"An old town set in a new town" Lijiang by SPW

Lijiang Travel Guide: 566 reviews and 1,879 photos

Room with a view

In we drove through the countryside and modern city to our hotel, right at the entrance to the Old Town of Lijiang: it was like driving into a fairy tale.
There was a steram running past the hotel and a number of two storey timber buildings opposite, all with restaurants and shops opening on to a pedestrian way.
Our room looked out over the town to the surrounding mountains, and we watched in wonder as the light changed as the sun went down.

A night on the town

As evening fell, we ventured out into the Old Town.
Although very commercial, it is a charming town and the people are delightful, although there are now many Han Chinese taking over businesses from the Naxi ethnic minority.
The little streams running through the town mean that there are lots of bridges to cross to get to different streets and to enter some businesses.
The Naxi women sell candles to float down the streams while making a wish (and gather up the little trays at the other end, recycling in action)
Crowds of tourists, mainly Chinese, colour, noise from the night clubs and the singing competition, dancing, shops....great fun.

The town by day

By day, the Old Town was still geared to tourism, from men offering the opportunity to dress as tribesmen and be photographed with ponies to the Naxi women dancing in the central square, but the charm remained.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Charming, interesting Old Town
  • Cons:Many tourists and threat to the Naxi culture
  • Last visit to Lijiang: May 2007
  • Intro Written Jul 23, 2007
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