[Travel] Lijiang: Old Town on Arrival

We leave early morning from Chengdu and fly to Lijiang (丽江) with China Eastern and arrive at noon. From the airport, we take a shuttle bus (20 CYN) and ask to stop at the back entrance of the Old Town. Old Town Lijiang (丽江古城) or Dayan Guchen (Dàyán Gǔchéng,大研古城). Lijiang is located at the Northwest of Yunnan Province (云南省) and is also an UNESCO heritage sight.


According to the brochure we got when we arrive at the hostel, Garden Inn (40 CYN for a bunkbed in 6 ppl dormitory), Old Town Lijiang has a history of 800 years, built at the end of the Song Dynasty and beginning of the Yuan Dynasty and flourish during the Ming Dynasty under the Mu Family (木氏家族). Lijiang is home to mostly Naxi (纳西族) minority ethnic group with Dongba (东巴) culture (more about it as we explore the town) with Han (漢族), Tibetan (བོད་པ,藏族), Musuo (摩梭), Yi (彝族) and Bai (白族) also live here. Lijiang is an important port for trade between Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet since it’s where the Silk Road joined with Ancient Chamada (茶马道, Tea and Horse) roads. Old Town Lijiang (丽江古城) is an UNESCO World Heritage in 2003.

Visitors have to pay some kind of permit, 80 CYN, to stay in the Old Town. The money is to help with the maintenance of the buildings, street and preserve the heritage.


Gorgeous cat sun tanning


Old Town Lijiang (丽江古城) map


Old Town Lijiang (丽江古城) UNESCO World Heritage

Gorgeous wooden houses/hostel/stores in Naxi style with bricks and timber construction the Naxi learn from the Nanjing traders. The carving on the wall with nature theme are made from Bai artisan with Han’s Chinese aesthetic.

Most stores here I found sells or craft ethnic minorities souvenirs, music, fashion with a touch of modern flare.


Ahh finally a nice cup of coffee in China. I found the coffee in Yunnan is almost similar with Vietnamese coffee.

 Coffee and walnut cake with chocolate inside. Hmmm.



Ke Gong Fang (科贡方) Memorial Arch

Ke Gong Fang (科贡方) was built in Qing Dynasty to reward the three winners of the Imperial examinations.


Sifang Street (四方街) is the market square and the heart of Lijiang Old Town where local dance and music sometimes display here.




Cobble stones to more hotel/hostel/restaurant


Street food/hawkers


Our dinner of course

Lijiang Old Town at night

Silver smith, as young as you can get

Beautiful burn wood carving



Night comes so fast. We head back to the hostel and book for our trip tomorrow to see The Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) (in separate post).

Lijiang Trip:

See also Chinese Minority Ethnic Group custom at Shanghai Museum post here.

Source information: Lijiang Guide, DK Eye Witness Travel China, Lijiang information center


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