[Travel] Lijiang: Impression of Lijiang

Rise and shine today. After walking around the Lijiang Old Town yesterday, we booked a trip to watch the Impression of Lijiang at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山). From the Lijiang Old Town, we are directed towards the Red Sun Square (红太阳广场, Hóng tàiyáng guǎngchǎng) from the hostel’s helpful direction. Shuttle bus #7 brings us to the Blue Moon Valley Theater at Ganhaizi (干海子) meadow of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) for 10 CYN.



Lijiang is also famous for their pony horses since it’s the trading post between Sichuan, Yunnan and Tibet provinces in the olden days. They trade tea, silk and horses along the Silk Road and Ancient Chamada (茶马道, Tea and Horse) roads.


Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) tourist center at Ganhaizi (干海子) meadow

We bought our entrance and ticket to watch the Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) from the hostel the day before so we aren’t in a hurry. Entrance fee 105 CYN (50 CYN for student), the Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) ticket is 190 CYN for regular seat. Really pricy, but I find it worth the price if not the wait.

The Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) is the creation from the creative mind of Zhang Yimou (张艺谋). He creates outdoor folk musical collection titled Impression: Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) in Lijiang, Impression of Liu Sanjie (印象刘三姐) in Yangshuo, Impression of West Lake (印象西湖) in Hangzhou, Impression of Hainan (印象海南岛) in Hainan island, Impression of Dahongpao (印象大红袍) at Mount Wuyi in Fujian province and Impression Putuo (印象普陀) in Zhejiang province.

The large open outdoor Blue Moon Valley Theater has an amazing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) as backdrop. But when we watch the show, the weather is cloudy and slightly snowy. It’s at the elevation of 3.100 meters above sea level.

The Impression of Lijiang (印象丽江) production has 500 people from 16 villages cast in various roles from singers, dancers, horse riders…? Yes they also have 100 horses native to Lijiang as part of the cultural show. They are casted from the people of Naxi (纳西族), Yi (彝族) and Bai (白族), the minority ethnic group in the Yunnan Province. The show has no plot, rather they tell the cultural traditions from the ethnic groups in Lijiang.

The show starts at 11 AM on the dot with chapter one about the Jade Dragon snow mountain and the second part is about the conversation with the people and ancestors. It is says that in their lifestyle the ethnic groups dance and sing as a conversation to the mountain and closer to nature and the living things.



This guy rather surprise me since he just jump right in front of us. But I’m so lucky to get this shot.


While the men are traders and horse riders, also showing the Caravan on Road the Silk Road joined with Ancient Chamada (茶马道, Tea and Horse) road, the women work in the field and the market. I saw some of the villagers carrying the bamboo basket with various colors.




The men riding the horse or ponies up the ramp from the center of the stage going to the top of the stage.


If only we have clear sky. This is a nice scene if we can see the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain backdrop




The men then party like no other, no liquor here, just dancing using the table as props and show the past times of the men like playing cards and play rock paper scissors between brothers.


After party they pass out/sleep. The wife of one of these man comes looking and finally found her husband and she pulls him to take him home (and maybe a scolding or two). It’s a nice scene with good humor.


A woman saying goodbye to her family since she’s moving with her husband.




The many custom for the ethnic groups, singing about Heaven and Earth





The dance with drums and shamans, worshiping Heaven and Blessing ceremony.







They really have this energy going on. You can tell how proud they are for their craft and culture. It’s nice when as much as Lijiang becoming saturated with tourists and commercialize, the culture from the ethnic minority groups still rang true.

From here, we take the eco bus to the large ropeway or cable car. The cable car is 180 CYN round trip, not much different from my trip to Huanshan the year before. We just can’t get student discount. It’s rather expensive since winter has yet to end on the top of the mountain even when the rest of Lijiang is welcoming the Spring. Alas, rather sad when the snow are coming to us hard and fast, wind and temperature drop.



Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) is a small mountain range at the Yulong Naxi Autonomous County (玉龙纳西族自治县), Yunnan Province. It’s also called Yulong (玉龙雪山, Yùlóngxuě Shān) Mountain or Satseto mountain in Naxi. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山) has 13 peaks and the highest is highest peak is named Shanzidou (扇子陡) at 5.596 meters above sea level.






We arrive at Glaciers Park (冰川公园, Bīngchuān gōngyuán) scenic area with an altitude of 4506 meters above sea level. Heavy snow hit us harder then. We only last less than 20 minutes up here.



Yeah, not much to see


Going down a bit to lower deck, some clouds parting and we have a small window  time for photo




We return to Lijiang Old town with the shuttle bus #7 to regroup and head for Baisha village next.

Lijiang Trip:

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

Source Information: Lijiang TravelLijiang Guide, DK Eye Witness Travel China, Lijiang information center, Arts Culture China


9 Comments Add yours

  1. Teesh Osita says:

    That cultural show looks amazing!!!

    1. It is. Fun to watch although a bit expensive. Worth it tho.

  2. Great post! Your images of that performance are fantastic!

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