It isn’t often that an earthquake creates a tourist destination, but that’s what happened after the 1996 earthquake in southwestern China. Thanks to the tremendous amount of news coverage both in and out of China, Lijiang was discovered.
Today, Lijiang is one of the most popular destinations for domestic tourism in China and is becoming increasingly of interest to western tourists as well. And, despite being one giant tourist trap, Lijiang is absolutely fantastic. Fortunately, most of Lijiang’s tourist base is focused on Chinese tourism, allowing western tourists to slip beneath the radar and enjoy the destination without many hassles.
While it is choked with tourists during the summer months, waking up early in the morning still allows you to opportunity to explore the back alleys, traditional buildings, and crisscrossing canals in peace. It was on one such June morning that I was able to capture the above photograph.
Without a doubt, Southwestern China is a fantastic destination for travelers, and Lijiang is its crowning gem. If you are planning a trip to China, make sure that you take the time to visit Lijiang. I guarantee you won’t regret it.