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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Old Town Lijiang

November 16th - 19th, 2006
Old Town Lijiang, Connect old and new
- I gave myself a birthday present by Lijiang trip in China. Old Town Lijiang is connected between the old and the new world. Lijiang is unique, but consumer oriented (well, very commercial in term of tourism and mass production).

*** visit - HIP Travel Community in Town

*(1) Lijiang has the best preserved ancient town in China - the Old Town which has been listed in the World Cultural Heritages by UNESCO in 1997. The Old Town was once the center of Lijiang and continues to maintain the original flavor of the local lifestyle, the typical groups of buildings and the profound cultural heritage of the region.

*(2) The Old Town Lijiang has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Old Town Lijiang is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents the Naxi people, therefore people there are called 胖金哥 and 胖金妹 (male and female respectively).

*Source (1):
*Source (2):

Travel Solo
Go where you want. Go when you want. Do what you want.


I did not expect Old Town Lijiang this busy and commercial. My imagination was totally wrong. I thought and hoped I could take a bike along the streets in Old Town Lijiang, but it's not allowed and wow, battles of Chinese tour group blocked the ways. However, I did avoid them by not walking on the main streets, but some small streets throughout the residential areas. By doing that, I did see what I expected to see - traditional *Naxi lifestyle. I wish I could stay in Old Town Lijiang longer because I would wake up early to absorb the local culture and the way of life in the morning (without those tour groups :P).

Note: 1) Recommended Hotels in Old Town Lijiang 2) What others say about Lijiang are in the bottom of the page

Old Town Lijiang Elder

(1) The Naxi elder was setting up her shop selling same mass production of Naxi stuff (to the tourists) in her old house on the street of an Old Town Lijiang

(2) I walked all the way through the very small streets till I found the fresh market where most of those tourists would not intend to look for it. People kept shouting to each other and arguing all the time. I could really not stand for long. However, it was good to see.

Old Town Lijiang Roof

(3) 'Roofs', popular scene which is in Lijiang "must-take" shot among the tourists. I paid 2 Yuan for 1) taking photos 2) drinking tea. The local family set up 1) balcony for tourists to climb up and to take photos and 2) the tea tables for tourists to drink tea and absorb the atmosphere in the morning. The nicer place, the more expensive. There are many coffee shops and hotels which are also up to the hill do the same thing.

(4) Old Town Lijiang today - Tourists tourists tourists, everywhere tourists tourists

(5) Many shops and restaurants closed quite late at night (11:00 PM). Never expected this busy in the Old Town Lijiang. It is also a lot of bars no matter where we went. Tourists came out to sing, to drink and to dance even on the street, even it's late at night and even it's very cold. Tourists seemed really enjoy an Old Town Lijiang in this way.

(6) Another "Must-Take" shot of Old Town Lijiang. I thought if I didn't take this shot, I didn't arrive Lijiang. This is called "Black Dragon Pond". Background is "Jade Dragon Snow Mountain" where we already climbed up to the top. Very impressive. We took 2 cans of oxygen up there. I used both of them till they ran out whereas my friend didn't use any. Read its history "Jade Dragon Snow Mountain".

-- Good Bye Lijiang --

Recommended Hotels in Old Town Lijiang:

> Zen Garden Hotel - Considered upscale hotel with upscale price also, however, it is not considered too costly. Their decoration is nice and it is located nearby the Old Town main streets which is quite convenient.

> Swiss Snow Inn - Price is ok with more or less 160 Yuan, however you can find other clean and nice local family hostels somewhere up on the hill with 80 Yuan. Well, if you prefer staying in the Center Old Town, Swiss Snow Inn is RIGHT in there.

> Banya Tree Lijiang - I have no comment, but i wish I could stay.

> HostelWorld.Com - Try searching hostels in Lijiang from, I did, most of them look ok, also they come with reviews. Those help.

**Remark**: There are many nice hostels up on the hill where you can see the whole view of Lijiang and some of those are operated by the local small families who rent their rooms out. By that reason, you'd get a good price. Their balconies are also not bad. Some could get a very nice one by walking in. Well, if you don't mind walking a bit farer up to the hill, you might consider.

Hotels in Lijiang Reviews and Booking by

Lijiang Hotels by

Hotels in Yunnan, China

What others say (+ photos) about Old Town of Lijiang

"So Lijiang is quite nice. Very touristy, but the Old Town is completely charming. I love the cobblestone streets, canals, and tile roofs..."
"Running from the Clouds" by SF Girl

*Recommended* "The Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO world heritage site since 1997, is criss-crossed by canals, bridges and a maze of narrow streets. All houses here are built according to the Naxi architectural style. The town is beautiful - actually almost too beautiful and very tourist oriented (all streets are lined with souvenir shops)..."

Lijiang Old Town Photo Gallery by Alfred Molon

Lijiang Travel Blogs and Photos
(All blogs and photos here are permited by authers to make use of)

Blog - Running from the Clouds by SF Girl
Photo - Lijiang, Yunnan, China by FabioCostarelli



Anonymous said...

Great pictures! I havn't got time to read the whole thing yet but I am sure it is good as well. (will do as soon as I could) Thanks for sharing this.

ggberry said...

Top, thanks for visiting. Glad to know that you read through some of my great time gathering here. You are welcome back anytime.


Anonymous said...

Great Shots

Anonymous said...

Hello Aor. "hello" from munich ! i love all the pictures about Lijiang. All the memories comming back when i reading your stories and see all the beautiful pictures. It is such a great and unique place. First i remember a little cafe in a small street called "rainbow" . the owner was a very nice, friendly chinese woman , i think her name was Cheng Li. If anyone goes to Lijiang, please go there and drink and eat a little there and tell me whats happens with the owner Cheng Li now. And i remember the NAXI men music group. the youngest was around 70 years old. i remember that everynight they have a concert in one of the old traditional wood houses. the oldest boygroup ever.
I wish i can go back soon to Lijiang. it is always a pleasure to see your pictures..... Peter

ggberry said...


I think you'd better write it all here than I do. Seems like you can give much better descriptions. hehe... Or I'm too lazy to tell the stories. Anyway, thanks for visting, and thanks for your comments. You are always my fan, no matter in Webshots, Flickr or Blogger. If Munich is too cold now, come over!


ponchacco said...

Your trip inspire me to go there, especially, "Black Dragon Pond". If I have chance to go Li Jiang in future, may I ask you for the trip plan so that I can have wonderful trip as you did.

ggberry said...


Of course. Are you planning for your honeymoon? :P Anyway, if you are not afraid of cold, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain would be very nice by that time. Well, you might be bored of snow in Japan already huh..

Thanks for dropping by my blog


Arkay Em said...

Very interesting and the photographs are also very good.
Arkay Em

ggberry said...

arkay em, Thank you :-)

Sofia said...

Loved your photos!
Very nice blog.

Parn said...

Beatiful picture krub J Aor.... We should go take pictures when I go back to Thailand this summer

ggberry said...

Thank you Parn'. Of course! Why not, let's go somewhere taking photos with your new Canon! - J Aor

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Anonymous said...

Hello Aor,

I will be visiting to Yunnan for 5 days before visiting Bangkok, in mid November and came across your blog about Lijiang - timely. Thanks for the beautiful photos and the information.

I still need to do more research about places to visit while in Yunnan. It looks spectacular! Your pictures evoke the atmosphere and beauty of the old town.

Take care,

K from Canada

amy said...

Hi -
I love your site and wanted to ask you a few questions. I am hoping to get your advice!!
I am going to China next year on business and plan on taking a bike trip
afterwards. At this point I am looking at two different trips.
One is this one:
And the other is this one - please click on Itinerary for details:

I would love your input. Both descriptions, of course, look good.
Can you please tell me anything you know about each area? Pluses and
minuses? Quality of riding? Areas in general, sights to see, culture...
Any info would be hugely appreciated!!!
xie xie

p.s. I live in Albany, a tiny town next to Berkeley

Anonymous said...

oops - can you please send to my email address -

GGBerry said...

Hi K from Canada,

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope I could get you more info about Lijiang and Yunnan. Just in case you come back to this blog, please leave your e-mail address. My e-mail address is stated at the side bar under "Contact".

We'd probably share our travel experience. Hope to talk to you soon.

Cheers ;)

GGBerry said...

Dear all,

I'd like to inform that you can catch up with me at It's an e-mail that is dedicated for travel talk :)


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Hostels Barcelona said...

Hi ggberry
absolute amazing photos, very profesionals, i know for my experience that photos never takes 100% of the colour, light, moment etc, but yours had made me feel like if i was there, sure asia is one of my next destinations specially after seen and reading your bloggs.
thaks a lot

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