How To Plan A Tour To Lijiang

How To Plan A Tour To Lijiang

Briefing about Lijiang

Lijiang Ancient Town, also called Dayan Ancient Town, became known to the world after the devastating earthquake in 1996. While the memory of the earthquake is fading away, Lijiang is better known nowadays as the home to Dongba culture and the Naxi ethnic group, the transit depot of the Silk Road and the Ancient Tea Horse Road, the paradise to run away from busy life.

Lijiang Facts

  • English Name: Lijiang City
  • Chinese Name: 丽江 (lì jiāng
  • Province: Yunnan
  • Area: 20,600km2
  • Location: Southwest of China (26° 86' N, 100° 25' E)
  • Area Code: 0888
  • Zip Code: 674100
  • Airports: Lijiang Sanyi International Airport (IATA:LJG,ICAO:ZPLJ), Ninglang Luguhu Airport (IATA:NLH,ICAO:ZPNL)
  • Major Railway Stations: Lijiang Railway Station, Lashihai Railway Station
  • Population: about 1.25 million (until 2020)

Best time to go to Lijiang

Due to the high altitude (about 2,400 meters), Lijiang enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. Spring is the perfect time to visit Lijiang for beautiful wild flowers, while the next best season is Autumn when blue skies are high and clouds are white. Winters are warm whenever you are in the sun, and even when it rains in summer, it conveys a unique romantic charm.
Prepare well for the strong sun in high altitude areas while enjoying the warmth; hat, sun cream and sunglasses are must haves, lip balm with a high SPF sun screen is recommended as well. Layers are recommended for dramatic temperature drops during night time.

5-Day Lijiang Weather Forecast

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
Mean Maximum Temperature ℃(℉) 14 15 17 20 23 24 23 23 21 20 17 15 19
57 59 63 69 74 75 74 73 71 68 62 58 67
Mean Minimum Temperature℃(℉) −0.1 2 5 8 11 14 15 14 12 9 3 0 8
32 36 41 46 52 58 59 57 54 48 38 32 46
Rainfall amount ㎜(inch) 3 6 14 19 61 168 246 216 152 66 13 3 967
0 0 1 1 2 7 10 9 6 3 1 0 38
Days with Rain(≥ 0.1 mm) 2 4 7 8 12 20 24 22 21 12 4 2 137
Mean Monthly Sunshine Duration hrs 260 230 248 233 225 157 134 155 139 195 227 260 2463

What to see in Lijiang

Lijiang Ancient Town

Lijiang Ancient Town

Located in Yunnan province, northwest of China. Lijiang Ancient Town was firstly built during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), and it also shows marked traces of the Song and Yuan Dynasties. It has remained a well maintained town for the Naxi people. Bridges, paved roads, Mu’s mansion, Sifang Street and Wufeng Tower (Five-phoenix Tower) are highlights in the town. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

The southernmost glacier of China, and looking from afar, the snow-covered Mountain looks like a silver dragon flying half hidden in clouds, therefore the name. Among its 13 peaks, the main peak Shanzidou is the highest at 5,596 meters. Due to the extreme variation in altitude, a great variety of plants of subtropical, temperate and frigid zone can be found at the different altitudes.

Lijiang Mural in Baisha Village

Lijiang Mural in Baisha Village

Baisha Village used to be the political and cultural center of Lijiang in the Tang and Song Dynasties. It was also the earliest gathering place for Naxi people. Exquisite murals can be seen in Dabaoji Palace of Baisha Village which have features of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, thus depicting the inclusive nature of religion in China.

Dr. Ho’s clinic


He is a legendary doctor working on an amazing collection of materials and herbal remedies, and he speaks fluent English. Take a sip of herbal tea and chat with Dr. Ho about his rich life stories.

Black Dragon’s Pond Park

Black Dragon Pond Park

It is about 500 meters north of Lijiang Ancient Town; the river will lead you to the Pond. When the weather is good, you can clearly see Jade Dragon Snow Mountain’s image on the Pond.

Popular Itineraries for 3 Days in Lijiang

Day 1, If you have asked for a window seat on the flight, you must be excited about what you will see and expecting more. Wait no longer, take the private vehicle back to the hotel with your private tour guide, and now your amazing Lijiang tour starts. After check-in, your guide will show you around Lijiang Ancient Town; get to know its history and where to find good food.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Day 2, A full day tour starts after your buffet breakfast at the hotel. Drive 40 minutes to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, take the cable car up and get closer to admire the snow-capped mountain. Lijiang Impression Show, using the mountain as the setting, is an optional add-on you should not miss. Lunch is arranged at Baisha Village, and after lunch, you will admire the murals dating back to the Ming dynasty, and pay a visit to Dr. Ho’s clinic. Head back to Lijiang Ancient Town to take great photos of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain mirrored on Black Dragon Pond Park.

Day 3, Before being transferred to the airport, you can either have a good rest at your hotel, or get up early to feel the tranquility of the Ancient Town early in the morning. You might also see local people wash Sifang Street the with water that is released every night. The bustling morning market visit is a bonus. Pack up your suitcases, and your guide will escort you to the airport for next flight.

All Itineraries & Recommended Tours in Yunnan

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5 days Yunnan Tour Natural Scenery and National Culture Kunming - Dali - Lijiang View More
Student Tour in Kunming and Lijiang Student Tour in Kunming and Lijiang Kunming - Lijiang View More

How Far is Lijiang from Major Cities

Note: Most of the popular destinations do not have trains to Lijiang.

Cities Distance to Lijiang (km) By Air to Lijiang By High-Speed Railway to Lijiang
Beijing 3102 4hrs No direct train
Xi'an 2459 3hrs No direct train
Shanghai 3177 4hrs No direct train
Chongqing 1618 2hrs No direct train.
Kunming 517 1hrs No direct High-Speed train. Traditional train about 10 hours

Recommended Lijiang Hotels

Category Hotel Name Hotel Class Why Recommend Ranking on Trip Advisor
International Chain InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort 5-star
  • Central located in Lijiang Ancient Town
  • Excellent serice from hotel staff
  • Great Snow Mountain view from hotel bar
Grand Hyatt Lijiang 5-star
  • Spacious and clean rooms
  • Walking distance to Old Town Shuhe
  • New Hotel, opened in 2014
Banyan Tree Lijiang 5-star
  • Private hot tub in garden with Snow Mountain view
  • Top-notch hotel service
  • Spacious and lot of privacy promised
Best Value Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa 5-star
  • Nice & quiet resort for retreat
  • Delicious breakfast with a wide selection
  • Bicycles available to explore surrounding area
Palace Hotel (Wang Fu Hotel) 4-star
  • Good location, situated towards the Southern edge of Lijiang Old Town
  • Comprehensive and tasty Breakfast buffet
  • Excellent service and cosy rooms
Hexi Hotel 3-star
  • Quaint & Comfortable in quiet corner of Lijiang Ancient Town
  • Great value for money
  • Clean courtyard rooms, wifi available in room
Boutique Zen Garden Hotel 4-star
  • Beautiful ancient building with antique furniture and charming courtyards
  • Authentic hotel in the middle of Lijiang Ancient Town
  • Helpful and friendly Staff