Banyan Tree Lijiang
Lijiang, Yunnan, China
At a Glance
The most luxurious property in the beautiful area of Lijiang
A collection of stunning suites and villas, many of which have heated outdoor jet or plunge pools
Lovely views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Visit the indulgent Banyan Tree Spa
Visit nearby Old Lijiang Town and wander through the incredible maze of traditional houses
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
From the subtropical lowlands in the south up to glacier-capped mountains in the north, Yunnan is a province of extremes. The climate varies so much across this vast and diverse area, that it has given rise to an ancient Chinese saying: “You can enjoy all four seasons on the same mountain, with each just a few miles from the next”. Generally speaking, most of Yunnan province is mild in winter and cool in summer, with large variances in temperature occurring across the day. Mornings can start with a wintery chill, and warm up to 25°C by lunchtime. Spring and Autumn are mild and pleasant and the best times to visit Yunnan, despite May being the rainiest month of the year. For snow-capped mountains and dramatic alpine scenes, the winter months of November to January can be spectacular.
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Located close to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang Old Town, the collection of stunning luxury villas at Banyan Tree Lijiang offer inspirational views of the snow-capped peaks of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the countryside beyond.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lijiang Old Town sits at an altitude of almost 8,000 feet and nestled in a valley below the snow-capped peaks of the legendary Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Banyan Tree Lijiang is located within close proximity to Lijiang Old Town and provides the perfect luxury setting for contemplation and rejuvenation.
A masterful reinterpretation of traditional Naxi architecture, each beautifully appointed villa is nestled in a lush private garden with beautiful views of the mountain peaks. Most villas feature a heated outdoor jet pool or plunge pool whilst the Garden Suites are excellent value and still retain a luxurious edge.
One can also enjoy signature spa treatments inspired by the ancient Chinese and Himalayan practices at Banyan Tree Spa Lijiang, perfect for relaxing after a day’s trekking. Lijiang is home to the ethnic Naxi tribe, the indigenous people of Yunnan region known for their architectural and musical styles as well as the intriguing Dongba language. Guests can embark on specially developed treks to visit the local villages, Lijiang Old Town, as well as the magnificent physical surroundings.
The Banyan Tree Lijiang has 50 Suites with a private garden or balcony and 55 Luxury Villas (one, two or three bedroom) with private gardens and heated jet or plunge pools. All rooms are carefully furnished in the russets and golds, traditional fabrics and furnishings native to the local Naxi culture.
Children are welcome at The Banyan Tree Lijang and those with a sense of adventure will love the horse riding, trekking and amazing scenery. The hotel has no specific facilities for children but families can enjoy the space of the two bedroom villas and babysitting can be arranged on request.
The Bai Yun restaurant offers a Chinese banquet experience while the indoor and outdoor Ming Yue restaurant serves both Western and Asian cuisine in a relaxed setting. Meals can also be experienced in your villa or in a private romantic setting in the grounds of the hotel and drinks are served at the bar overlooking the mountain.
The Banyan Tree Spa truly an experience in itself with some of the best therapists in Asia. There is also a fitness centre, library and outdoor tennis court.
The Banyan Tree offers various activities so that guests can get maximum enjoyment out of exploring this extraordinary area including horseback riding, trekking, cultural tours and 4 wheel drive tours.
Dominic Atterton (Staff)
The Banyan Tree is located on the outskirts of Lijang and feels like a real retreat away from the city itself. The hotel is spread out around wonderful gardens full of ponds and canals teaming with carp and lotus flowers. Its is incredibly beautiful and very serene. The views of the mountains behind the hotels main pond are astounding and iconic. The rooms themselves are individual villas many with their own gardens and plunge pools. My room had its own Jacuzzi which was great for relaxing after hiking in the mountains and exploring the local temples. Being that much further out it does mean you must rely on a taxi to take you into town or more likely you will need to eat in the hotels restaurants. There is a local village within walking distance which we ventured into during our stay and enjoyed a plate of home made noodles rolled out and stir fried in front of our eyes. Delicious.
Sophie Jones (Staff)
Situated outside of Lijiang old town away from all the hustle and bustle is Banyan Tree Lijiang which feels more like a mountainside retreat rather than a hotel. Stunning building and garden design is really the highlight of this property taking advantage of its romantic setting with the backdrop of Dragon Jade Mountain. Waking up with a morning cup of coffee overlooking the view was the best wake up ever.
Victoria Hogg (Staff)
I wasn't sure what to expect on my trip to China, but with Yunnan being my first stop on the mainland I instantly fell in love. The countryside is absolutely stunning, the people are simple but so kind and welcoming, and it was a complete contrast to the likes of Beijing and other parts of China, which are overcrowded and hectic. Banyan Tree Lijiang is the only 5* option, and with its traditional style accommodation, excellent service and stunning views onto Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, you will be in total heaven! Spend your days exploring the fascinating area with treks to local villages, visits to temples and a wander through the charming old town of Lijiang, with its cobbled streets and ancient tea houses.
Amy Welfare (Staff)
The Yunnnan region is a must addition to a holiday to China in my opinion, as it is just so different to the rest of China. The altitude in Lijiang is 2400m so it although this is high, it is much better to visit here before heading up to the even higher Ringha. On arrival at the hotel I was struck by the stunning beauty of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain rising up in the distance, snow capped even at the end of summer. The Garden Jacuzzi Villa I stayed in was stunning and a real treat after some of the more standard city hotels on my holiday so far. As with all of China you need to be ready for the food that is aimed more towards the domestic tourist as here, even though the food is delicious and there are western choices I did see, for example, pickled pigs ears and duck tongues in the breakfast buffet... all part of the experience! My trips from here were excellent with a very good guide. We headed into Lijiang Old Town, a maze of little streets with ancient buildings, Chinese medicine shops and unusual restaurants. You can also visit the amazing Black Dragon Pool and Tiger Leaping Gorge but I only had time for a visit to the tiny and unspoilt Shuhe populated by the Naxi tribe which was a real highlight.
A day in Jianshui
Enjoy an exploration of Jianshui as we discover the Zhang Family Garden and Double Dragon Bridge. Head to Changyang City Gate and the Confucius temple of Jianshui for a visit.
Blue Moon Valley
Today, you will visit the natural white water terraces of Blue Moon Valley, also known as the Pamukkale of China. You will also board a ropeway for a bird's eye view of the river valley.
Cultural Lijiang Tour
Embark on a walking tour of Lijiang old town and step back in time with the traditional buildings and lovely alleyways. Then head to Black Dragon Mountain Pond and if time permits, visit the Dongba Institute and up to Lion Hill for a bird's eye view.
Explore the tranquil ancient town of Heshun village and make a visit to the library and charming old residences including the Li Family Mansion and the former residence of renowned philosopher Ai Siqi.
Dongba Culture Museum
Get in-depth into the unique Naxi Dongba culture, with over 12,000 relics such as paintings, holy books and sacrifice tools. The museum is also built in the quadrangle courtyard architecture which reflects the Naxi Dongba culture.
Full Day Tour of Lijang
Explore Lijang's maze of humble cobbled streets with your guide today. During this full day tour enjoy a visit to the city's Old Town, a cable car up to The Jade Dragon Mountain and later, a bird's eye view from the famous Lion Hill.
At 4,506 metres above sea level, Glacier Park is one of the world's highest cable car stations. You will be provided with one oxygen canister. Optional visit to Spruce Meadow (3,200m) or Yak Meadow (3,700m) is available.
Half Day Visit to Tanwei Village
Make a trip to Tanwei Village and immerse in the authentic culture and the Tibetan way of life. Try their yak butter tea and tsampa, a staple in their diet.
Half day visit to Tiger Leaping Gorge
Head to the Tiger Leaping Gorge and embark on a short hike. Be captivated by the beautiful views of the flanking mountains and river canyon.
Hike Laojunshan's 99 Dragon Pool
This rewarding trek traverses through dense forest with strong biological diversity, flanked by multi-coloured canyon walls and unique danxia landford of Liming.
Impressions of Lijiang Performance
Be amazed by the dazzling performance of "Impressions of Lijiang", one of the three outdoor shows of famous director, Zhang Yimo. Watch as more than 500 dancers wear their ethnic costume to perform with the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as its backdrop.
Jingmai to Xishuangbanna
Drive to Menghai where you will visit a countryside temple and the Bulang Tribe enroute. Go on a leisurely hike around Mount Nannuo as you walk through local villages and tea plantations. Arrive in Xishuangbanna.
Experience a slice of Naxi village life along the Lashi Lake National Wetland Park. See a viewpoint of the lake from the top of a hill and visit the Zhiyun Temple.
Mu Palace Exploration
Enjoy a tour of the Mu's Family Mansion, who was once the ruler of Naxi from the Yuan to Qing Dynasty. The layout of the Mu Residence follows that of the Forbidden City of Beijing and is termed the Forbidden City of Lijiang.
Naxi Orchestra & Throat Singing
This evening you will have the chance to experience the traditional throat-singing and dòngjing performance of the Naxi Orchestra.
Outskirts of Lijiang Exploration
Explore the surrounds of Lijiang and visit the villages of Longquan, Baisha and Yuhu, each with their own interesting stories.
Potatso National Park
Today, we escape into the wilderness of Potatso National Park, stop by scenic spots of Shudu Lake, Bita Lake and Militang Alpine Pasture. On your return, we will make a stop at Xiao Zhongdian Village with its unique setting by a colossal valley.
Snubnose Golden Monkeys and Bazhu Village Exploration
Explore the Baima Snow Mountain Nature Reserve in search of the rare Snubnose Golden Monkeys. Enjoy the astounding views and scenery with a picnic lunch before visiting the Lisu Village named Bazhu.
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Enjoy a scenic drive from Lijiang to Shangri-La with beautiful cultural stops along the way including the dramatic Tiger Leaping Gorge.
Tiger Leaping Gorge enroute between Lijiang and Tacheng
Embark on a short hike at Tiger Leaping Gorge, a narrow gorge tucked snugly between two mountains, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Haba Mountain. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.
Village Hike: Bodolo to Yulitadi
Enjoy a 2-hour hike through a pristine alpine forest across two Yi minority villages, dwarfed by the silver cliffs of Yulong Snow Mountain in the background. Optional 1-hour horse ride in the alpine meadow is available.
Wen Hai Lake
Venture into the countryside with a visit to Wenhai Lake to visit the local rural villages.
Shanghai, Lijiang, Shangri-La, Guilin, Longii and Hong Kong
from £7300 pp inc flights & transfers for 13 nights
- Enjoy the unique scenery of the Rice Terraces in Longsheng and have a chance to hike surrounded by spectacular views
- Wander through the cobbled streets of Lijiang Old Town and enjoy a hike about the magnificent Jade Dragon Mountain
- A visit to Shangri La isn't complete without a stop at Songzanlin Monastry - the largest Tibetan Buddhist Monastry in Yunnan
Location & directions
Lijiang, Yunnan, China
Banyan Tree Lijiang Resort & Spa is in the southern Chinese province of Yunnan. The city is located along a trade route that was once part of the historic Silk Road from Yunnan to Tibet.
How to get there
Short domestic flights available from China gateways including Beijing, Shanghai, Kunming and Chengdu to Lijiang. Banyan Tree Lijiang is 40-minutes from Lijiang Airport.
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