Also called Dayan Old Town, Lijiang Old Town has been a popular tourist destination ever since. The history of the old town dates back to 800 years ago. The town was first built in the 13th century AD during Song Dynasty. It is famous for its relaxed atmosphere. Many people would like to take a few days there, relax and have fun.
Water Wheel is a place you cannot miss. It is a landmark in north of the town. In ancient China, people use it to get water from the river and then water the farm. Not far from the water wheel, there is a big rack hanging with plenty of camel bells. It is a pretty good place to take photos. Book a Lijiang Local Tour
Lijiang Old Town is located in the northwest part of Yunnan Province. The town is set in a beautiful valley, sheltered by rugged mountains. It is little touched by modern civilizations and regarded as China’s Shangri-la as it is an equivalent to the Western paradise on Earth. Today, it has become the destination of travelers from all parts of the world since it joined the UNESCO world heritage list in 1997. Lijiang is divided into the old town and the new town. They are as different as day and night. The division line is Lion Hill, the bump in the middle of the town. On the east side of Lion Hill is old Lijiang, which is truly attractive to visitors. It is a delightful maze of traditional Naxi shop houses, cobbled lanes, crisscross canals and arched bridges.
On the main entrance of the old town is a large wooden water-wheel, spun by the Yu River, which flows south along the edge of Lion Hill. The shopping distinct is tiny, with twisting lanes, they are filled with shops. Parrots and plants adorn the front porches. There are large displays of bright copper pots, plates and pans, all hammered out by hand. Small stores sell local embroideries and Naxi traditional clothes. The old town has a region of small family-operated restaurants, catering to the fantasies of the visitors. The local specialty is baba Naxi sandwich. It is thick flat bread made of wheat, stuffed with meat, vegetable or sweets.
Stone-bed streams and canals run through the town and are bridged by the stones. People sit on these stone bridges, restful and friendly, telling their tales and eating their favorite food. It is the local people of Lijiang that make the old town unique. Lijiang presents very special music. The chief entertainment at night in the old town is traditional Naxi music in the old buildings. All the performers are of Naxi minority. There are usually 24 players in the group. Some of them are aged. They play Taoist temple music, which has long been lost elsewhere in China. They use special instruments. Sitting there, listening to the Naxi music, you will be lost in this China’s Shangri-la.
According to the announcement of UNESCO in June,2012, the area of Lijiang Old Town has enlarged from 3.8 square kilometers to 7.279 square kilometers. The whole old town stretches to Jin’an Street in the east, Xianghe Road in the south, Minzhu Road in the west and Elephant Hill in the north.