The Old Town of Lijiang (simplified Chinese: 丽江古城; traditional Chinese: 麗江古城; pinyin: Lìjiāng Gǔchéng) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in Lijiang City, Yunnan, China.
The town has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. The old town of Lijiang differs from other ancient Chinese cities in architecture, history and the culture of its traditional residents the Nakhi people, therefore people there are called 胖金哥 and 胖金妹 (male and female respectively).
Lijiang old town (including Dayan, Baisha and Shuhe) was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List on December 4, 1997. Since then, the local government has taken more responsibility for the development and protection of the old city. Lijiang's tourism also boomed, and travellers from around the world flooded in; although many locals fear that due to much of the development, the old town of Lijiang will lose its appeal.
Recently, the government has started to develop additional "old city" sections adjacent to the site of the original old city. This is to accommodate the large number of tourists who walk the cobblestone streets (cars are not allowed in the old city), typically as part of package tours. Evenings in the old city can be particularly rowdy, not least due to the many outdoor bars, where boisterous groups of tourists try to outsing other groups.
Lijiang is also home to the Jade Water Village, a Dongba cultural centre and Lugu Lake, a lake which is a tourist attraction.
The Nakhi people perform Dongjing Music, an ancient form of Taoist ritual music, in Lijiang. Lijiang is also the site of the Lijiang Snow Mountain Music Festival (丽江雪山音乐节), which features Chinese rock music. The festival was created by Chinese pop musician Cui Jian.