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Neighboring the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, Lijiang is easily reachable since becoming a popular tour destination at the end of the 1990s. The earliest vehicle in the region was the horse caravan to Tibet which passed through the Ancient Tea-Horse Avenue all year round. Long journeys through a dangerous natural environment were a great challenge for those caravans.

To promote the development of the local economy and communication with other cities, the local government has continued to pay great attention to improving transportation. As one of the World Cultural Heritage Sites of UNESCO, Lijiang attracts a large number of visitors all year round. Catering for the needs of a greater number of visitors from home and abroad, the city provides improving public transportation, although it possibly has a little way to go to catch up with other large cities in the country.

Getting there

By Air

Lijiang Airport (LJG) is located about 28 kilometers (about 17.4 miles) to the south of the city center, having an elevation of about 2242.6 meters (about 7357.6 feet). Currently, there are connections from Kunming, Xishuangbanna, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Guiyang. However, most visitors prefer to fly to Kunming first, and then get to the city by air, train or long-distance bus.

 By Train

Lijiang East Station, namely the Lijiang Railway Station, is located about 5 kilometers away from the Old Town. Currently, it operates two scheduled trains coming from Kunming everyday, and vice versa.

Lijiang railway transportation
Travel to Lijiang by Train

Trains from Kunming to Lijiang:
K9618/K9619 (10:00~18:48); 
K9606/K9607 (20:53~06:33);
K9610/K9611 (21:58~07:10); 
K9614/K9615 (22:29~07:39)

Trains from Lijiang to Kunming:
K9612/K9609 (08:38~17:25); 
K9620/K9617 (20:15~05:21);
K9616/K9613 (20:56~06:05); 
K9608/K9605 (21:43~06:50)

How to get to the Railway Station?
At the entrance of the Lijiang Old Town, passengers could take the bus 13 to get to the railway station directly. The ticket fare is CNY1. On the other hand, passengers could take cabs to reach the railway station as well in 20 minutes. The cab fare is CNY15~CNY20.

 By Long-Distance Bus

At present, the most convenient way to reach the city is by bus. Located at the interface of Yunnan, Sichuan provinces and Tibet, Lijiang has set up a relatively complete highway system extending in all directions. It is easy for visitors to travel betweenthe city and other deatination of Yunnan Province, such as Kunming, Dali and Shangri-La. Additionally, there are regular buses running between the city and Panzhihua of Sichuan Province everyday.

There are mainly two coach stations in the city serving scheduled long-distance buses daily.

Lijiang Transport Service Center Bus Station is located at Changshui Road to the southwest corner of the Old Town. The No.1 and No.3 city buses can take you to the station directly. At present, it has the most bus lines and has opened several ticket offices in the city. Here is details for reference:
To Kunming: Buses run daily at 08:30, 09:00, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 18:30. The ticket fare is CNY180/216/240. It will take you about 8 hours to reach Kunming. On the other hand, there are night sleeper buses leaving here at 20:30 and 21:00 with a fare of CNY177/213.
To Xiaguan Dali: Buses run daily from 07:10 to 18:30 on an interval of about 20~50 minutes. The fare is CNY52/66/71/79. It takes about 3.5 hours.
To Shangri-La: Buses leave from 07:30 to 17:30 every 30~40 minutes. The fare is CNY51/77/67/71 and the journey is about 4 hours.
To Tiger Leaping Gorge: Every morning, a bus departs at 08:30 to Tiger Leaping Gorge for CNY29 per person. The whole journey is about 2.5 hours.
To Lugu Lake: Buses leave at 09:00 and 10:00 for Lugu Lake. The fare is CNY77 per person and the journey is about 7 hours. The returning ones usually depart at 10:00 and 12:00. It costs CNY74 and takes about 5.5 hours.
To Panzhihua: Buses depart at 07:10, 07:30, 07:50, 08:30, 09:30, 11:30, 14:00, and 16:00. The fare is CNY101 and the journey is about seven hours.
To Ninglang: Buses operate from 08:00 to 16:00 every 30 minutes. The cost is CNY36 and the journey is about 4 hours.
To Huaping: Buses leave at 07:10, 08:20, 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, and 13:30. It costs CNY58 and takes about 6.5 hours.

Lijiang Express Bus Station is at Shangri-La Avenue, providing buses to Kunming, Xiaguan Dali, Shangri-la, Lugu Lake, Baoshan, Lincang, and Shilin. Some detailed information is as follows:
To Kunming: Day bus operates from 07:30 to 15:30 hourly. The price is CNY195/210/230 and the journey is about 8 hours. There is also a sleeper bus leaving at 20:30 to Kunming. It takes about 10 hours and costs CNY195.
To Xiaguan Dali: Buses depart at 08:00, 10:00, 12:10, 14:10, 15:50, and 18:10.
The ticket fare is CNY47/55/71 and the journey is about 3.5 hours.
To Shangri-la: Buses leave at 08:20, 09:30, 10:30, 13:00, 14:30, and 15:30. It costs CNY67/69 and takes about 4 hours.
To Lugu Lake: Buses starts at 08:30 and 09:30. The cost is CNY74 and the journey is about 7 hours.

Getting around

 By City-bus

Owing to the city's more prosperous tourist industry, the city buses of Lijiang have made a great progress in recent years. There are more than 10 bus lines running in the city, connecting every corner of the new district, except for the Old Town where no vehicles are allowed to enter. The ticket fare is from CNY0.5 to CNY1. Every morning, the No.7 bus departs from Hongtaiyang Square in the north of the Old Town to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The fare is about CNY15. Also, No.8 which departs from the Department Store runs a circular route.

Getting around Lijiang by bike
A Bicycle for Rent at Local Hostel

By Bicycle

Some hotels in the city rent bicycles to visitors who would like an unrestricted trip by themselves. Usually, the rent is CNY15 for a day.

By Taxi

Although not a large city neither in size nor in population, Lijiang has about one thousand taxis. A small taxi is CNY6 for the first 3 kilometers (about 1.86 miles) and then CNY1.6 for every additional kilometer (about 0.62 mile). A Santana taxi is CNY7 for the first 3 kilometers and CNY1.8 for each additional kilometer. Generally speaking, you can bargain for a reasonable price with the driver if you just travel in the urban area. If you want to go to a further destination, the car can be rented cheaply except during the peak season.