in Yunnan after Kunming Changshui Internatioanl Airport, Xishuangbanna Gasa International Airport.
There is shuttle bus between the airport and the county, the terminal is at the gate of Yunnan airlines ticket office in the new town, and the bus will pass by the one entrance of the ancient city of Lijiang, the driving time are 30 minutes, and price is 15 yuan. Or people can take bus No.1 in the New Avenue, straight to the airport.

There are two train stations in Lijiang, Lijiang Railway Station and Lijiang East Station. Lijiang East Station changed into freight station in August, 2011, which is the main transportation junction of Lijiang Travel and important part of Yunnan-Tibet Railway.

Lijiang Railway Station
Lijiang Railway Station is located in Dali-Lijiang Railway Line, which is the terminal of Dali-Lijiang Railway and is the second largest passenger train station in Yunnan province.
♦ Address: Shangji village, Nankou District, Yunlong County, 10 km from Lijiang downtown
♦ Tel: 0871-95105105
♦ How to get: people can take bus No.4, 16 and 18 to the Lijiang Railway Station
Lijiang Express Bus Station
Lijiang Railway Station is located in Shangri-la Avenue, and the buses there are only sent to Kunming.
♦ Address: No.925 Shangri-La Avenue, Lijiang New Town
♦ Tel: 0888-5120999/5128456
♦ How to get: people can take bus No.8 and 11 to the Lijiang Express Bus Station
Lijiang Passenger Transport Center
Lijiang Passenger Transport Center belongs to Lijiang Transportation Group co., LTD., is the Lijiang city's largest and most standard bus station. It has both inside and outside bus line of more than 30, nearly 300 buses daily depart.Locals call Lijiang Passenger Transport Center as New Bus Station, and there are buses to Qiaotou town (Tiger Leaping Gorge), Shangri-la, Deqin, Kunming.
♦ Address: No.25 Kangzhong Road, the southwest of Changshui Road in Lijiang Ancient Town
♦ Tel: 0888-5121106
♦ How to get: people can take bus No.1 to there directly.