Lijiang is an and quaint town in Yunan, a province of China which is well endowed with magnificent and beautiful mountains, rivers and a long history. The ancient Lijiang county was put into the list of world cultural legacy by the World Legacy Committee of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization in 1997.
The city of Lijiang has a history of 800 years or 900 years dating from the Sung Dynasty. Why is Lijiang one of the most beautiful city in the world? Firstly, it is one of the very few city which is over a mile high above sea level. Smacked in the middle of the Lijiangba Dam, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and a river that runs through an oriental forest with small streams meandering into the town. Some tourists even called the town “Heaven On Earth”.
Lijiang experienced an earth shattering 7 on the Richter scale earthquake on February 1996 which killed more than 5,000 people mainly the Naxi community being the major community in Lijiang. Since then, Lijiang caught the attention of the world and tourism growth was unprecedented. As such, Lijiang is now one of the most favoured tourist travel destination in China.
Most residents in Lijiang are of the Naxi tribe. The Naxi community makes a living by herding yaks and doing small retail businesses. The construction of the ancient Lijiang city was quickly developed in the Ming Dynasty. This is especially so because the Ming Dynasty made a large number of people in Anhui Province to migrate into Lijiang in order to station military troops and common people in the boundary areas.
As a result of this mass migration, the buildings of Lijiang ancient city were very much influenced by the architectural style of Anhui Province. The original buildings of the Naxi community can only be found in the rural areas surrounding Lijiang City.
The Yuan dynasty and the Mongol Emperor then, Kublai Khan stationed military troops in Lijiang in 1253. He brought the foreign culture alien to Lijiang and thus Lijiang was then influenced by the culture Central China, such as Buddhism and Taoism, and then affected by the Christianity and Islamic culture in the early 1900s. The Naxi community assimilated all these cultures. As such, Lijiang is also very much appreciated for its cultural landscape not only in China, but the entire Asia.
Millions of tourists travel to Lijiang each year to enjoy Lijiang’s primitive simplicity, tranquility and elegant culture.The folks at Lijiang enjoy music too. You can hear the beautiful music from the dwelling houses in Dayanzhen Town. The musicians carry their often home made musical instruments to take part in household parties all over the town.
The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang is perhaps one the most beautiful mountain range in the world, famous for its perilous, beautiful and breathtaking landscapes. The mountain is a world class tourist scenic spot. The peak of the Jade Dragon Mountain is some 5596 meters (about 17,000 ft) above sea level. The mountain’s thirteen peaks viewed from south to north look just like a flying giant Chinese dragon. A very formidable view indeed.
So if you are travelling to China, don’t miss the quaint city of Lijiang.