Lijiang

An ancient Chinese town full of elegant, classical wooden buildings, canals, bridges, willow trees and charming narrow streets. Travel the surrounding biodiverse and beautiful mountain region, known for its fascinating indigenous peoples, including the Naxi and the Yi tribal peoples. Visit Xuehua, a delightful village of about 30 families where the Bimo, a shaman in the Dongba animist religion of the region, will greet you. A well-known intellectual among the Yi people, he is invited each year by the Lijiang Yi people to preside over various ceremonies. Gain firsthand knowledge of the importance of the Dongba religion to the daily life of this village. Hike into the Wenhai Valley with its excellent views of Lijiang along a trail that passes by a small reservoir and the Lijiang Botanic Garden and Research Station. The station is intended to help botanists study and protect the incredible diversity of plant-life in the region, and is a joint project of the Yunnan government, the Kunming Institute of Botany and the Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh.

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