Lijiang Travel Guide

A small prefecture-level city in northwest Yunnan province, Lijiang has become increasingly popular with travelers since its Old Town was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and its new airport opened up direct daily flights to major cities around China. Although much of the city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1996 it was completely rebuilt in the old style. In recent years many new businesses and high quality hotels and resorts have opened up in the area.

Lijiang is also a good base for further exploration and day trips. You don't even have to stay in Lijiang itself, as there are plenty of quieter, alternative bases nearby, such as the village of Shuhe. While the old town is well worth visiting, you may like to retire to a more quiet area to get a good nights rest, as Lijiang's central area has an active night life scene. Lijiang was traditionally the home of the Nakhi minority and you can still see Nakhi residents going about their business in Lijiang and the surrounding smaller villages.

The major attractions in Lijiang include Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, the nearby golf course and the fanciful Impression Show, also in the same area. We suggest staying for two to three nights in order to have a couple of full days to see the sights and stroll the old towns. If you are on a busy China itinerary, Lijiang is a nice place to catch your breath, rest, and enjoy some café culture.

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