lijiang black dragon pond.jpg
Lijiang’s Black Dragon Pond

Personally, I found Lijiang and its surrounding area more of a Shangri-la than Zhongdian. Every time I stepped out of the hotel and saw the huge snow-capped mountain that hovers behind the city, I felt a thrill, a longing to hold onto the moment because it was simply so spectacularly beautiful. Old Lijiang, like much of Dali, has been over-commercialized, with every square inch devoted to tourist shops of one kind or another. But still it managed to enchant with beautiful sites like the pond pictured above.

Lijiang is also the cleanest and neatest Chinese city I’ve visited, though I don’t know why.

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