Lijiang

About Lijiang Travel

Introduction:Situated in the northwest plateau in Yunnan, Lijiang (the Beautiful River) got its name from its position at the middle reaches of the beautiful Jinsha River. The Naxi Autonomous County i..

Districts: Kunming Dali Lijiang Shangri-la Xishuanbanna Ninglang Tengchong Baoshan Chuxiong Deqin Diqing GejiuCity Honghe Lincang Luliang Luoping Mengzi YiAutonomous Qujing Ruili

Attractions: Old Town of Lijiang Dayan Ancient Town Tiger Leaping Gorge Lugu Lake The First Bay of Changjiang River Baishui River Yiwei Ham Bitahai Lake White Water Patten Heilong Pork

Lijiang Maps

Lijiang Introduction

Situated in the northwest plateau in Yunnan, Lijiang (the Beautiful River) got its name from its position at the middle reaches of the beautiful Jinsha River. The Naxi Autonomous County is the seat of the administrative commission of Lijiang Prefecture. Scattered o­n an area of 7,648 square kilometers, the population of 320,000 is made up of the Naxi, Bai, Lisu, Pumi, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Hui, Han and other ethnic groups. Among them, the Naxi people constitute 57% of the total. Affected by the plateau wind from South Asia, Lijiang has two distinctive seasons, the dry and the wet. The temperature range of the four seasons is narrow. The annual mean temperature ranges from12.6 ℃ to 9.9 ℃. The Dongba religion, a primitive religion, is the common belief of the Naxi people. In addition, some of them believe in Lamaism. These two religions have greatly influenced the ideology of the Naxi people and their social activities and life.

The Ancient town of Lijiang was built in the middle of a flatland at the foot of the Yulong Snow Mountain. It got its name "Dayan Zheng" (the Town of Big Ink Slab) because the town is surrounded by tree-covered mountains o­n all sides with crystal clear water running in the middle of it. It has the appearance of a big jade ink slab. The town covers an area of 3.8 square kilometer at an elevation of 2,400 meters.

The town was built in the late Song dynasty and the early Yuan dynasty. Since then, it has been the political, cultural, and educational center in this area. For a time, it had been an important trading center for business between Yunnan and Tibet, China and India. And now, the town is a Historical and Cultural Heritage in China and it has been included in the World Cultural Heritage. The roads in the old town radiate from Sifang Street (Square Street) to form a network connecting every corner of the city. Small squares are scattered along appropriate sections of the main streets. Houses have been built o­n the mountain slopes tier upon tier. "The city depends o­n water for existence and water comes along with the city" has become o­ne of the main features of the old town.

Lijiang Traffic

Flight
From Li Jiang's airport, 24km (15 miles) and a 30-minute taxi ride (around ¥80/$10) southwest of town, there are daily flights to Kunming (50 min.) as well as weekly flights to Guangzhou (3 hr.), Shanghai (4 1/2 hr.), and Xishuangbanna (30 min.). Tickets can be bought at the CAAC/Yunnan Airlines ticket office at Fuhui Lu, Minhang Zhan. CAAC airport buses (¥10/$1.25) depart from the office 90 minutes before scheduled departures. There is another CAAC office o­n the first floor of the Li Jiang Dajiudian at Xin Dajie

Bus
Though the flight from Kunming to Li Jiang o­nly takes a half-hour or so, road transportation in last decade has improved exponentially, reducing a 20-hour journey to just 5 hours o­nce the new Dali bypass opens in spring 2006. From the main long-distance bus station at the southern end of Minzu Lu, buses run to Xiaguan (3 hr.; ¥32-¥51/$4-$6.30) every half-hour from 7:10am to 6:30pm; express buses to Xiaguan depart at 8:20am, 11:30am, and 2:30pm. Express buses run to Kunming (7 hr.; ¥152/$19) at 8:20am, 9:20am, 11:20am, and 3:20pm; a sleeper bus to Kunming (9 hr.; ¥105-¥115/$13-$14) runs every half-hour from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Buses also run to Zhongdian/Xianggelila, passing Qiaotou (5 hr.; ¥27/$3.40) every hour from 7:30am to 4pm; to Jinjiang/Sichuan (9 hr.; ¥52-¥66/$6.40-$8) at 7:10am, 8:30am, 12:30pm, 2pm, and 6pm; and to Ninglang (4 hr.; ¥23/$3) every hour from 7:50am to 3:30pm. A private bus company, YNTAC, operates luxury air-conditioned buses to Xiaguan (3 hr.; ¥50/$6.25) at 8:30am, 9am, 10:30am, and 5pm; and to Kunming (8 hr.; ¥151/$19) at 8:30am, 9am, and 10:30am. YNTAC buses depart from the Naxi Dajiudian, at Nan Guojing Lu about 1km (2/3 mile) west of the bus station.

Taxi and bike
The old town, off limits to motor traffic, can be comfortably toured o­n foot. Taxis cost ¥6 (75¢) for 3km (2 miles), then ¥1.60 (20¢) per kilometer. From midnight to 7am, in-town taxis charge ¥10 ($1.25) per trip. Bikes can be rented from several cafes in the old town and also in Mao Square at Ali Baba for around ¥15 ($2) a day.

Lijiang Festivals

Naxi people are fond of song and dance. Using flutes, reed pipes, and wind-string as its main instruments, Naxi ancient music, as a kind of classic music, is widely popular with the Naxi ethnic group. Naxi ancient music combines holy tunes from Daoist and Confucians ceremonies and literary lyrics and topics from poets. Naxi ancient music is praised by the contemporary as the "living fossil of music".

The Naxi ethnic group celebrates its Torch Festival o­n June 24 each year and its Sanduo Festival o­n February 8th of every lunar year.

Sanduo Festival: Sanduo is a Naxi war god who defends the Naxi people. It is said that in ancient times a hunter discovered a strange snow stone o­n Jade Dragon Mountain. He carried the stone home. o­n his way home, he had to put the stone down for a rest because the stone was extremely heavy. When he decided to continue his trip, he found he could no longer lift the stone. Many thought it was the embodiment of a god. Later, the local people decided to build a temple to honor this supposed god. Hence, people believe that they always see a heavenly being in a white coat and a white helmet, carrying a white spear and riding a white horse. It protects the local people and their land. Naxi people consider Sanduo to be the most powerful god in its mythology and they say Sanduo was born to the year of goat. Therefore, o­n every goat day, a goat is sacrificed to honor this god.

Lijiang Service Telephones

Yunnan Province Tourism Complaints Tel: 0871-4608315
State Tourism Complaints Tel: 010-65275315
Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The main branch of the Bank of China (open Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:30pm) is o­n Xin Daje south of Fuhui Lu and has an ATM. In the old town, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) across from the post office (open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5pm) can exchange cash and travelers' checks.
Internet Access -- A number of cafes in the old town offer Internet service for around ¥5 to ¥10 (65¢-$1.25) an hour. o­ne of the most reliable is the Dongba House Inn, Xinyi Jie Jishan Xiang 16. Dial-up is tel. 163.
Post Office -- The main post office in new Li Jiang (open 8am-8pm) is o­n Xin Dajie. A smaller post office (open 8am-8pm) is in the old town at Sifang Jie just south of the Xinhua Bookstore.
Visa Extensions -- The Gonganju (PSB) is located at Fuhui Lu (tel. 0888/518-8437; open Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 2:30-5:30pm in summer, 8:30am-noon and 2-5:30pm otherwise).

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