Most travelers after passing through Lijiang recommend giving it at least a week to enjoy and explore this unique place fully. Many fly into Kunming, capital of Yunnan and spend an entire holiday in the beautiful Southwest China, skipping the dust bowl cities of central and eastern China. Tiger Leaping Gorge, just a 3.5 hour bus ride from Lijiang is a 2 or 3-day trek through a narrow chasm between two Himalayan mountains where horse and yak-riding villagers appear out of nowhere and crystal snow-melt waterfalls cascade over sheer granite faces. Accomodation in small guesthouses (10-15Y/night) is available at several places along the route. Just come over to Lamu's and we'll get you totally set up! Several Tibetan Buddhist temples exist in the immediate Lijiang area, the most notable of these being the Wen Bi and Yu Quan Temples (Paintbrush and Jade Spring, respectively). Also, a bike ride north of town is Baisha, home of many frescoes which eclectically combine art from Taoism, Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism and Dongba, the Naxi's own shamanistic religion. For guided and non-guided complete tour packages, contact Banner Travel, an experienced American-run company located in Lijiang.
local tibetan buddhist monks
a view from the truck to Lhasa
monks at Sera Monastary, Lhasa debating theology