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Weather: Tourists enjoy a cool month with relatively pleasant touring weather because it isn't very rainy. The mountains are capped with beautiful snow. The average nightly low temperature is 13 °C (55 °F), and the average daily high temperature is 22 °C (72 °F). These temperatures feel warmer because the elevation is 2,400 meters (7,900 feet).
The monsoon season ends, and the weather turns drier and better by the end of the month. There are only about 5 hours of sunshine per day. It rains about half the days of the month, and there is about 77 mm of rain. Check the Lijiang weather forecast>>
Clothing: A jacket or sweater, warm shirts, and trousers are fine. You'll need rain gear if rain is likely, and take a coat and rain gear up to the mountains. The UV radiation is high if it is sunny, so cover your skin if you have sensitive skin.
Altitude Sickness: Most tourists will experience some shortness of breath and get tired quickly for a day or two, and many people use oxygen on the mountain. The cost of oxygen canisters in Lijiang is about 1/3 less than on the mountain. Tourists with a heart condition or high blood pressure should be cautious.
Ancient Lijiang: The Naxi people around Lijiang developed an interesting culture. They controlled major trade routes between big eastern empires and smaller kingdoms of Southeast Asia. They had contact with many different people and developed their own style of architecture, writing, and cuisine. Their unique writing system is the last hieroglyphic writing system that is still in use in the world. Enjoy their culture.
Visit the Dongba Museum: A good place in Dayan to learn about the Naxi people is the Dongba Museum. It is a little museum by the Black Dragon Pool that is a famous landmark in Jade Spring Park. The museum has some interesting exhibits, photos and a shop that sells Naxi jewelry and souvenirs.
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. Lookout for crafts products such as T-shirts and artwork with the pictorial hieroglyphic writing that make for good souvenirs.
The Mid-Autumn Festival: This holiday falls in October about 1/3 of the years. It is the second biggest holiday in China, and when it falls near National Day on October 1, it becomes part of a "golden week" of vacation holidays. Chinese tourists crowd into the parks, attractions, and especially Dayan on these days.
During the holidays, try the local moon cakes, Naxi holiday sweets, and their dairy treats. Moon cakes are small fruitcakes made from the nuts and fruits of the season. Much of the dairy is from yak cows.
During October, people appreciate the beautiful snow on the peaks, but the first two weeks of October are busy days for travel and tourism. The first week of the month is the National Day holidays, and sometimes the Mid-Autumn Festival is in the first half of the month too. So we recommend that you arrive after the middle of the month when tourism declines significantly and the weather turns drier and sunnier.
You should book your hotel room and plane/train tickets in advance. Let us help you or your group arrange the trip logistics and your accommodations by our experience in the area.
The 5-day Lijiang Tour and Tiger Leaping Gorge Hike: To acclimate for the hike, spend two days seeing some of the local highlights such as Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Baisha Murals. Most people need to acclimate because the hiking trail is mostly at the elevation of 2,700 meters or 8,800 feet. Then enjoy a two day hike through the gorge.