Lijiang Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Willettsworld
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Willettsworld
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by Willettsworld

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Lijiang

  • GillianMcLaughlin's Profile Photo

    Go see traditional Naxi villages

    by GillianMcLaughlin Updated Mar 30, 2004

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    Main road leading through a Naxi village

    Within an hour or two, you can cycle out of Lijiang and make your way through traditional Naxi villages that are not on the tourist trail... just like the one in the photo.

    These villages, built in traditional stone clusters, are often quite a distance from any tarred road, and can be found by following quite rough paths through the meadows. You will not find any tourist facilities: no bars, restaurants, shops, just the family units, living in community, and working on the land.

    While "lost" tourists are obviously a curiosity, don't be surprised to find that the streets empty as you arrive. People clearly liked to keep their privacy and would rush off into their houses as we approached.

    We remained discrete. We didn't poke around in private property, and certainly didn't try to take photographs of people who clearly didn't want to be committed to film. You can get a sense of these villages from the photograph.

    There is no clear destination... you just head off and you can't fail to stumble across some paths leading from the main roads... you will certainly not be able to cycle all the way - the paths are rough. However it makes for a great day out and the scenery is spectacular.

    Related to:
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    • Architecture
    • Cycling

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  • srd130's Profile Photo

    Rent a bicycle

    by srd130 Updated Jan 31, 2004

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    For many of the places I visited in Yunnan, I rented a bicycle and drove away from the town in some random direction. Lijiang proved to be a great place for this aimless cycling.

    There are many sites in which buses bring Lijiang tourists to visit. There are these popular sites, lakes, mountains, and people living the traditional Naxi life all within 20 kilometers of the new town.

    In the new town there is a statue of the great Chairman Mao, here in this same square there are two backpacker restaurants which rent bicycles. I do not recall the price but it is about 20 yuan per day and the bicycles are of high quality. So when you see the Mao statue, the bikes will be outside in the square.

    So just hop on a bicycle and go in some random direction, it always delivers me to an interesting place.

    In this photo I ended up at a small river which is a religious site, about 15 kilometers from the new town.

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    • Cycling

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  • darthmilmo's Profile Photo

    Hike on one of the most beautiful Gorges on Earth.

    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Leaping Tiger Gorge. Start at Daju, take a brake at Woody's cafe, then hire Xia Yingu to take you to the river rapids, spend a night or two at Tina's Guest House, spend another night or two at Half Way Guest House, awe in amazement on Tiger Leaping Stone, toast the end of the trip with a beer at Tiger Gorge Cafe owned by chinese/australian couple in Quintou. Read or see more about the trek in my travelogue.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge Trail

    by John195123 Updated May 7, 2008

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    This is not rotated wrong... duck!
    4 more images

    Middle Tiger Leaping Gorge, further into the gorge than the main parking lot, offers a trail that is less frequented and maintained by a family that lives at the top. It's not in the greatest repair, which makes it nice for hiking, and should take about two hours to go down and up.

    If you aren't in very good shape, you might not want to take this trail- it's not really suitable for those not able to scramble a bit. Some of the stairs are steep and the "railings" are little more than chains attached precariously to stakes, wooden or metal. If it rains, the rocks do get slick.

    While there is a watering hole near the bottom, there isn't good water there. Bring your own. It's a steep hike and can get pretty hot in the gorge.

    Watch for falling rocks... I saw some stupid guy throw a rock down the gorge- DON'T DO THAT! He probably didn't have the brainpower to understand that there were PEOPLE down there who probably did not have brain injuries on their list of things to do in Yunnan.

    Five images. Many more in the travelogues!

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    • Hiking and Walking

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  • darthmilmo's Profile Photo

    Visit the fields by Lijiang's Airport

    by darthmilmo Written Feb 25, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On my way from the airport to Lijiang, I was delighted by the most beautiful rice fields i've seen in a while. There were even palms all over the place. It's a really nice view. So if you get a chance, rent a bike and head that way. Alternatively, if you have a driver, ask him/her to take you there to look at the fields.

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    • Cycling

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  • bpacker's Profile Photo

    Bai Shui He and Blue Moon Valley

    by bpacker Updated Jan 9, 2008

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    Lonely Planet doesn't mention this at all but there is a pristine blue lake at the lower base valley of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It's here where you get the best shot of the Mountain since there are cascading limestone terraces that are almost white in colour.

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  • bpacker's Profile Photo

    Drinking Lijiang Snow Tea in Lashihai Village

    by bpacker Updated Jan 9, 2008

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    While pu-er is all the rage in the town, the naxi locals actually drink a rarer form of local tea called Lijiang Snow Tea. My husband and I were invited to drink this tea in a village in Lashihai, while I can't say I like the tea very much, we love the interaction and the ceremony that went along with it.
    The tea itself was slightly bitter but fragrant. And as we sipped, the local tell us that it was brewed from a herb that can only be found in Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Since the herb cannot be cultivated or mass produced, it was relatively expensive at 50rmb.
    We took a look at the white shriveled herbs and understood why it was called Snow Tea. Still,looking at it I had my doubts that it contained great restorative powers for the liver and decreasing blood pressure.
    It was then the local offered me a sip of warm water to clear my palatte.The water was plain but it felt sweet in my mouth, how good it felt! Still, I opted to buy another tea (marigold with rose) which was even more fragrant and not quite as bitter.

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  • konniemario's Profile Photo

    Don't miss the flowers along the way!

    by konniemario Written Sep 2, 2006

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    yellow flowers along the way

    On your way to the old town from the airport or from old town to destinations like Snow Mountain, don't forget to look outside. Most of the time, the fields are full of sunflowers or "you cai hua" (not sure what is it called in English...is it Dandelion?). It's worthwhile to just ask the driver to stop and let you take pictures. As the saying goes, we should sometimes 'stop and smell the flowers' ;-)

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    • Historical Travel

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  • CGarnett's Profile Photo

    Stroll around the Old Town away from the Center

    by CGarnett Written Jun 9, 2004

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    Naxi Ladies

    Most of the tourists tend to spend their time strolling in the very center of Old Town, near Square Market and the Water Wheel. Take the time to get out of the center and wander through the beautiful cobblestone sidestreets. We fell in love with the people and the culture as we quietly made our way "off the beaten" path.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    First Bend of the Yangtze River

    by Willettsworld Written May 11, 2009

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    4 more images

    I took a day trip out of Lijiang in order to visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge which first included a trip to the first bend of the mighty Yangtze River. The Yangtze River, considered the mother river of China, flows majestically through the centre of China and is the third longest river in the world. Starting from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the Yangtze River surges south-eastward until it meets the Hengduan Mountain Range. About 44 miles outside of Lijiang, unusual geological phenomenon’s force the Yangtze to make a sudden V-shaped bend and flow to the northeast. This extraordinary turn, nearly 180-degrees, creates beautiful and marvellous views. Here, the river is wide and the water flows in a gentle, slow pace. Large willow trees grow luxuriously alongside the river that is banked on both sides with lush, fertile deep green vegetation and immense, steep mountains that rise up from the river to touch the clouds in the blue sky above. The whole sight is like a wonderful landscape painting that never ends. This is a world-famous geological phenomenon and an extraordinary panoramic scene whose vistas you will long remember with great pleasure.

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  • Tedsocoa's Profile Photo

    Horsetrip on Jade Dragon Mountain

    by Tedsocoa Updated Mar 13, 2007

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I got
    4 more images

    Once you get out of the local bus terminal, at the foot of the Yu Long Xueshan, (Jade Dragon Mountain), after about one and a half hours driving from Lijiang, you will see on a higher meadow some horses ready to clime up the mountain on a horseback. The price is about 80 Yuan and for taller people, you have to stand on their very old weighting machine to check the right horse for you.
    Then from this meadow at about 3000 m. high, you will ride on your horseback to the highest point of this mountain. The way up is not to difficult, but after a pause on the top, you'll ride down about the same small path and on the very steep parts, where your horse can take a short cutting to come quickier back home, you have to keep firmly the saddle.
    When you'r lucky, you could cross on your ride to the top, a Long Haired Yak, who can reach 2 m. tall at his shoulders, and living only between 3000 and 5000 m. I took his picture no. 3 on a horse back, so rather difficult and a bit fuzzy.

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    • Backpacking
    • Road Trip
    • Horse Riding

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Walk Before the Dawn, Sunrise

    by John195123 Written May 5, 2008

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    Lijiang Sunrise 1
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    As I mentioned elsewhere, the town of Lijiang is best seen in the early morning, at least before 8:30 am, if not before sunrise- sunrise over the town is quite beautiful. If you want to catch sunrise, note that the town is roughly aligned with the compass with the west part of the old town being the hill holding the Wangu Tower and the Wenchang Monastery. Sunrise is best seen from that vantage point, somewhere between the two. Sunset you can see from, therefore, the east side of town, over the monastery and tower.

    It's peaceful before 8:30, when the town is empty aside from a few people going to work, a baozi (steamed, filled bun) stand off a short side street providing locals breakfast in a hurry, and the occasional tourists looking for empty streets. At 8:30, as if on cue, the tour groups start their sluggish clogging of the walkways. I'd hate for too many people to get out before 8:30, but it's worth it for those that do.

    Five images.

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Tiger Leaping Gorge Tourist Trail

    by John195123 Written May 7, 2008

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    The Leaping Tiger
    4 more images

    What was once done by only adventurers now sees high-heel clad city-people clambering their awkward ways down and huffing back up. The first hike down to the water, from the main parking lot, is done via stairs, and is more of a tourist trap these days than anything else- the view at the bottom is OK, not spectacular, and don't be surprised if Chinese tour groups stop for a photo or ten, blocking the pathway. This path took us about half an hour, with pictures and waiting behind slower people.

    You can see, across the gorge, a statue of the leaping tiger- a tiger supposedly jumped the gorge, according to legend.

    There are souvenir stalls on the way up, and some people sell corn and peeled potatos... mmmm.

    Five images.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Adventure Travel

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  • bpacker's Profile Photo

    Look for Rare Birds in LaShiHai

    by bpacker Updated Jan 9, 2008

    This place is an important migration passage/breeding ground/wintering haven of nearly 76 species of wild geese and ducks, e.g. Anas crecca, Fulica atra, and Aythya fuligula.
    I did not see the black necked cranes when I was here however.

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  • John195123's Profile Photo

    Outside Baisha Village

    by John195123 Written May 5, 2008
    Baisha Horse
    4 more images

    We walked out of Baisha for a while and into the more real/local part of town until the local old cop told us we couldn't go any farther. Oh well. Not many tourists hit this part of town, so it's nice to see some of the real Baisha, as opposed to the tourist section.

    Five images.

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    • Hiking and Walking
    • Backpacking

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