In the foothill of Tibet lies Lijiang, a splendid little town that is home to the ancient Naxi people. Lijiang (the Beautiful River) got its name from its position at the middle reaches of the beautiful Jinsha River. It was built 800 years ago. It is a state-level ancient cultural city. In 1997 Lijiang Prefecture was added to the List of World's Cultural Heritages. With the area of 7,485 square kilometers in the Northwest of Yunnan Province, Lijiang Prefecture has a population of 1.02 million. It is mainly inhabited by the Naxi Ethnic group. Lijiang has beautiful landscapes and has a year-around warm climate.

The old town of Lijiang is a wonderful maze of traditional Naxi architecture, pitted against the new section, an encroachment of breeze blokes and ceramic tiling. It’s a marvel at night, when the Chinese roofs are festooned with lights and sparkle against the evening sky; the old quarter is a dreamscape of dark cobbled streets, gushing canals, and paths trailing away from the main street. Wooden doors are thrown open to reveal the cozy interiors of Naxi and Western restaurants.

Local People
Dayan has been home to the Naxi for over 1400 years. The Naxi are the descendants of the Tibetan Qiang tribe, who came down the Yangtze from Northern Tibet. The Naxi have a population of 300,000, most living in Lijiang area, with some in Southwestern Sichuan and Southeastern Tibet. Despite its small population, the Naxi have created a rich culture which has aroused the interest of the world's scholars. Their written language, known as Dongba Pictographs, is said to be the "only living pictographic language" in the world. Like other regions in Yunnan Province, Lijiang is diverse ethnically, with Bai, Pumi, Yi, Tibetans, Miao, and Lisu inhabiting its valleys and mountains. 

Lijiang Old Town
The landscape in Lijiang is magnificent. With the 5,596-metre crest, the thirteen peaks of the jade dragon snow mountain flies in the sky like a dragon of glittering and translucent jade. The Tiger Leaping Gorge is one of the deepest gorges in the world with a depth of 3,900 metres. The first bend of the Yangtze River is well known. The southbound, turbulent Yangtze River spreads wide and flows slowly to the north. In the Yufengsi lamasery, the 10,000-blossom camellia tree, about 500 years in age, stands loftily, giving forth over 20,000 blossoms a year. It is renowned as the greatest camellia tree in the world. The black dragon pool is attractive with a tranquil and clear pond reflecting the snowcapped mountains, a group of classic buildings like Deyuelou (pavilion to greet the rising moon), Wufenglou (pavilion of five phoenixes) and a five-arched stone bridge and flower beds which exhibit beautiful flowers all the year round. The ancient town of Dayanzhen is remarkable for its excellent layout, which conducts a limpid stream to the gate of every household, with weeping willows along it. It is a rare example of Chinese ancient architecture. The legendary Lugu Lake is crystal clear. Its shores are the habitat of the Mosuo people, who are regarded as "living fossils" of the matriarchal society. Up to now the Mosuo people still keep their unique way of life. Men and women are not unitized by marriage, yet keeping a casual cohabitation relationship.