Yunnan Province is located at the southwest part of China (See the map below). It has the biggest number of ethnic minority groups. These minority groups include the Dai, Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Miao, etc. Also, these minority groups all retain their own cultures and customs. If you travel to Yunnan Province, there are so many interesting things to discover and so many beautiful sceneries for sightseeing. The old town of Lijiang is one of the best places you can’t miss if you travel to Yunnan Province, China.
The old town of Lijiang is one of the oldest historical cultural towns in China. It was built in the Song Dynasty by the Mu’s family. It has a history of more than eight hundred years.
The Naxi Minority Group makes up the biggest population of the old town of Lijiang. As a result, its culture has a great impact on this little old town. Worshiping is the most important event for the Naxi people. During spring and autumn, each family worships their God with incense, food, livestock, and pray for good weather, peace and prosperity.
There are so many delicious and popular food in the old town of Lijiang. They include the Lijiang cold noodle, pig liver salad, Lijiang pancake, tofu with chicken, and Naxi hotpot, etc.
The road of Lijiang is paved with rocks, which is sustainable. Most of the houses are made of wood and clay. Some of them were built along the river through the town; others were built around the hills. The Naxi people respect the nature so much that they add many elements of the nature in their architecture, such as using the painting of flowers and birds as decoration of the windows, planting flowers in the yards, and building a fountain inside the houses.
People live in the old town of Lijiang celebrate many festivals. These festivals include:
- The lantern festival on the 15th day of the first lunar month (Lunar Calendar). On this day, people in Lijiang have a big trading fair, flower exhibition, and religious and cultural activities.
- Lijiang Sanduo festival falls on the 8th day of the second lunar month, which is the biggest festival in the old town of Lijiang and it worships the God of Sanduo who is the God protecting the Naxi people.
- The Dongba festival falls on the 5th day of the third lunar month. On that day, Naxi people go to temples and worship their God and ancestors.
- The Torch festival starts from the 25th to 27th of the sixth lunar month. During these three days, Naxi people light torches and walk around with them. The stronger the fire, the luckier and happier.
- Autumn is the best season to travel to Lijiang.
- Lijiang is located at a very high altitude. To avoid altitude sickness, it is not suitable to exercise to much or run around.
- The sunlight in Lijiang is very strong so make sure to put on sun cream for protection.
- Lijiang has large temperature difference during the day and the night. Make sure to bring extra jacket with you when going out at night.