Global Mark :
16.59 (up) Top
Ten : No1
Ratings by criteria :
Ratings by backpackers :
||10 to 20
: A charming minority old town, part of the UNESCO World Heritage
list since 1997, whose
water canals conferred it the title of "Little Venice of Orient"
: As with Dali, modernity means an afflux of Chinese tourists and Lijiang is
not as idyllic as a backpacker destination as it was a few years ago. Still, it
remains one of the nicest village in China and a good place to relax
before heading North.
to do : Walk the town, again and again, if possible off the main streets /
Check traditional wooden Naxi houses / Relax by the canals / Make plenty of
colorful photos / Listen to ancestral Music, long forgotten in the rest of China
/ Buy souvenirs / Eat tasty Naxi food or basic western stuff / Explore the
countryside on bike / Prepare your expedition
to Tiger Leaping Gorge...
you may not like : If you were there before,
the nostalgia of the past / The feeling, in some streets, to be in a
minority supermarket designed for Chinese tourists / The toilets of most of the
guesthouses / The little flies (because of the toilets ?)
long ? At least two days to relax and explore the old streets,
a few more days to cycle the countryside.
to stay ?
Get precise info, book online and save money ! >> Hostels
Most of the backpackers will prefer to stay within the old city.
The charm of the place and the lay out of the guesthouses are indeed strong
arguments. But this come with a price and during the high season, it is better
to arrive early...
the old city : All the below places are traditional Naxi Houses which means
a two floor wooden building around an attractive garden or restaurant. A nice
place to relax until you go to the toilet as they are nearly all "Chinese
style". Attached bath are unheard of in Lijiang for budget prices...
House, "Holiday Inn", "MCA", one day they will
make up their mind with the name (517 5431, email: email@example.com) / The new
backpacker's favorite / Dorm 20 (8), 25 (4) or 30 (3) in clean rooms / Dble 50 /
HW 24 hours / Restaurant / Internet (20 perh) / Bikes (15 per day) // Go
there for the relax backpacker atmosphere, the nice view from the bright
rooms, the peaceful environment, the services. /What you may not like : The bid dorm with 2 levels beds, being where
everybody seems to be, having to wait for the toilet or shower as there are only
one of each for the whole house
Square Inn (512 7487), take the road on the right of the old market
square and turn left / A new and promising guesthouse / Very nice Dble 60 (80
HS) / HW 24 hrs / Internet (20 per hour) / Bikes (10 per day) // Go
there for the comfortable room, the relative isolation from the busy streets,
the relatively correct shower / What you may not like : the HS price, the
noise if the 30 rooms are full !
First Bend Inn
(518 1688) / Dorm
25 (4), 30 (3) or 40 (2) in nice room
(HS : 40, 50 and 55Y) / Sgle with big bed 80 (100HS) / HW 8-10 & 19-22 / Restaurant
there for the comfortable rooms, the green courtyard. / What you may not like : the price in HS, the noisy restaurant if busy
Shangari of old Town (518 1435), a discreet place with 2 Sgl "bungalow style"
rooms for 40Y and Bed in Trpl for 30 /
time to time // Go
there for being original.
Sanhe Hotel (512 0891) / Dorm 20Y in 8 or 16 basic bed's room or 25Y in 4
or 5 bed's room / Dble 80 / Trpl 90 / HW 24 hrs // Go
there if you do not wish to follow the crowd as this place has been criticized by
a famous guide book and is therefore quite empty, at least in low season. /
What you may not like : the huge dorm with beds on two level, the noise when
dances and singing are hold downstairs, the not so nice courtyard.
of the old city (10mn walk) : Except if specified, all the below places
unfortunately have common "Chinese Style" sanitary.
Hotel, "The No2 Guesthouse" (512 1446), the building
next to the North Bus Station / Dorm 10 (4), 15 (3) or 20 (2) /
Comfortable Sgle 30 / HW 19 to 21 // Go
there for the cheapest rate in town, the comfortable and clean rooms, the
convenient location if you leave early in the morning. / What you may not like : missing the show, having to go down to get
the key every time you go to the dirty toilet (or leave your door open), the 2
hours only shower period.
Yu Quan Hotel (512 3522), just after Mao Square /Sgle 40 / Dble 70 / Trpl
90 / Quad 100 / Dble with bath 160 / 24 hours Hot water // Go
there for the good quality-price ratio for the Sgl or the Dbl after negotiation, the
nice lobby. / What you may not like :
having to go outside the building to get a shower
Yun Lin Hotel
(518 7666), after Ali Baba's Cafe / An old wing with cheap
rooms / Dorm 20 in 2 or 3 bed's acceptable rooms / "Chinese Style"
bath & toilet / HW 8 to 24 // Go
there for the best price in town for Dble. / What you may not like : the ugly and quite depressing building, having to go
outside for the shower or the dirty toilets
Lijiang Hotel (518 8766), next to Xinhua Bookstore / A traditional Naxi
house with a little garden in the back of the modern hotel / Nice Sgl 60 / Nice
Dbl 120 / HW 24 hrs // Go
there for the cozy and ultra clean rooms, the "hotel style" reception,
the girls in traditional costumes. / What you may not like : not being in the old city.
Hotel, Yu Long (512 1032), a nice hotel with an old opposite
building for dorm / Cozy Dbl with good bath 120 (180 HS) / Dorm 30Y in 3 to 6
beds / HW 7 to 20 for dorms, 24 hours Dbl // Go
there for a bit of "luxury" during the LS or the acceptable 3 beds
dorm. / What you may not like : the
price of the dorm, the dirty WC, the inconvenient showers in another building,
opposite the road (avoid to go naked in the street)
Lijiang Hotel (512 1911) / No more dorm but nice Dble with bath for 120
(180 HS) // Go
there for the nostalgia when this was The
The old Town Square Inn
First Bend Inn
yi wan kezhan
Jade Dragon Hotel
Tips : Robbin, Singapore
« I arrived just in an off-peak season on 4th
Nov, weather was very cold, at least
2 thick sweaters plus gloves are
needed if its not sunny. Gucheng is
basically a big tourist trap now.
There's inns around every corner in
Gucheng, prices ranged from RMB60 to
150 for a 3 person room with
adjoining toilet. Food in Gucheng
costs around RMB 20-50 for a decent
meal. Allocate yourself half a day
in Gucheng if you like, but any more
time spent there will be a waste of
time. Dun waste your time with the
touts, any price they quote or any
attractions they recommend are
almost definitely bullshit. Food
outside of Gucheng can cost as low
as RMB 5. However, be careful what
you eat in Lijiang CITY. All 3 of us
felt perfectly well until we got to
Lijiang and got nauseous and dierear.
We ended up surviving on KFC.
Strangely though, the food we ate up
in the jade dragon mountain and the
gorge seemed ok even though one
would expect poorer hygiene up there.
The trip up to Jade Dragon mountains
on horseback cost us about RMB 300
per person including the return trip
by car. The view of the jade dragon
mountain itself was not that great,
but the view down on the valley was
really great, especially when the
sunlight hits only certain parts of
the valley which made it look almost
holy. The yak meat soup tasted great
too but cost RMB15 a bowl, another
We visited the town nearby called
SuHe which also had a Gucheng that
was even older and but only slightly
less touristy than the Gucheng in
the main city. If you walk deep deep
inside, you'll eventually reach a
part without any tourists, and the
houses are authentic residential
buildings, not shops. Even further
in, you can climb up a small hill
which provides a splendid view of
SuHe. There's also has a small
picturesque plateau perfect for a
picnic or nap. We also met 2
taiwanese who recommended this place
called Li Ming, which is supposed to
have great scenery. They paid RMB
200 per person.»
Russ Weedon, UK (Sept 06)
Plenty of accommodation
recommendations, but we had to add
this one! We stayed at the Carnation
Inn for 6 nights total after a
disappointing and unfriendly first
night in the Ancient Town Hostelling
International place. Carnation Inn
is about 200m up WuYi Street from
SiFang Square then turn right by the
fire hydrant. Very welcoming and
very clean. The bottom line in
Lijiang appears to be: don't settle
for unwelcoming, cramped,
uncomfortable accommodation. There
is so much on offer here which is
really, really good.
Drew Alexas, USA (Feb
Visited Lijiang twice (Jan. 2005 and
Jan. 2006). Stayed at Gong Ye Inn (Located
in the middle of Old Town, clean
rooms, hot water, etc. 40 Yuan for a
private room w/two beds, Tel:
0888-5105325 *Staff does not speak
Visited Black Dragon Pool in 2005 -
it is very expensive now (20 yuan in
2005 - 60 yuan in 2006!!!!) but it
gives you an opportunity to climb
Elephant Hill for a great view of
YuLong (Jade Dragon) Mountain. Also
beware of the MANY people soliciting
travellers (for trips to Tiger
Leaping Gorge, Lugu Lake...., etc.)
around and even inside the old town.
If you would like to travel around
Lijiang I recommend using a
reputable service (There are many to
choose from inside of the old town).
The western food inside the old town
is delicious, but of course
expensive. I usually walked to the
newer part of the city to eat, but
it can be a long walk (There are not
many restaurants just outside the
old town, you will have to walk
around for a while). There is a new
KFC just outside of the old town,
but I'm not a big KFC fan so I
didn't eat there.
If you're here to shop, be vigilant
in your bargaining. The shopkeepers
are used to dealing with foreigners
and jack up the prices accordingly (Sometimes
as much as 300 - 500% or more).
If you do plan on visiting, DO NOT
come during China's two major
holidays (Labor Day: May 1st - 8th
and National Day: October 1st -
8th). This is the most popular time
for Chinese tourists and rooms can
be scarce. I've been to Lijiang
twice (Both times during the Chinese
Spring Festival holiday - Jan. 05
and Jan. 06, and there were not too
many people although it gets a
little cold in the evenings.A word
of warning: if you decide to come
during this time (Spring Festival),
keep in mind that about a billion
Chinese are travelling all over
China so book tickets ASAP!!! If
you're travelling by train, you can
book tickets (departing from
Kunming) in Lijiang (but only 2 days
in advance) and there is a
commission charge of about 25 yuan
per ticket. The sleeper bus to
Kunming takes about 10 or 11 hours
and if possible you should buy it in
advance as well. I chose to take a
plane from Lijiang to Chengdu for
1200 yuan for 2 tickets and the
tickets were easy to buy (there are
two offices just outside the old
town where you can buy them - next
to the bank). Have a good trip!! »
Julie A. (Feb 06)
The gem of my trip to China: Moon Inn Guesthouse,
in Lijiang. Recently opened (end of 2005), clean, quiet and charming. This
courtyard is on a small hill 5 minutes from Si Fang square. Highly recommended.
Moon Inn Just off WuYi rd, in an alleyway to the left (next to Zen hotel)
Backpacker's Tips : Blaise Fiedler, France (July 05)
« The Black Dragon Pool Park now costs Y60, Y30 for students.
It's a complete rip off - do not go. It's just a
small park with a pond and 2 bridges. Not worth even
Y5. So angry I paid.
A great family hostel to stay in the old town is
called Mama Naxi GH, or Gu Cheng Xiang Ge Yun Ke
Zhan. It's 78 Wen Hua, Wu Yi, Da Ya. Tel:
0888-5185930. Free Internet and laundry and the
meals here are to die for - and the package dinner +
breakfast only costs Y10. A bed will cost between
15-20y depending on the number of people sleeping in
the room. When you arrive at a bus station just go
to a service desk and ask them to call the guest
house - within 10 minutes somebody will come and
pick you up - you will NOT find the place on your
own: Lijian old town is a labyrinth!»
Backpacker's Tips : Stefan Westerheide,
Germany (Jan 05)
« Square Inn dbl, sb, hw, clean, friendly, English spoken 40 Y excellent
Lijiang though full of tourists is an absolute must see 360 degrees panorama
view from top of Wango Fu Si = Lion Hill (15Y) is absolutely stunning, best time
to go is late afternoon. Don´t miss walk up Elephant Hill: when in Black Dragon
Pool Park (20 Y), nicest way up is the left one, takes about 1.5 h, don´t forget
to bring water, on top fantastic view of Yulong Snow Mountain.
best Western food in Prague Café, a little more upmarket but still good value is
Bus to Zhongdian 4.5 h, 35 Y »
Backpacker's Tips : Wang Xiaocong,
«For accommodation please check www.iyhf.org
for youth hostels in China. I stayed at one in the Lijiang old town during my holiday. A dorm bed there in rooms of 6, 8 or 12 costs 15Y for HI card holders and 20Y for other guests.
The Sun Room Cafe in Lijiang is now closed. In its place is a new cafe named "Mishi".
Internet in Lijiang now costs 5Y/hour in the old town and 2Y/hour in the new town. However, there are no signs in English for Internet cafes in the new town.
A bookstore featuring an extensive selection of books in foreign languages, especially English, including some Lonely Planet titles (for China and Southeast Asian countries) is now found in both Dali and Lijiang.It is called Mandarin Books (Wu Hua Shu Yuan).
In Lijiang it is located on Xinhua Street somewhat opposite Sakura Cafe across the river. »
Backpacker's Tips : Anonymous
«There is a very nice new place
to stay : the Ancient Stone Bridge Inn, a
Naxi style hotel by the river, at the end of an alley
next to an old stone bridge. Rooms around Y80-100.
Great balcony to look at the town's life. »
Backpacker's Tips :
Davide Gallino, Italy (Aug 01)
« We stayed very well in a little guest house run by Naxi people, the White Horse (70 Yuan; common bath with hot shower and clean
Turkish toilet). »
Tips : Olivier Boivineau, France (May 00)
Guesthouse opened April 2000, held by same people as
famous Sakura cafe (one hour before you get your
order, but well worth it). Dbl 35 RMB, dorm 13
RMB/bed. Near market place, close to Sakura cafe.
Comfortable, quiet, clean, shower 24hr HW, western
and chinese toilets, charming (people and place).»
to eat ?
also, plenty of western style restaurants for home-sick backpackers.
back-to-normal priced beer, go to Sun Room Cafe during happy hour from 19 to 20
(beer at half price, 3Y for local beer). Internet (20Y per hour)
Naxi food, head south-east from the stone bridge or North to Hei Long Park. Try
the traditional Pottery rice dishes (6Y)
jiaozi soup (3Y) can be found next to the Sanhe Naxi Guesthouse. Baked potato (0.4Y) can be tasted South of the Old Market place. Bakeries can be found North
of Bank of China.
Telecom, 1/F Post Office, 10 computers, 15Y per hour, 8-11:30 & 14:30-18
Mao Square or Square Inn for 10Y per day or in guesthouses for around Y15.
to see / visit ?
The old town : (5), you never
get tired of it... / Take
the time to explore it, off the tourists streets. For a good panoramic view of
the traditional houses roofs, get up the street on the right of the Old Market
Square for 50 meters then turn left. You can also climb up to the Park.
Xuan Ke Museum : (4), Free
/ If Mr. Xuan Ke is around, do not miss this interesting Naxi cultural opportunity
Naxi orchestra performance : (5), Y35, 1h30, 8pm
unique cultural experience that is becoming a bit too touristy for some
Hei Long Tan Park : (2), Y20, Exp
/A rip off for Chinese tourists, even so the place is relaxing (but so is the old
The countryside : (4), half a day to one day
a bike and explore, preferably to the North toward :
(8km) : a tiny village with Ming Dynasty Naxi & Tibetan frescoes at
Dabaoji Hall, Liuli Temple and Dadind Pavilion
Monastery (14km, 5Y) : a small lamasery built in 1756 around the famous 500
years old 10,000 Blossoms Camellia Tree. The
tree is covered with thousands of flowers from Feb to April.
: Leon (July 05)
« I love Haku
Cafe so much! Haku cafe,in the oldest building in
the Lijiang ancient town, the 2 floors wood building
was found before 1920s, and it is the oldest tea inn
in Lijiang. In the cafe, you will enjoy not also the
refined Yunnan local smaller bean coffee and local
wine,but also the best naxi food, Chinese food and
western food, and the price is just the 80% of the
average price in the ancient town. There are several
computers for guests to browse internet, and you can
use your laptop to access internet by the fastest
wi-fi(wiless internet service) in the Haku cafe. »
Tips : Quang-Tuan Luong (Dec 02)
« I liked the Square Inn for its location close to the action on square street, and the friendly staff. The building and the room were very nice and atmospheric. To enjoy the old town, get up early before the hordes of Chinese tourists. Most of the people you will see on the streets at that time will be locals. There is a great view of the town from the top of Wangu tower, however there is an admission fee.
Square street is a nice place to hang out by the evening, with people floating candles in the canal. The concert of the Naxi Orchestra is also an experience not to be missed. The temples with frescoes in Baisha are now extremely developed, with admission fee, lots of Chinese tours and vendors. In particular, upon entering and exiting the
building where the frescoes are, you are channeled between rows of booths. The frescoes themselves are interesting, but photography is
strictly forbidden. The bus that you used to get there #6 does no longer stop in front of the post office. Once you are in Baisha, it is quite easy to get back to Lijiang at anytime by sharing a ride or hiring one of the small trucks
stationed on the village's main plaza. Morning buses for Jinjiang leave from the South station at 7.30 and 8.30 (the hotel staff said no buses leave from the North station, unlike the LP says). If you can manage it (the seats are numbered so you cannot seat where you please), try to get a window seat, as the scenery is spectacular in the first half of the trip. The trip takes nine hours, including the lunch break. Once you get there, you have to ride a local bus for 45mm before getting to the Jinjiang train station.
: Wang Xiaocong,
China (Oct 01)
« The discussion is going on that an entrance fee should be collected for entering the old town.Once this is settled,Y80 will be collected from each tourist and the ticket will be effective for 5 days for entering the old town plus all the parks and museums in it including the Black Dragon Pool.I believe that the effect of this policy can be as gross as destroying Lijiang's status as a backpacker paradise.»
Tips : Wang Xiaocong,
China (Aug 01)
« From August 1,2001,every passenger on the Lijiang to Daju bus who is not a local resident is charged 40 Yuan of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain entrance
fee. The reason is that many tourists take the Daju bus to tour the Snow Mountain area in attempt to evade the entrance
Backpacker's Tips :
Davide Gallino, Italy (Aug 01)
« Lijiang is very touristy but pleasant anyway, there are still a few parts of the old city which are really untouched. The parts which are touched are pleasant anyway, with night torches all along and pleasant restos. Everyday at 8.00 PM there's a Naxi music concert (inside the concert hall on Sifang
St., the main street of old city.) I've attended and although not overwhelming it gives you a chance to hear traditional music and see the rather old musician with their instruments and magnificent robes. From Lijiang you can take a plane to Kunming (420 Yuan, Yunnan Air - there's a bus going to the airport leaving from behind the Yunnan airlines office) or to Dali and spare yourself many more hours of bus.
In Lijiang there are many places to stay. »
Backpacker's Tips : Chung Seow Lim,
Singapore (March 01)
«I heard all visitor going to Jade Dragon Mountain have to pay an entrance fee (Y40,
I'm sure about the charge, because I avoided it.) at a check point along the road. To avoid it, simply get on to the bus that bound for
DaJu and announce that you are going to
DaJu. You pay for the DaJu ticket (Y23), but get off when
you bypass the mountain. Or better still, if
you are coming from DaJu after the T.L.
Gorge, you could go straight to the mountain without
paying any entrance fee. By the way, as at Dec2000 all visitor going to Lijiang will have to pay an one time entrance fee of Y20 via the hotel they are staying. According to the authority, the money will go to the restoration and
maintenance of the old city. » Note
: the saving tip for the mountain from
Lijiang is no longer available (see
above). Maybe still from Daju...
Backpacker's Tips : "A side trip to an old Stone
Gregg Butenski (May 00)
Baoshan the city between Dali and Ruili but rather the one north of Lijiang by
about 100km. We're talking the "old stone city", not the nearby Baoshan
which is the district seat. Confused? Get over it and go! Prior to Feb 2000 -
when we visited - it was a 5 hour climb up and over the ridge from Baoshan the
municipal seat to Baoshan the old stone city. Even in Feb 2000 folks in the
nearby town of Daju told us we'd be walking. But then lo and behold the bus kept
going and we rode up and over and to within a one hour walk (downhill!) to the
old stone city.
A new road was being built and the bus went as far as possible. By the time you
read this, it will be that much further along. Probably a good thing and a bad
thing in terms of the changes that will take place in this splendid village.
You can get there by direct bus from Lijiang. Alternatively, you can take on a
visit after trekking Tiger Leaping Gorge in the northeasterly direction. From
Daju take a bus bound for Lijiang and get off at the junction known as
"55" (wu shi wu). From there you can pick up a bus en route from
Lijiang to Baoshan.
A couple of homes in Baoshan have been turned into simple guesthouses and at
least one more was under construction when we visited. Just inside the gateway
as you enter the part of the village situated atop a large stone outcropping is
the Mu Family Guesthouse. Home cooked Naxi meals, friendly folks and hot showers
(when the sun's been shining). Y10 per bed. »
Discover the Little Venice of
||8:10 to 18:30
||23 to 50
||2.5 to 4
||7:30 to 17:30
||7:30/8/9 to 14:30
||8/9 to 13:30
||8 to 10
to Kunming : 2 in the morning, every 30mn late afternoon / Bus to Zhongdian stop
at Qiaotou (16Y, 2.5 hrs) / From Jinjiang, trains to Emeishan & Chengdu /
Bus from Ninglang to Lugu Lake (3 hrs)
Trains << Click there for trains from Jinjiang to Chengdu
trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge : Minibus / SSS / R / Y16 / 2.5 hours
decided to start in Qiaotou and leave my bag there as I would go later on to
Zhongdian. I had been told to buy the ticket in the morning but, when I arrived
was told that the 7:30 was full and that the 8am had only a few seats available.
This was due to the fact that tickets were firstly reserved for those going to
Zhongdian. So the minibus was full and the foreigners were all crushed at the
back, not the best way to dream at the scenery (the Chinese, who had the best
seats, were not too much concerned by it either as they kept talking to each
other). When we arrived in Qiaotou, nearly everybody got off : the Chinese had
apparently never planned to go to Zhongdian...
trip to Emeishan
via Jinjiang : see details at Zhongdian
also the trip from Dali to Lijiang...
also an adventure to Tibet (by Paul
Meier) at Zhongdian