lijiang is a picturesque, touristy town – but the best of its class. it is a well-preserved, historical town full of traditional chinese grandeur – but with all the modern amenities you could wish for, and the best food I had in the yunnan region.
we loved this town, and it’s probably the
only best one worth returning to in the region (in my opinion of course, but whose else would it be?).
I had basically despaired after four days in the region without the appearance of any gastronomic excellence or interest, and lijiang engendered itself with a myriad of options.
there were traditional things like fried puffs and colorful steamed dumplings (these had a thick, sticky, stodgy outside and a sweet peanut filling – we dug out the filling like little kids and had to leave the rest alone),
to more modern options like popsicles and gelato in every possible flavor and colour.
even better than the food though, were just the streets and sights themselves – there’s a river running through the town that just adds to the pleasing aesthetics, and the architecture is so well-done and well-maintained it cannot be anything but beautiful.
and when you venture into the shops too, there is a pleasing mix of touristy souvenirs (we grabbed our fair share of magnets and knick-knacks), as well as more artistic, quality ones – like these good luck windmills, which have different phrases written on the internal rotating bit (technical terms, I know).
when you get into the main square, you’ll see a couple of stores selling these traditional walnut cakes and rose pastries. the first is handmade in traditional walnut molds and filled with a sweet lotus paste and walnut pieces, and a must-try – the second you can buy vacuum-packed for home, a biscuit of chinese short pastry and a sweet filling made with rose petals.
it’s a town full of color and sound – and lends itself easily to compliments. a must-visit in china.
more in this series:
- kunming city, china
- kunming outskirts, china
- kunming to dali, china
- lijiang sights, china (you’re here!)
- lijiang eats, china
- lijiang to shangri-la, china
- shangri-la, china
- kunming eats, china
p.s. I’ll be adding details to the trip posts as I remember them – so check back if you’re planning your own!