Image by Christian Kober / Getty Images

Lijiang

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.

But remember the 80/20 rule: 80% of the tourists will be in 20% of the places. Get up early enough and you can often beat the crowds. And when they do appear, that’s the cue to hop on a bike and cycle out to one of the nearby villages.

Explore Lijiang

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Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Lijiang.

Top experiences

Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Lijiang.