| Lijiang History
Lijiang has a long history. It is the ancient seat of Dongba Culture. The city’s ethnic Naxi people still live that culture. The city’s history dates back to period of the Warring States (475-221 B.C.) in China. Today the city is known primarily as a scenic garden spot - lush green valleys surrounded by snow-covered peaks.
Lijiang sits at a crossroads. It is among the few towns where the architectural styles of both north and south China can be found. And it marks the spot where the Yangtze River leaves the mountains of Tibet to become a might artery for commerce and culture in China. From Lijiang the Yangtze flows into Sichuan Province, through the city of Chongqing, to the gigantic Three Gorges Dam, and onward to Wuhan and Nanjing before reaching the East China Sea near Shanghai.
Lijiang is laced with canals. The city’s ancient water distribution system is complex, but still very functional. And the canals add beauty to the city.
In addition to the large Naxi minority group, Lijian is home to ethnic Yi, Lisu, Pumi, Bai, Dai, Miao, Zhuang, Tibetan, and Hui. In 1997, UNESCO put Lijiang on its list of the world’s major cultural heritage sites.
If you have the pleasure of visiting Lijiang you should plan on spending at least a few hours in the city’s most important parks. Yuquan Park (known popularly “Black Dragon Pool Park” or as “Jade Sping Park”) is at the base of the Xiangshan Mountain north of the city. The park includes a waterfall, and is shaded by willow trees throughout the grounds.
A number of scenic attractions exist near Lijinag. Yulong Xueshan (or “Jade Dragon”) Mountain is about ten miles form the city. The mountain is 5,596 meters and the summit can be reached by cable car. About 32 miles form Lijiang, the town of Shigu sits on a U-turn on the Yangtze River known locally as “the first bend.” Hutiao (or “Jumping Tiger”) Gorge is about nine miles from Lijiang. The gorge is 3000 feet deep and in spots is only 30 meters wide. Scenic Lugu Lake sits on the Yunnan-Sichuan boder about 180 miles from Lijiang. The lake is surrounded by dense forest.
Lijiang is well worth a visit.
Editor: Feng Hui