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Lijiang, a city in Yunan, a province of China is well endowed with magnificent and beautiful mountains, rivers and a long history. The ancient Lijiang county was put into the list of world cultural legacy by the World Legacy Committee of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization in 1997.

The city of Lijiang has a history of 800 or 900 years since the Song Dynasty. Why is Lijiang one of the most beautiful city in the world? Firstly, it is one of the very few city which is over a mile high above sea level. Smacked in the middle of the Lijiangba Dam, surrounded by snowcapped mountains and a river that runs through an oriental forest with small streams meandering into the city, can it be any more beautiful?

Lijiang experienced an earth shattering Richter scale 7 earthquake in February 1996 which killed more than 5,000 people mainly the Naxi community being the major community in Lijiang. Since then, Lijiang caught the attention of the world and tourism growth was unprecedented. As such, Lijiang is now one of the most favoured tourist spot in China.

Most residents in Lijiang are from the Naxi tribe. The Naxi community makes a living by herding yaks or doing small retail businesses. The construction of the ancient Lijiang city was quickly developed during the Ming Dynasty. This is especially so because the Ming Dynasty made a large number of people in Anhui Province to migrate into Lijiang in order to station military troops and common people in the boundary areas. Because of this, the buildings of Lijiang city were very much influenced by the architectural style of Anhui Province. The original buildings of the Naxi community can only be found in the rural areas surrounding Lijiang City.

Since Lijiang was a port in the Southern Silk Road and tea and horse trading road, it was a market between Yunnan and Tibet. The Yuan dynasty and the Mongol Emperor, Kublai Khan stationed military troops in Lijiang in 1253. He brought the foreign culture alien to Lijiang and thus Lijiang was then influenced by the culture Central China, such as Buddhism and Taoism, and then affected by the Christianity and Islamic culture in the early 1900s. The Naxi community assimilated all these cultures. As such, Lijiang is also very much appreciated for its cultural landscape not only in China, but the entire Asia. Some even compare it to Europe calling Lijiang "The Oriental Venice".

Millions of tourists travel to Lijiang each year to enjoy Lijiang's primitive simplicity, tranquility and elegant culture. The folks at Lijiang enjoy music too. You can hear the beautiful music from the dwelling houses in Dayanzhen Town. The musicians carry their often home made musical instruments to take part in household parties all over the town.

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in Lijiang is perhaps one the most beautiful mountain in the world, famous for its perilous, beautiful and breathtaking landscapes. The mountain is a world class tourist scenic zone. The peak of the Jade Dragon Mountain is 5596 meters (about 17,000 ft) above sea level. The mountain's thirteen peaks viewed from south to north look just like a flying giant Chinese dragon. A very formidable view indeed.

If Asia or China is on your travelling agenda, a vacation in Lijiang must not to be missed.



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