Travel to Naxi lands

 

Lijiang is the traditional capital of the Naxi. It was the center of Naxi economy, culture and politics during the last centuries. An important stop in the tea caravans heading to Tibet and in the Chinese emperor policies regarding the peoples beyond it, it has, from old times, a cosmopolitan character alive until now.

The old city of Lijiang, formerly known as Dayan, was completely rebuilt and restored after the heavy earthquake that hit the city in 1996. Now is one of the best preserved cities of China, and the touristic center of Yunnan and Southwest China.

Lijiang is neatly divided between the old Naxi city (where unfortunately live less and less Naxi people every day) and the new city, which is growing vertiginously due to the development of the tourism and related industries.

Lijiang has good communications with the outer world: about ten daily flights to Kunming and some to the other main cities in China. And even more daily bus routes from Kunming and Dali. Lijiang has hundreds of hotels and guesthouses of any price and category. Some of them, in the old city, are designed according to the Naxi's traditional architecture; others follow the Chinese or International modern paradigm.

In the proper Lijiang the old city is the most interesting place. To visit Black Dragon Pool, Dongba Culture Museum, and Mu Family Courtyard will require buying a new entrance ticket.

Near Lijiang the most interesting places are the old cities of Baisha (with some frescoes of eclectic style that reflects Lijiang mixed culture) and Shuge, recently restored.

A little further lays the Dragon Snow Mountain, visible from everywhere in the old city.

Even further the traveler can visit other interesting places as:

Baishuitai, where according to the tradition, the Dongba religion originated.

Shigu, the stone drum with the First Bend of the Yangze River.

Baoshan or the stone city, perching on astonishing cliffs.

The best time to visit Lijiang is spring and autumn. Summer has frequent rain and the old city is overcrowded with Chinese visitors on their holidays.

The Naxi main festival is nowadays Sanduo Festival, celebrated on the 8th day of the second lunar month (about March of solar calendar)

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