Lijiang’s Ancient City sits perched at an altitude of 2.400m above sea level on the northwest plateau of Yunnan Province. Over 800 years of history surround the city that was first established during the Southern Song Dynasty.
The city is intertwined with the Jinsha and Lishui Rivers that parallel zigzagging streets, forming a harmonious balance between nature and the built environment of the city. Arched bridges connect twisted streets and lanes throughout the town. A third river winds through the ancient city, flowing from the food of Xiangshan Mountain. Yucian River flows right into the center of Lijiang Ancient Town, where it sprawls into many smaller branches that wind around the town’s streets and residences. Local residents live a relaxed, comfortable lifestyle void of the hustle and bustle of China’s modern megacities.
Traditional courtyard homes built using ancient methods of earth and wood construction of Han, Bai, and Nai styles line the quiet riverfront. Each courtyard has been transformed into a lush garden, planted with vibrant flowers.
The rich cultural practices of the Naxi people are alive within the ancient city. Here you can experience Naxi folk cultures as well as explore the mysterious development of ancient Dongba culture. Created by honored ancestors of the Naxi Nation, Dongba culture continues to live on in its pure, primitive style. The Dongba writing system is considered to be the world’s only living hieroglyph, while its ancient music and religious practices continue to endure the changing face of time.