Lijiang Travel Advice, Information and Directory
|Health Care||Accessing Money|
|Book Shops||Visa Extensions|
|Internet Access||Postal Services|
Health, Doctors and Pharmacies in Lijiang
There are numerous pharmacies around Lijiang and there shouldn’t be any trouble finding one (although communication at pharmacies can be difficult).
In case of sickness, ask for help at the reception of your hotel or guesthouse. If you need urgent medical attention, then the Lijiang People’s Hospital (located a little north-west of the Lijiang Old Town) is the hospital that is usually recommended for foreigners.
Accessing Money in Lijiang
ATMs that accept foreign cards are plentiful in Lijiang and ATMs almost always have a choice between English or Chinese operating language. Occasionally you will encounter an ATM that doesn’t accept foreign cards, but you can always rely on Bank of China or ICBC (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) ATMs which are common enough. Just look for the logo of your particular card (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, etc) on the ATM. There are several ATMs around Sifang Jie in the center of Lijiang’s Old Town.
The Bank of China can always exchange money. The most convenient branch is on Dong Dajie about halfway between Sifang Jie and the Water Wheel (Open Mon-Sat 8am-5pm). There is an ICBC branch where it is also possible to exchange money on Dong Dajie about 20 meters north of Sifang Jie (Open Mon-Sat 9am-5pm). Both these bank branches also have 24 hour ATMs.
Book Shops in Lijiang
There are quite a few places to try for English-language reading material in Lijiang. Many cafes and guesthouses have a small selection for purchase or trade, including Prague Cafe (see Restaurants). Also keep your eye out at news-stands around the Old Town where you might see some cheap copies of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon and Peter Goullart’s Forgotten Kingdom. The Xinhua Bookstore just outside the Old Town has some maps and a few English titles. It’s on Xin Dajie (head out onto the road from the Water Wheel and turn right – it’s a few doors down).
Visa Extensions in Lijiang
The Public Security Bureau that handles visa extensions in Lijiang is a little north-west of the Old Town (walking distance) on Fuhui Lu, just west of the intersection with Xin Dajie.
Open: Mon-Fri 8:30-11:30, 14:30-17:00.
Internet Access in Lijiang
Almost all hotels and guesthouses, and many cafes, in Lijiang have public computers with internet access. Sometimes this is free, but if not it still only costs around ¥4 – ¥8 per hour. For those traveling with laptops, many guesthouses and cafes also have wireless internet access, usually for free.
Postal Services in Lijiang
The Chinese postal service is generally quite efficient. Postcards or letters sent from Lijiang will usually take around 10-12 working days to reach North America, Europe or Australia. Parcels will take a bit longer. If you need things to be sent urgently then you can use China Post’s Express Mail Service (EMS).
The main China Post branch in Lijiang is on Mingzhu Lu, just outside the Old Town (Open 8am-6pm). From the water wheel, head out onto the street, turn left and go straight. This branch has EMS. If you just need to send some postcards or letters then the China Post on Dong Dajie, about 20 meters north of Sifang Jie, is more convenient (Open 8:30am-5pm). Both branches offer Western Union money transfer services.
Phone Calls To and From Lijiang
The international phone code of China is “86” and the area code of Lijiang is “0888”.
If you call to Lijiang from abroad, you should dial the international access number (usually 00 or “+”), then the code for China “86”, then the code for Lijiang without the ‘0’ (888), and then the 7-digit city number.
If you call to Lijiang from inside China, then dial the full Lijiang code (0888), and then the 7-digit city number.
If you dial a Lijiang number inside Lijiang, just dial the 7-digit number, without any prefixes. Note that if you call a Lijiang landline from a mobile phone while in Lijiang, you should include the ‘0888’ prefix.
IP (Internet Phone) international calling cards can be hard to come by in the Old Town. Head out to the new district to find them. Just look for a sign saying “IP” at small shops and newsstands. A card with ¥100 credit actually sells for about ¥35 (some vendors will try to charge you ¥40 or even more). Make sure you it says “IDD” (international direct dialing) on the back and not “DDD”. Call rates vary depending on what country you’re calling, but a card with ¥100 credit will generally buy you about 30 minutes talking time when calling to the US, Europe or Australia. Alternatively, many guesthouses and cafes in the Old Town have IDD lines you can use for higher rates than you would pay with a card.
If you plan to stay in Lijiang for a longer period it is reasonably cheap to buy a SIM card with one of the local operators: China Mobile or China Unicom. The cheapest SIM card usually costs around ¥100-120 and generally includes ¥50 credit. You also pay more depending on how ‘lucky’ your phone number is. Average call charges are ¥0.6 per minute and ¥0.15 per SMS. Once you move outside the city where you bought the card you have to pay slightly higher ‘internal roaming’ charges.
Maps of Lijiang
There are no real standout maps of Lijiang. Many guesthouses stock a sketch map called “Go Sightseeing in Lijiang” (¥12), which provides a reasonably detailed view of Lijiang’s Old Town. It also has a ream of information about places and people in Lijiang, most of which is of little interest. Try the Xinhua Bookstore (see ‘Book Shops’, above) for alternative maps.
Another option is the Trax 2 map of Lijiang, which is a little low on street detail but gives a good overview of Lijiang Ancient Town, Shuhe Old Town, Zhongdian (Shangri-La) and even a sketch of the Tiger Leaping Gorge trek. It can be ordered online from the Trax2 website or can be found at certain places in Dali (if you happen to be stopping there before Lijiang).