If Beijing has its Forbidden City, Lijiang has Mufu Palace. Said to be the “Forbidden City of the South”, Mufu Palace was the official residence of Tusi Mu, the Lijiang ruler during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.
This imperial palace comprises of grand buildings integrating the architectural style of the Han, Bai and Naxi people in the 13th century. Though the mansion’s original structure was destroyed by a fire and an earthquake in 1996, it was rebuilt right after. With the exquisite architecture carefully preserved, it is easy to see why Mufu Palace is called the miniature Forbidden City.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a holy mountain for the local Naxi people. It consists of 13 peaks covered with perpetual snow and extends for 15 kilometers.
The scenery of the mountains and the surrounding areas is fantastic. You can take the Glacier Park cable car to the peak at about 4,000 meters high and enjoy the scenery on the way.
Lijiang Old Town
Lijiang Old Town is one of the best-preserved ancient towns in China which is also known as Dayan Ancient Town. Due to the inhabitant of Naxi group in Lijiang, Lijiang Old Town has the most distinctive characteristic of Naxi features combined with traditional Chinese architectural style. It is really enjoyable to even only take a stroll along the pedestrian street to enjoy a leisure time in the old town.
A small town north of Yulong Snow Mountain, Baisha was a centre of Naxi culture during the Song and Yuan dynasties. The quaint village’s most notable attraction is its collection of 15th century Baisha murals housed in Dabaoji Palace and other Ming dynasty buildings. There are 53 in total, which portray Buddhist bodhisattvas, Daoist immortals and Naxi shamans whose mingling in an ethereal afterlife reflects the Naxi’s sense of tolerance for different beliefs.
Black Dragon Pool
The Black Dragon Pool is surrounded by both man-made and natural beauty. With the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background and the Five Arch Bridge overlooking Black Dragon Pool, this is definitely worth a visit. Visitors who head to Lijiang definitely should not miss this beautiful spectacle.
One of the most beautiful plateau lakes in China, Lugu is nestled in the roots of the Himalayas than span the borders of Yunnan and Sichuan provinces. It is a fair trek from Lijiang, though, some 200km away and 2,690m above sea level. Flowers bloom around the glittering lake with its forested slopes, beaches and islands all set against a backdrop of the Xiaoliang Mountains.
Inseparable from Lugu’s mystique is the fascinating culture of the Mosuo people who live on its shores and are known for retaining elements of a matriarchal society. One of the fascinations for visitors of a trip to Lugu Lake is the chance to encounter the Mosuo and learn more about their society, customs and way of life.