Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Old Town of Lijiang, China






Lijiang is a city in Yunnan Province, China. The city has a population of about 1.14 million people, as of 2005. Its old town, which has a history going back more than 800 years, was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site during the 21st session of the World Heritage Committee in Naples, Italy, on 1-6 December, 1997.

The Outstanding Universal Value of the Old Town of Lijiang lies in it being an ancient town that is set in a dramatic landscape. The Old Town of Lijiang represents a harmonious fusion of different cultural traditions, producing an urban landscape of remarkable quality.

Despite an uneven topography, the Old Town of Lijiang managed to blend elements of several cultures, and even run a complex water supply system that is in use until today.

Photos of Old Town of Lijiang

Canal in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China
Canal in Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China
Author: Luis Franco (Creative Commons Attribution 2.1 Spain)

Roofs of heritage houses, Lijiang, China
Roofs of heritage houses, Lijiang, China
Author: BrokenSphere (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Streetscape of Lijiang, China
Streetscape of Lijiang, China
Author: BrokenSphere (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 26 52 E 100 14
Inscription Year: 1997
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV, V

Location Map


View Lijiang, Yunnan in a larger map

Visiting Old Town of Lijiang

You enter Yunnan from its main city, Kunming. Lijiang is about 527 km (316 miles) to the northwest of Kunming. You can take a train to Lijiang from Kunming.

Exploring Lijiang

Lijiang is best explored on foot. Beware though that the cobblestones may be uneven or slippery.


Local Tours of China

At times, it is faster, safer and cheaper to join a local tour than to go there yourself. This is especially true for many places in China. However, you need to be wary of the tour operators, especially those in China.

Here are a few local tours of China that you may wish to add to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

Proceed to China Travel Guide
Return to China's World Heritage Sites
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