Lijiang is a prefecture-level city located in Yunnan province, China. Archaeologists discovered that the history of Lijiang began since the Paleolithic Age and later developed to be one of the important cities during ancient times. The history and culture of the Old Town of Lijiang have enlisted it under the UNESCO Heritage Site.
Lijiang Sanyi International Airport is the main airport serving Lijiang city. The public airport is located 25 kilometers south of the city center. Since its opening in the year 1995, the airport has served millions of passengers annually. Lijiang Sanyi International Airport catered for about 7.5 million passengers in the year 2018 alone. There are currently 18 airlines operating in this airport for mainly domestic destinations and Taiwan. Among the airlines in operation are Air China, Chengdu Airlines, Juneyao Airlines, Kunming Airlines, Lucky Air, Sichuan Airlines and XiamenAir. Visitors flying from Kuala Lumpur will require to take transit flights before reaching Lijiang as there is no direct flight available. From the airport, you can travel by bus to the downtown area for about 45-minute ride for CNY 20 (RM 12) or take a taxi to reach the Old Town for CNY 80 (RM 48).
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Lijiang experiences a mild, subtropical highland climate due to its high elevation. Winters are dry and sunny, with a mild temperature around 6 degrees centigrade. The coldest day in winter can be around zero degrees. Summer is more humid and warm, around 18 degrees Celsius. Heaviest rainfall also happens in summer, especially in July and August. The best season to visit Lijiang is probably all year round except for summer as weather is slightly dry and moderate during these times.
Lijiang comprises many ethnic groups, predominantly the Naxi, Mosuo, Yi, Lisu, and Pumi people. All of these ethnic groups still practice their traditions today. Majority of the ethnic groups speak languages that originate from the Sino-Tibetan language family and celebrate various festivals all year round. Their celebrations follow the Lunar calendar. The most traditional festival of the Naxi people is the Three Festivals celebrated at the beginning of the Lunar calendar, like Chinese New Year. The Mosuo people celebrate the Spring Festival and Chaoshan Festival solemnly. The Yi people observe common Chinese festivals like the Lunar Festival, March 3rd festival and Torch Festival. Lisu people celebrate the Lunar Festival as Wide Season, as well as Dragon Boat Hangshan Festival and Lixia Holy Water Festival. The Pumi people celebrate Ohwa Festival, their new year celebration, in the twelfth lunar month and Taste of the New Festival during the spring and autumn harvest season.
Lijiang is one of the most visited cities in China. Many attractions can be found in Lijiang.
Lijiang Old Town – Lijiang Old Town was established since year 960 and historically was the political and cultural center for the dynasty back then. The Old Town covers an area about 3.8 square kilometers and referred as Town of Big Ink Slab as what it seems to look like. UNESCO has enlisted the Old Town under World’s Relics due to the traditional cultures, classic buildings and beautiful natural sceneries.
Mu’s Residence – While you are in the Old Town, you can visit the Mu's Residence. Tusi Mu was the ruler of the Naxi people. The original building of the residence was destroyed during the Qing Dynasty war but was rebuilt in the year 1999 as its original site. The residence comprises of office and living area, and the architectural style somewhat similar to the Forbidden City’s architecture, although smaller in size. Entrance to the Mu’s Residence is CNY 40 (RM 24).
Jade Spring Park – Jade Spring Park has very clear water, an enormous pool called Heilongtan Pool. You can also visit the Longshen Temple within the park. On clear weather, you can view the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The scenery here is breathtaking that if you take a picture back dropping the clear lake and the mountain, people may think your picture was photoshopped.