Lijiang is a prefecture-level city in the northwest of Yunnan province, China. Located within the northwest part of Yunnan Province, in the southeastern part of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the northwestern part of Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, it has an area of 21,219 square kilometers and a population of one million. In recent years, more and more tourists travel to Lijiang, Lijiang’s transportation has also developed quickly. Now it has forms the transport net of air, highways and railways.
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, but due to the aridity this time of year, lows often fall to around the freezing mark. 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. Autumn lasts from late September to early December, progressively drying out. Annual precipitation is around 970 millimeters (38.2 in), almost all of it falling from May to October.
Zhuanshan Festival (Walk Around Mountain Festival)
This is one of the very important festivals for those Mosuo people living along the charming Lugu Lake. On every 25th July of Chinese lunar calendar, the Mosuo people will wear their finest clothes, visiting the Lion Mountain beside Lugu Lake on foot or horseback. The Lion Mountain is said to be the embodiment of the Mosuo people's guardian goddess. People will burn joss sticks, hang up colorful prayer flags and offer tributes to their goddess on the mountain. They also hold a series of entertainments such as horse racing, wrestling and singing. At this time, young men and girls will look for their lovers, too.
This is a famous festival of those of the Yi Group living in Ninglang County of Lijiang. Originally held on every 24th June of Chinese lunar calendar, this festival was supposed to use fire to protect crops from the destructive insect by fire. Now, it is a bustling trading fair in this region, also involving entertainments. By night, the locals will take torches with them, and gather for singing and dancing around a bonfire.
Attractions in Lijiang
Lijiang Old Town, which is perfectly adapted to the uneven topography of this key commercial and strategic site, has retained a historic townscape of high quality and authenticity.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.San Duo FestivalSan Duo is the patron saint of the Naxi Group, so each year the local Naxi people will get together to hold a worshipping celebration on 8th February of the Chinese lunar calendar. It is considered to be the most important annual event for the Naxi Group. As well as the big communal ceremony, each Naxi family will hold its own sacred ceremony. On that day, the locals also have some outside entertainment and picnics.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is one of the most famous attractions in Lijiang. With 13 main peaks and stretches 35km from south to north, this mountain is like a silver dragon lying in the clouds.
Tiger Leaping Gorge is a canyon on the Yangtze River (also known as Golden Sands River in this area).
Lugu Lake is located about 300km away from Lijiang. It 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.
Yufeng Temple is only 9 km away from Lijiang. With ancient forests clustering around, the whole temple shows a distinctive and conjunct architecture style of Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, Taoism and the local Naxi Dongba Religion.
Impression of Lijiang, combining 500 actors, 100 horses, and a 360-degree open-air theatre stage at 10, and 170 feet above sea level with Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the back, the only word that comes to describe the music, choreography and magnificent outdoor setting is "incomparable”. It lasts for three hours.
Naxi Ancient Music, lasting for 1.5 hours, is a show ，of the musical culture of the Naxi people in Lijiang. It is the oldest music in Yunnan Province, and it is one of China or the world's oldest music.
Besides being a tourist attraction in Lijiang, Square Street is also an ideal place for visitors to sample the local snacks. Other snacks from Yunnan Province, such as the well known Cross-bridge Rice Noodle, are also sold here. Currently, there are a large number of western restaurants which have opened in Lijiang, especially in the Old Town. These range from star-rated hotels to characteristic steakhouses.
Lijiang is the ideal destination for nature lovers and anyone interested in ancient groups and their customs. Generally, Lijiang is always popular with tourists in any month of the year. But the best time to visit Lijiang can be started from April to October. Considering the fairly wide difference in day-and-night temperatures in Spring and Winter; the months from Apr to Oct are the most favourable seasons for coming here.