Saturday, November 19, 2016

Time Traveling in Lijiang Ancient Town

Lijiang is on a historical route in Yunnan, China; its old town provides visitors with a glimpse of its rich culture and past. I had the chance to visit this lovely place during my trip to this country.


Old Town Vibe

Lijiang's old town is listed as a UNESCO Heritage site because of its authenticity and history. Its architecture and design is noteworthy because it blends several elements from different cultures that came together in the area after several centuries. I can't help but feel that I walked into a time warp, while I was walking around. Just outside the town are signs of modernity and commercialization, which contrasted with what's inside.



The town is on the Lijiang plain that has an elevation of 2,400 meters, making it quite cool throughout the day.


The town's history dates back centuries and is along the Old Tea Horse Caravan Trail.


Like most attractions that gain UNESCO listing, the old town is quite popular with tourists from all over the world, but most visitors are still Chinese from other parts of the country. I was fortunate enough to explore the town with few tourists during the day. There were nooks and alleys that still had an authentic appeal because very few people pass through them.



There are many small shops and restaurants away from the crowds, which provide you with an intimate setting to enjoy the town and try to imagine how things were during its heyday.

Lighting Up the Night Sky

Lijiang lit up the night sky when the sun set, giving it a different charm when I explored it during the day. The streets and alleys had these lanterns that emitted soft light, adding to the ambiance.





At night, more and more tourists flocked the town square taking photos here and there, or eating or hanging out at the bars and restaurants. The old town's commercialization somehow affected the small town vibe that I liked about it. However, I thought that this might've been the same case centuries ago, when several people passed through the town in search of things they need, someone to trade with, a good night out or other things before they moved on to their next destination.


Black Dragon Pool Park



After exploring the old town, you might want to get away from its hustle and bustle by going to Black Dragon Pool Park. On a clear day, visitors get to see Jade Dragon Snow Mountain reflected on its pool and in the horizon.


It was initially built in 1737 and had future additions and renovations until its current state today. It is culturally and historically significant to the locals.




The park is a great place to relax and unwind, there are many places where you can just sit down and reflect on your trip to this part of China.

Lijiang is an accessible destination if you are coming from Kunming, there are buses and trains that will take you here.

*There is an RMB 80 fee to enter the Old Town and Black Dragon Pool Park, you only need one ticket for both.



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