Weather: It is cool in the day and cold at night, but it is so pleasant and sunny that most tourists will enjoy the weather in December. The scenery is great, sky's clear, and the mountains have beautiful white snowcaps. The sunny weather is an attraction. There is an unusual 6 hours of sun in December and only about 6 days of rain or snow in the month for a total of about 6 mm of precipitation.
The average nightly low temperature is 5 °C (40 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 16 °C (61 °F). The high elevation 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) makes it feel warmer. Check the Lijiang weather forecast>>
Clothing: A jacket or sweater, warm shirts, and trousers are fine. It is good to dress in layers for the big temperature drop between day and night. You could sunbathe, so bring the right clothes for that.
Altitude Sickness: Be cautious about this if you have a heart or lung condition or high blood pressure. Most tourists will experience some shortness of breath and get tired quickly for a day or two, and many people use some oxygen on the mountain. Oxygen canisters in Lijiang cost about 1/3 less than on the mountain.
Ancient Lijiang: In December, you can tour in the city with a lot less crowding than in most of the year. What is more, you can enjoy walking around in the sunny weather to the main attractions, shop, and sample the food. The Naxi people around Lijiang developed an interesting culture, and you can enjoy their culture and their food.
Visit the Mufu Mansion: This is another covered place to go on a rainy day. There was once a mansion of the Mufu clan here, but it was destroyed in an earthquake in the 1990s. This building was built in its place for the landmark. It is in a tree covered park area on Shizishan Hill in the Dayan area.
Shuhe and Baisha: In these two UNESCO recognized cobblestoned Naxi districts, there are many little Naxi restaurants where you can enjoy their meaty dairy-rich cuisine. Look out for crafts products such as T-shirts and artwork with the pictorial hieroglyphic writing that make for good souvenirs.
Lijiang is popular in China, so there are many local tourists, but there are a lot less Chinese tourists in December than in much of the rest of the year. The advantage is that hotel room prices are the same as that in the low tourism season until the last two weeks of December. Then foreign tourists come in on their Christmas or winter vacations, and though it is low tourist season, the kinds of hotels that foreigners appreciate are fully booked and it is difficult to get a room.
We recommend that you book your hotel room and plane/train tickets in advance. Let us help you or your group arrange the tickets and your accommodations by our experience. Tell us your preferences. See recommended Lijiang tourist hotels>>
3-day Essence of Lijiang Tour: During this tour, sightsee in the city with your guide. Go up the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and see the Baisha Murals.
10-day Romantic China Tour: Our guide will help you tour Shanghai's highlights. Then enjoy a Yangtze cruise boat to Chongqing and have excursions at the Three Gorges Dam and the Fengdu Ghost City. Finish with the highlights of Chongqing and Lijiang. Our tourists can modify this tour.
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