One-third of the province's population belongs to one of the 26 minorities present. This ethnic diversity has led to a varied and complex order of religious beliefs, which co-exist happily.
Is Lijiang truly one of China's most beautiful cities? At a height of 2,400 meters at the slopes of the Himalaya, it is certainly an inspiration and a refreshment. Regarded as the Venice of the Orient with its dizzying array of water canals, quaint bridges and cobble-stoned streets, Lijiang was declared an Unesco World Heritage Site in 1997. Lijiang was an important stop on the ancient caravan route to Tibet; it has an ancient history.