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Brief Introduction to Lijiang


The Lijiang City,  historically and culturally famous town in China, lies 199 kilometres away in the northwest of Dali.

Situated in the northwestern part of Yunnan Province and the upper reaches of the Jinshajiang (Golden Sand) River, Lijiang is a region were the Naxi people live in compact communities with an area of 7,425 square kilometres. The total population is 301 thousand people, consisting of the Naxi, Han, Bai, Tibetan, Pumi, Lisu, Yi and other nationalities. The Naxi people constitute 58% of the total population. The county seat (Dayanzhen), concurrently the administrative seat of Lijiang Prefecture, is the political, economic and cultural centre of the county and prefecture.

The landscape in Lijiang is magnificent. With the 5,596-metre crest, the thirteen peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain flies in the sky like a dragon of glittering and translucent jade. Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world with a depth of 3,900 metres. The first bend of the Yangtze River is well known. The southbound, turbulent Changjiang River spreads wide and flows slowly to the north. In the Yufengsi Lamasery, the 10,000-Blossom camellia tree, about 500 years in age, stands loftily, giving forth over 20,000 blossoms a year. It is renowned as the Greatest Camellia Tree in the world.The Black Dragon Pool (Yuquan Park) is attractive with a tranquil and clear pond reflecting the snowcapped mountains, a group of classic buildings like Deyuelou (Pavilion to Greet the Rising Moon), Wufenglon (Pavilion of Five Phoenixes) and a five-arched stone bridge and flower beds which exhibit beautiful flowers all the year round. The ancient town of Dayanzhen is remarkable for its excellent layout which conducts a limpid stream to the gate of every household, with weeping willows along it. It is a rare example of Chinese ancient architecture. The legendary Lugu Lake is crystal clear. Its shores are the habitat of the Mosuo people, who are regarded as "living fossils" of the matriarchal society. Up to now the Mosuo people still keep their unique way of life. Men and women are not unitied by marriage, yet keeping a casual cohabitation relationship.

Lijiang is the centre of the splendid Naxi culture and at the same time the confluence of the cultural exchange for the Han, Tibetan, Bai and Naxi nationalities. From the Kaiyuan era (713-742) of the Tang Dynasty, the Naxi people began to assimilate the Han culture from the Central Plains and the Tibetan culture from the northwest and gradually developed a culture of their own. The Naxi culture is embodies in the naxi pictographic script, the Dongba Scriptures, and the Dongba music and dances. They are inseparable parts of the Chinese cultural treasure.

The beautiful landscape and the historical culture have won Lijiang a very high reputation. In 1638 or the 11th year of the Chongzhen era of the Ming Dynasty, the famous geographer and traveller Xu Xiake saw the jade Dragon Snow Mountain when he arrived in Dali. He wrote. "A snowcapped mountain lurks beyond the horizon." In the following year he reached Lijiang and saw the mountain which rose high in front of him. He wrote again, "The jade Dragon hovers over the mountains, sweeping across the valleys and excelling any other scenic spots in its vicinity." In the turn of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the jade Dragon was listed as one of the most famous mountains over the country. One and a half centuries ago, the natural resources of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Naxi's Dongba culture became great attractions to the Western world. An American Austrian, Dr. Lock returned to the United States in 1949 after his 26 years stay at Lijiang and gave lectures in the United States, Japan and some European countries. He published two books, one deals with the ancient "Naxi Kingdom" in the southwest of China and the other is a Naxi-English encyclopedia.

We offer wonderful Lijiang tours to the most interesting attractions in the city: Dayan Ancient Town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Dongba Culture Museum, First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lugu Lake......

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