Weather: It is dry, cold at night, and cool or warm and sunny during the day. It might snow some nights, but it is the driest month. The nightly low temperature is 6 °C (43 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 19°C (66 °F). It is usually sunny, and there are about seven hours of sunlight a day. The high elevation of 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) makes it feel much warmer when it is sunny, and there is a danger of sunburn.
There is a big temperature drop from day to night to prepare for of 13 °C (23 °F). It rains or snows about 5 days a month, but the total precipitation is only about 4 mm. Check our current Lijiang weather and forecast>>
Clothing: Bring warm clothes such as a coat, gloves, and a hat or a scarf. However, on sunny days, lighter clothes such as shirts and jeans are fine. For the mountains, you'll need waterproof shoes with good traction for the slush and snow and sunglasses for the glare.
Altitude Sickness: Most visitors suffer from it during an overnight stay and especially when they go up to the mountains. Hiking in the mountains is difficult due to the high altitude. Since the effect of altitude sickness varies from person to person, take precautions if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
See Jade Dragon Snow Mountain: The mountain is only half an hour from Lijiang, and there is beautiful scenery when it is snowy. There is a scenic tram, but if you want to walk up to the observation platform at 4,636 meters (15,210 feet) up the specially constructed stairs, be prepared for a hard climb. But oxygen can be bought from vendors. Oxygen is about 2/3 cheaper in the city.
Enjoy the Lijiang restaurants: In the city, you'll find hundreds of local Naxi restaurants and snack stalls featuring the regional cuisines of Yunnan, Tibet, and Sichuan. So you'll have a variety of food to taste. The Chinese New Year holidays are usually in February, and delicious food is sold everywhere. Many establishments are geared for foreigners.
Lijiang Old Town: There are three districts in the Lijiang Ancient Town: the Dayan District in Lijiang proper, Shuhe and Baisha. In these places, you'll see the Naxi houses and streets and enjoy eating their distinctive high protein meat and dairy cuisine.
If the most popular areas are crowded with tourists in February, you can go towards the outskirts and go north to Baisha and Shuhe. You'll find quieter and more authentic Naxi areas. Baisha is about 11 north kilometers of Dayan. The Naxi make their own distinctive cuisine more authentically there, and you'll find lower prices for food.
Enjoy the Chinese New Year: This is the busiest period for travel and tourism in China. Most people get a "golden week" of vacation then, and these holidays are in the first half of February 2/3 of the years. The locals feast, have reunions, and exchange gifts. The festivities include fireworks and special ethnic song and dance entertainment.
The city is a popular location for Chinese tourism during the holidays, and the locals also like to go out to visit the travel highlights. So there are large crowds. Many shops and restaurants and even some attractions close for two or three days starting from the first day of the Chinese New Year. It is best to do some schedule checking and prearrange your travel and stay if you come during this time.
Watch the Fireworks: On the Chinese New Year Eve, tens of thousands of children and adults go outside to let off fireworks in the New Town area of Lijiang. The booming is enormous. But fireworks are forbidden in the Dayan Ancient City area. Check Chinese New Year dates>>
The period from about a week before and two weeks after the Spring Festival "golden week" is a very high travel season, but the rest of February, December, and March is low travel season. Lijiang is a popular destination for Chinese domestic travel, and it is crowded during most of the CNY season, so you might consider going at a different time.
During high travel season, book the hotel room well beforehand. Expect that flight tickets and train tickets will be difficult to obtain, so try to book beforehand. Let us help you book rooms and tickets by our experience. See our recommended hotels>>
3-day Essence of Lijiang Tour: See the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Baisha Murals. Our guide will take you for a tour to see the ancient part of the city. Our tourists modify their tours or create their own tour. Design your tour with this "Tailor-Make a Tour Form">>
See our Lijiang Tours.