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Guest Post: Lijiang, China

This week we have a special guest writer! Meet my friend Sepide. She’s Persian-Danish and we grew up together in Tianjin, China. She’s been everywhere, especially around Asia. Make sure to follow her travels on her IG @emma_sb

During the three years that I spent in China, I travelled all over the country. My last trip before moving away from China was Lijiang, and I can say with confidence that this place is one of China’s most precious gems. It is a city unlike any other city in China.

Lijiang is located in the Yunnan province of China. It is located near the city of Shangri-La and Tibet. In 1997, the Old Town district of Lijiang earned a spot on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites. The Ancient Silk Road passed through Lijiang on the way towards the Middle East.

The remote location of Lijiang makes it a difficult destination to reach. As the small airplane begins its descent towards the landing strip, you become engulfed by the mountains towering around you, and for a second it will look as if the plane can’t even fit between the mountains.

The first thing you notice after you land is the crisp, fresh mountain air, which is a rare find in the otherwise polluted major cities in China. The narrow streets are made of cobblestones, and they lead you through a labyrinth of ancient Chinese houses. The clear streams navigating through the grey houses (every shade of grey is represented) combined with the lanterns hanging from every corner and Chinese characters written on walls makes you feel like you’re in wuxia film.

Although Lijiang has quite a heavy flow of tourists, the majority of visitors milling about were Chinese, as well. It has a very relaxing and quiet atmosphere.

Lijiang offers a true taste of the local lifestyle of the Naxi people and their culture. The Naxi people are an ethnic group in China that have their own language and unique dress.

Tips:

  • I recommend staying at one of the ancient houses that in the Old Town of Lijiang, in order to fully appreciate the experience and the wonderful people of Lijiang
  • Be sure to check out their famous silk products! We bought the best silk duvet- not only was it super soft but it is supposedly good for your health, as well (helps with allergies, arthritis, and skin problems)

Although Lijiang may not be on a first-time visitor’s list if you’re here for one month (or even three), but if you are looking to see China in-depth or have been here a while, it is an excellent destination to get away and relax.

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