Lijiang Naxi Autonomous County, another historically and culturally
famous town in China, lies 199 kilometres away in the northwest
Situated in the northwestern part of Yunnan
Province and the upper reaches of the Jinshajiang (Golden
Sand) River, Lijiang is a region were the Naxi people live
in compact communities with an area of 7,425 square kilometres.
The total population is 301 thousand people, consisting of
the Naxi, Han, Bai, Tibetan, Pumi, Lisu, Yi and other nationalities.
The Naxi people constitute 58% of the total population. The
county seat (Dayanzhen), concurrently the administrative seat
of Lijiang Prefecture, is the political, economic and cultural
centre of the county and prefecture.
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. 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
Changjiang 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 (Yuquan Park) 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), Wufenglon (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 unitied
by marriage, yet keeping a casual cohabitation relationship.
Lijiang is the centre of the splendid Naxi
culture and at the same time the confluence of the cultural
exchange for the Han, Tibetan, Bai and Naxi nationalities.
From the Kaiyuan era (713-742) of the Tang Dynasty, the Naxi
people began to assimilate the Han culture from the Central
Plains and the Tibetan culture from the northwest and gradually
developed a culture of their own. The Naxi culture is embodies
in the naxi pictographic script, the Dongba Scriptures, and
the Dongba music and dances. They are inseparable parts of
the Chinese cultural treasure.
beautiful landscape and the historical culture have won Lijiang
a very high reputation. In 1638 or the 11th year of the Chongzhen
era of the Ming Dynasty, the famous geographer and traveller
Xu Xiake saw the jade Dragon Snow Mountain when he arrived
in Dali. He wrote. "A snowcapped mountain lurks beyond the
horizon." In the following year he reached Lijiang and saw
the mountain which rose high in front of him. He wrote again,
"The jade Dragon hovers over the mountains, sweeping across
the valleys and excelling any other scenic spots in its vicinity."
In the turn of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the jade Dragon
was listed as one of the most famous mountains over the country.
One and a half centuries ago, the natural resources of the
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Naxi's Dongba culture became
great attractions to the Western world. An American Austrian,
Dr. Lock returned to the United States in 1949 after his 26
years stay at Lijiang and gave lectures in the United States,
Japan and some European countries. He published two books,
one deals with the ancient "Naxi Kingdom" in the southwest
of China and the other is a Naxi-English encyclopedia.
We offer wonderful Lijiang
tours to the most interesting attractions in the city:
Dayan Ancient Town, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Dongba Culture
Museum, First Bend of the Yangtze River, Tiger Leaping Gorge,