Old Town of Lijiang

The Old Town of Lijiang is a famous UNESCO Heritage Site located in Lijiang City,Yunnan,China.

The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents the Nakhi people, therefore people there are called and (male and female respectively).

Lijiang old town (including Dayan, Baisha and Shuhe) was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in December 4, 1997. Since then, the local government has taken more responsibility for the development and protection of the old city. Lijiang's tourism also boomed, and travellers from around the world flooded in; although many locals fear that due to much of the development, the old town of Lijiang will lose its appeal.

Recently, the government has started to develop additional old city sections adjacent to the site of the original old city. This is to accommodate the large number of tourists, particularly Han Chinese, who walk the cobblestone streets (cars are not allowed in the old city), typically as part of package tours. Evenings in the old city can be particularly rowdy, not least due to the many outdoor bars, where boisterous groups of tourists try to outsing other groups.

Lijiang is also home to the Jade Water Village, a Dongba cultural centre and Lugu Lake, a lake which is a tourist attraction.

Culture

The Nakhi people perform Dongjing Music, an ancient form of Taoist ritual music, in Lijiang.

Lijiang is also the site of the Lijiang Snow Mountain Music Festival, which features Chinese rock music. The festival was created by Chinese pop musician Cui Jian.

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