By Vera van de Nieuwenhof in Travel Guide

Petty crime

Even though hotels and tourist attractions are generally peaceful and safe, Lijiang is not absolutely crime-free, with incidents of drunken fights amongst tourists and petty crime still being reported. However, the government has taken steps to install surveillance cameras in the streets, and cops patrol more actively in recent years.

There are several public security police offices around the old town: click on the map for interactive directions to the nearest one.

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Respect local culture

There are 13 ethnic minority groups living in Lijiang. When visiting local families, be respectful of their etiquettes and taboos. Ask before taking photographs of old people and children, and do not walk into local houses even if the doors are not closed as there may be guard dogs inside.

Traffic

It is not allowed to ride the bike or any motorised vehicles in Lijiang Old Town.

Climate and altitude

Lijiang has a well defined distinction between the annual rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from mid June to October, and is at it's wettest in the months of July, August and September. Make sure you bring an umbrella, non-slippery shoes and sufficiently warm clothing as it can be cold even during these summer months.

In summer, T-shirts and trousers are usually enough in the daytime, but it is advisable to take some warm clothes for the early mornings and evenings, and for the other seasons.

Don't forget to bring sunscreen and protect yourself from the strong radiation from the sun.

Lijiang is located at 2400 meters altitude, so you may experience a mild form of altitude sickness. Symptoms may include headaches, tiredness, trouble sleeping, dizziness and shortness of breath. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids and take time to get adjusted to the altitude: don't exert yourself too much.