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Lijiang is an ancient stone city that sits at the base of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.  The Naxi people who live here are dancers, musicians and artists who have the only living pictographic writing system.  Other ethnic groups who live in and around the area include Bai, Mosu, Yi, Lisu, Pumi, Moslems and Tibetans.  The Naxi have a unique culture that combines elements of Taoism, Tibetan Buddhism, Yi Shamanism, and Bon.  They also have an "invitation culture": they enjoy inviting friends and families to eat in their courtyards.  The women cook together in their large airy kitchens, while the men play music.


The area around Lijiang, where these colorful peoples mix, includes rivers, snow capped mountain, and fertile agricultural valleys.  Fruits and vegetables grow year round.  The high elevation and low latitude make for moderate weather, a mild sunny Winter and a cool Summer.