Whenever people plan an upcoming trip to China, Lijiang is a city that rarely gets mentioned as a possible tourist destination. However, things are slowly changing.
The Yunnan province is a very mountainous region that lies on the southern Chinese border with Miramar, Laos, and Vietnam. But this is especially why Lijiang should be next on your bucket list.
Instead of visiting Beijing or any other popular Chinese city this summer, we’re here to give you our 5 reasons why Lijiang should be next instead. So, without further ado, let’s begin.
1. Breathtaking Scenery
We mentioned that Lijiang is a city surrounded by mountains on all sides, resembling that of Switzerland. It is precise because of this as to why this is our first reason you should visit.
Switzerland is a very rich country that offers travelers breathtaking commodities. While the economic power of the city is nowhere in comparison to Switzerland, its beauty most definitely is.
If you happen to be a nature-loving person, then the Yunnan province will satisfy your needs for mountainous activities, fresh air, and breathtaking scenery.
While there, your thirst for activities will be satisfied since the whole region is essentially full of them. Some of the most popular ones include the Tiger Leaping Gorge.
If you happen to be particularly fond of gorges, then the Tiger Leaping gorge will be the highlight of the trip. The magnificent gorge is located between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Haba Snow Mountain in the Valley that the river Yangtze passes through it.
This will be one of the best things you see your entire life, so carrying a camera with yourself is advised.
Hiking the gorge is nothing short of spectacular and it resembles something coming out of a fantasy movie.
2. History And Religion
Lijiang and the Yunnan province has a strong mixture of cultures that is evident by the many temples that have been erected over the years. Here, you have the chance to see Buddhist, Taoist, and Christian religious temples and churches.
This strong religious mixture vouchers for the history that the city and region have. Many of these are excellently preserved making them an even better tourist attraction.
What’s even more impressive is that many of these reside in the countryside, in the mountains, or completely isolated in amongst the landscapes they sit upon.
These spectacular buildings attract hundreds of thousands of tourists every single year and they make for a pretty fun excursion.
3. Food And Cuisine
Most of you are no strangers to Chinese food. But the mixture of culture allows for a more diversified cuisine in Lijiang. The entire region is home to some of the most brilliant dishes you’ll ever try in your life.
The best thing about it is that the restaurants are very affordable and serve delicious food. With such a diverse cuisine, making your mind on what to try first will be one of the hardest decisions you will make during the trip. But this problem can easily be solved thanks to the locals in the city of Lijiang.
The city folk are very polite and will recommend to you the best things to try from there rich cuisine. If you happen to reside in a hotel, then make sure to ask for a ”food guide” as travelers can get easily lost when making a dinner selection.
Some of the things we recommend are wild mushroom noodles, Tibetan hotpot, and crossing bridge rice noodles.
Lijiang and the Yunnan province are becoming a very popular tourist hotspot in recent years. Because of this, a lot of travel agencies, such as cielyunnan.com, offer tours up to two weeks to satisfy your thirst for the Yunnan experience. Many agencies also provide hotel accommodations, which ultimately takes care of a lot of logistical issues.
4. Easily Accessible
Whenever planning a trip to a place you have no idea where it is or how to get there, the first thing that comes to mind is can I catch a flight?
Luckily for you, China has an excellent infrastructure that makes Yunnan and Lijiang easily access the rest of the world. Even if the region is fairly mountainous, catching a plane will be your best option to get there.
By far this is the easiest and fastest way to get to Lijiang, and the travel times are pretty short when traveling from nearby regions. If you happen to be flying from Singapore, then the flight will take no more than four hours. The duration of the flight is similar if flying from Beijing as well.
Unfortunately, the airport at Lijiang isn’t really that huge and it might not take flights from your specific country. So, before you book hotel accommodations make sure to buy your airline ticket first.
With all that said, tickets are generally quite affordable and a lot of Asian-based airline companies fly to Lijiang.
5. Stunning Architecture
The Chinese culture is by far one of the most unique ones out there. The Chinese people have a lot to look up to when discussing the history and culture of their country. But the architecture of the ancient Chinese towns in the Yunnan province is very different to those in Shanghai or Hangzhou.
In Yunnan, these towns aren’t preserved for the purpose of tourism. Here, many of the people still live in them and is exactly makes them so unique. The natives of some of these tourist villages have modernized some of their public buildings and given them a unique look that is nowhere else seen in China.
The ability to preserve the old and modernize it at the same time is the reason why a lot of people make Lijiang next on their bucket list.
If you truly wish to sample the architectural magnificence of Lijiang, then some of the places to visit are Lijang Ancient City and Dali Ancient City. The latter is located in the nearby town of Dali, which is a 2-hour drive from Lijang and both are protected by UNESCO as World Heritage sites.
On top of its rich history, culture, architecture, and cuisine, Lijang has a vibrant nightlife that will keep you entertained at night.