How to Plan a Trip to Lijiang

How to Plan a Trip to Lijiang

By Chris QuanUpdated Mar. 18, 2021

Lijiang is an ideal destination for holidays owing to its relaxed atmosphere and wonderful scenery. We hope this article will give you some inspiration and helpful guidance if you are planning a trip to Lijiang. Alternatively, contact us if you have any questions or would like us to create a Lijiang trip based on your requirements.


What You Should Know before Going to Lijiang

What Are the Must-Sees?


It may be difficult for you to choose what to see in your coming Lijiang trip with over 20 great attractions in Lijiang, especially if you are first-time visitors.

Attractions Typical Visit Time Suitable For
Lijiang Old Town Half a day All
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Up to a day All, especially hikers
Baisha Village Half a day All, especially ethnic culture lovers
Tiger Leaping Gorge Two days Hikers
Lugu Lake Two days All, especially nature and ethnic culture lovers

Therefore, we have listed the most popular five attractions suitable for all kinds of visitors. These are the Lijiang “must-sees”.

Find out more about them and more on our Top 10 Attractions in Lijiang or The Ultimate 10 Things to Do in Lijiang.

How Many Days for a Lijiang Trip?

Usually, it takes 3 days for an “essence of Lijiang” trip. Here is our suggested itinerary:

If that looks good to you, check out more details of our 3-Day Essence of Ancient Lijiang Tour.

Lijiang is known as “the backpackers’ paradise”. Leisurely and carefree, backpacks are more at home in Lijiang than suitcases, not least because it has China’s best hikes. If you are fond of hiking, you could refer to our 5-Day Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking Tour — in brief:

All our itineraries are flexible. If you have any ideas or requirements, contact us. We will make any adjustments you need based on your group size, time, budgets, interests, preferences, and other requirements.

Extending Your Lijiang Tour


Most travelers connect Lijiang with Kunming and Dali. You will need 6 days to visit the essential attractions in these three most famous cities of Yunnan.

See more details of our 6-Day Yunnan Ethnic Minorities Tour if you are interested in this itinerary.

Many travelers will also put Shangri-La in their list. If you have the same idea, look at our 8-Day Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri-La Tour to meet the highest amazing beauty of Yunnan.

Best Times to Go


Lijiang’s average daily temperature range is 8–19°C (46–66°F), which happens to be the middle seasons’ too, when it is best to travel.

Although Lijiang is suitable for traveling all year round, the best times to visit Lijiang are from late March to May and mid-October to November.

The high altitude and low latitude results in cooler summers and milder winters in Lijiang. Thus, Lijiang is often a top destination for summer and winter vacations in China too.

Top Weather Tips:

Check out Lijiang Weather to discover the best places to go in each season in Lijiang and more top tips.

How to Get to Lijiang

Lijiang has an airport and a railway station to connect with other cities in China and Yunnan.

Domestic cities such as Beijing (4 hours), Shanghai (4 hours), Hangzhou (4 hours), Nanjing (3½ hours), Guangzhou (3 hours), Shenzhen (3 hours), Kunming (1 hour), Guilin (2 hours), Chengdu (2 hours), and Chongqing (2 hours) have direct flights to Lijiang.

Driving and taking a bullet train are the two main ways to get to Lijiang from other cities in Yunnan.

From Kunming to Lijiang, it’s a 3½ hours’ journey by a bullet train.

From Dali to Lijiang, driving is recommended (2½ hours) or a 2 or 2½ hours’ journey by normal train.

From Shangri-La to Lijiang, driving is the only way (3 or 4 hours).

Where to Stay in Lijiang

Hotels in the best places to stay with a convenient location, regional features, and good reviews are recommended here for your reference:

Lijiang Old Town Area — Top Choice

Shuhe Old Town — Quieter Relaxation

Tiger Leaping Gorge — Hikers’ Stopovers

The hotel facilities and services in Tiger Leaping Gorge are relatively lower than those in the city areas.

Recommended tour: 5-Day Lijiang and Tiger Leaping Gorge Hiking 

Lugu Lake — Scenic Accommodation

Find Your Ideal Lijiang Tour Here

All our tours can be customized. Feel free to contact us and we will create a trip based on your requirements, or see our popular Lijiang tours for inspiration:

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