China, Yunnan province, Lijiang town. Naxi orchestra musician playng the flute at the Unesco World Heritage Site

Getty Images/AWL Images RM


How popular is this time-locked place? Lijiang’s (丽江, Lìjiāng) maze of cobbled streets, rickety (or rickety-looking, given gentrification) wooden buildings and gushing canals suck in over eight million people a year. So thick are the crowds in the narrow alleys that it can feel like they've all arrived at the same time.


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