The impressive and beautiful landscapes of Lijiang, the exotic way of life of the Naxi ethnic group, and their precious Dongba Culture make up the unique city of Lijiang.
Lijiang Old Town
The Old Town of Lijiang, a historic city of ethnic minorities with brilliant culture, is a central town of the Lijiang Autonomous County of the Naxi Ethnic Minority in Yunnan Province. Located on the plateau which is 2,400 meters (7,874 feet) above the sea level, it is embraced by tree-covered Lion Mountain in the west, Elephant and Golden Row Mountains in the north, vast fertile fields in the southeast and crystal clear water running through it.
In 1997, Old Town of Lijiang was placed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List helping to make Old Town a famous tourist attraction for its traditional ethnic culture, customs and inimitable architecture.
Black Dragon Pool
Black Dragon Pool is a park located at the foot of the Xiangshan Hill to the north of Lijiang City.
Blanketed with grasses and ancient trees, and dotted with flower-surrounded pavilion, pagodas, and the Yulong Snow Mountain and Xiangshan Hill reflected in the water, this elegant park is known as an emerald on the Northwestern Plateau of Yunnan Province. It is divided into four sections, including Jade River, Dragon Pool, Clear Stream, and Forest. It also contains a cluster of ancient Naxi buildings, including the protected Five Phoenix Tower and Jietuolin, a lamasery, built in the Ming Dynasty and other architecture completed in the Qing Dynasty.
Mu’s family served in the top administrative officer of Lijiang position for 470 years, through the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties, in 22 generations, starting from 1253 AD. The House occupies a land area of some 32,000 m2. It features a business hall, a library, a family hall, a garden, a reception hall, a Taoist hall, a sacrificial site, among others. Mu’s House was built in Central Chinese style while incorporating many elements of the local Naxi culture.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
With thirteen peaks, including the highest peak, Shanzidou, seated at 5,596 meters above sea level, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain spreads like a huge dragon in the sky, with varied landscapes in different seasons and weathers. For the Naxi People, it is a sacred mountain. Main scenic spots are Yunshanping, Baishui River, Ganhaizi, Bingtalin, among others. It is a destination that attracts various kinds of tourists, including mountain climbers, explorers, and scientists.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Tiger Leaping Gorge is in the deepest canyon in the world, on the Jinsha River between Yulong Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain. The Gorge is 17 km in length and the starting point is 200 meters higher than the ending point.
At the starting point, there is a huge stone in the middle of the river and the distance between the stone and the banks is around 30 meters. It is said that tigers can leap from one side to the other via this stone; hence the gorge’s name.
As a part of Old Town, Baisha Ancient Town is located at the foot of the Yulong Snow Mountain. And here lies the hometown of the Mu family, the first family of Lijiang. In this town, visitors will find many finely preserved Naxi architecture and cultural sites.
Old Town of Shuhe
Four kilometers (about 2 miles) to the northwest of the Old Town of Lijiang, at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, is a compact village hidden in the forest – the Old Town of Shuhe. UNESCO has listed it as an important component of Lijiang as it is an example of a town along the ancient tea route and one of the earliest settlements of the ancestors of the Naxi people. It is also called “the hometown of springs”.