Weather: It is cool and often sunny. January is the coldest month in Lijiang with an average nightly low temperature of 4 °C (39 °F) and an average daily high temperature of 16 °C (61 °F). Due to the high altitude of 2,400 meters (7,900 feet) however, it feels warmer especially when it is sunny, and there is a danger of sunburn.
There is a big temperature temperature drop from day to night. It rains or snows about 6 days a month, but the total precipitation is only about 8 mm. Check the current Lijiang weather and forecast>>
Clothing: Bring warm clothes such as a thick coat, gloves, and a hat or a scarf. You'll need waterproof shoes with good traction for snow or slush and sunglasses for glare.
Altitude Sickness: Most visitors suffer from it if they stay there overnight, and especially if they go up to the mountains. The high altitudes make a long walk difficult. Altitude sickness varies from person to person, so it is suggested that you consult your doctor and take precautions if you have high blood pressure or heart disease.
Enjoy dining at the Lijiang restaurants: In Lijiang, you'll find the local Naxi restaurants and the regional cuisines of Yunnan and Sichuan. During the Chinese New Year, delicious food is sold everywhere. Taste the local food at our recommended restaurants. Restaurants and coffee houses are places to go when it is cold and snowing. Many establishments are geared for serving foreigners.
Visit the Lijiang Old Town: The old, historic part of Lijiang is big and so full of similar looking cobblestone streets that it is difficult to walk around it, and you might get lost. We suggest that if the most popular areas are crowded in January, simply walk towards the outskirts, away from the more touristy and noisy spots, and you'll find places in Lijiang that are quieter and more traditional. You'll find more small restaurants owned by locals making their own distinctive cuisine authentically, and you'll find lower prices for the local products.
The Lijiang Ancient Town was so distinctive and historic that it was listed by UNESCO as a world heritage. It was a major trade route town at one time, and the people developed their own Dongba script for writing and distinctive music. Look out for shops that sell traditional Naxi products that make great souvenirs.
Enjoy the Chinese New Year: The (Spring Festival) holidays are busy days for travel and tourism. Most people get a "golden week" of vacation for the Spring Festival, and these holidays are at the end of January 1/3 of the years. You might enjoy a snowy Chinese New Year then. Festivities include fireworks, feasts, reunions, and exchanging gifts.
Crowds of mainland tourists come for holidays, and after two or three days together at home, the locals also go out to the attractions as well. However, for the first two or three days of these holidays, many stores, restaurants, and some attractions in Lijiang and the surrounding areas close for a day or two. So if you come during these holidays, it is good to do a little checking and planning. So be aware of the holiday schedule, and be prepared for crowds if you come during these holidays.
Watch the Fireworks: On the Chinese New Year Eve, tens of thousands of people let off fireworks over the New Town area of Lijiang. But they are forbidden in the Old City. You can watch these from any high point in the city. Check Chinese New Year dates>>
Usually, Lijiang is in low tourist season in January, except for a period about a week before and a week after the Chinese New Year "golden week" holidays. The city is high on the Chinese list of domestic travel destinations. So it is crowded by Mainlanders during most of the CNY season.
If you want to come at this time, book the hotel beforehand and go to some local villages or northern towns such as Shuhe to enjoy the quiet. During high tourism periods, prices are high for hotel rooms, flight tickets and train tickets. Let us help you book rooms and tickets. Check our recommended hotels>>
3-day Essence of Lijiang Tour: During this tour, you can sightsee in the city with your guide. See the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Baisha Murals. You can modify this tour while booking.
Design your own tour by outlining your requirements>>
Or see our Lijiang Tours.