Lion Hill and Wangu Tower in Lijiang

About Lion Hill and Wangu Tower

Lion Hill

As an integral part of Lijiang ancient town and the major nation-level scenic spot, the Lion Hill Park is located in the center of Lijiang city. The hill massif is like a lion, thus getting the name Lion Hill. With ancient buildings lying around at the foot of Lion Hill, it is the best place for you to enjoy the panoramic view of the Lijiang Ancient Town. The park covers a total area of about 15 hectare with green trees covered on the hill and birds singing in the wood. There are more than 40 ancient cypress trees of 800 years old. Percentage of land-covered forests is about 90%.

The Wangu (Eternal) Tower

The landmark building of Lijiang ancient town–the Wangu building is located on the top of Lion Hill. This is the best pure wood building in the world, which is 33 meters high. Standing on the building, from the north you can see the miraculous and beautiful Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, from the east you can see the Lijiang ancient town with rivers flowing, from the west you can see the splendid new city of Lijiang, and from the south you can see the Naxi villages and green farmlands.

Where is Lion Hill and Wangu Tower?

Wangu Tower is located on the top of Lion Hill, the highest position in Lijiang City, and it is in the Lijiang Ancient Town. This is the world’s best pure wood building which is 33 meters high.

Standing on the building from the north, visitors can see the miraculous and snowcapped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, from the east, Lijiang ancient town with rivers flowing leap to the eye of visitors, from the west visitors can see the splendid new city of Lijiang, and from the south Naxi villages and green farmlands come into view.

What to see about Lion Hill and Wangu Tower

The Wangu Tower is a five-story structure with the longest natural pillars of such towers in all of China. In this park are more than 40 cypre tress growing. 0n Saturday mornings, men bring up their pet birds and hang the cages from tree branches, birds enjoying the fresh air and sunshine at the park.

A monumental building located in the ancient city of Lijiang, the tower is an example of wooden Dougong architecture (with sets of brackets on top of the columns supporting the beams within and the roof eaves without. A set that is cushioned with trapezoidal blocks is called Dou, and one that consists of tiers of outstretching arms is called gong). Thirty-three m. high, the tower has five stories and five tiers of eaves.

The top story has 13 angles, representing the 13 peaks of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains. Painted inside the tower are 2,300 auspicious patterns, representing the harmony and unity of the 23 ethnic groups living in Lijiang. The colorful murals in the tower are redolent of the traditional Dongba culture of the Naxi people.

How to get to Lion Hill and Wangu Tower

If people want to go to Lion Hill and Wangu Tower, they must go to Lijiang Ancient Town, so they just need to take  transportations to Lijiang Ancient Town.

From Kunming

By Bus:

  Departure Time Ticket Price Duration
West Bus Station 09:30 – 21:00 CNY 184 / CNY 202 / CNY 217 8 hours

By Train: Kunming Train Schedule
Take fast trains from Kunming Railway Station. It takes around 7 to 10 hours. Then change bus no. 16 to get off at Qixing Street Station, or bus no. 18 to White Dragon Square Station. It costs around CNY 40 by taxi.

By Air: Kunming Flight Schedule
Take plane from Changshui Airport. It takes around 40mins. Upon arrival, visitors can take airport shuttle bus to reach Lantian Hotel in the downtown area. Bus fare is around CNY 20. It takes around 30 minutes. Then they can walk around 1 kilometer (1,100 yards) to reach there. Or they can take bus no. 27 and get off at Zhongyi Guangchang. If taking a taxi from Lijiang Airport, taxi fare should be around CNY 80 to 100.

From Dali

By Bus:
Take bus from Tourist Bus Station near the South Gate of Dali Ancient Town, Dali North Bus Station or Dali Express Bus Station to Lijiang Bus Station in the Lijiang Old Town.

By Train:
Take fast trains from Dali Railway Station. Train ticket prices are CNY 34 for a hard seat, CNY 69.5 for a hard sleeper and CNY 104. 5 for a soft sleeper. It takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours. After arriving, use local public bus to reach the old town.

Recommended Visiting Route

Travelers can visit Lijiang Old Town through the South Gate, on the way, you’ll pay visit to Mu’s Residence, Lion Hill and Wangu Tower and wander through the old streets and lanes to enjoy leisure feel of the old town. This may take you half day to explore.

Spend another 2 hours to the north of Lijiang Old Town by visiting Black Dragon Pool Park and Dongba Culture Museum. If time permits, you can enter Lijiang Old Town through Black Dragon Pool Park and see the symbol of the town – Large Water Wheels and walk straight to Sifang Square to enjoy the evening performance held by the Naxi people.

1 Day Lashihai Lake Boat Cruise and Horse Riding Tour along the Ancient Tea Horse Road

2 Days Lijiang Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Baoshan Stone Town Tour

Recommended Accommodation

1.Inter Continental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort(丽江和府洲际度假酒店)

Located in the southern of Lijiang Old Town, the InterContinental Lijiang Ancient Town Resort is the international five-star conference and resort which combines modern luxury, traditional Naxi architectural, and the local representative landscape. Hotel has 274 spacious rooms and suites, 4 restaurants and bars, Spa and Fitness center. It is a 10-minute walk from Sifangjie (Market Square), a 30-minute drive from Lijiang Airport.

2.Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town(丽江古城英迪格酒店)

Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town is located in Lijiang Ancient Town. It features a wellness center, an indoor pool and a fitness center. The luxurious rooms offer free wired internet. At Hotel Indigo Lijiang Ancient Town you will find a la carte restaurant and buffet restaurant. Breakfast can be served in the comforts of guests’ rooms. 

3.Lijiang Wangfu Hotel(丽江王府饭店)

Lijiang Wangfu Hotel is located in the South Gate Square in Old Town. Featuring colorful traditional Chinese architecture and décor, it offers rooms with flat-screen TVs and free internet. Guest can enjoy Naxi bonfire party every Friday. The hotel provides car rental and concierge services. A tour desk can help with travel and sightseeing arrangements.

4.Manty House(漫庭美宿酒店)

Situated in Lijiang, this inn is within a 15-minute walk of Mu Family Mansion, Dayan and Wang Gu Lou. It features a restaurant, a bar/lounge and coffee/tea in a common area. WiFi in public areas is free. Other amenities include dry cleaning, a 24-hour front desk and tour/ticket assistance.

5.Lijiang International Hotel(丽江国际大酒店)

Lijiang International Hotel is located in Lijiang, 400 m from Wangu Pavilion and 600 m from Square Street Dayan Ancient Town. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Every room at this hotel is air conditioned and is fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. You will find a coffee machine in the room. For your comfort, you will find bathrobes and slippers.

Useful Tips

1. About Maintenance Fee

When visiting some places in Lijiang, travelers should show the staff the Maintenance tickets. Those places include Lijiang Old Town, Wangu Tower, Mu’s Residence, Shuhe Old Town, Baisha Mural Painting, Black Dragon Pool Park, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, etc. This ticket is valid for a week when you are in Lijiang.

2. Evening Show – “Naxi Ancient Music”

Show Time: 20:00~21:30

Place: Naxi Concert Hall

Naxi Ancient Music is known as a “living fossil of Chinese music”. According to research, this ancient music originated in the 14th century. It originally included three parts, ‘Baisha Fine Music’ (Baisha Xiyue), ‘Dongjing Music’ (Dongjing Yinyue), and ‘Huangjing Music’ (Huangjing Yinyue), however, the last one has long been lost in the river of time. To know more about Naxi, you can spend one night enjoying Naxi ancient music.

3. Naxi Festivals held in Lijiang Old Town

Bangbang Festival: January 15 on lunar calendar

Sanduo Festival: February 8 on lunar calendar

Torch Festival: June 25 to June 27 on lunar calendar

July Festival: middle July on lunar calendar

4. Specialty in Lijiang Old Town

In Lijiang Old Town, travelers can taste the local Naxi snacks, like Salad of Jidou Pea Jelly, Lijiang Baba, Mabu, Preserved Fruit, Buttered Tea, Er Kuai, December Ribs, Naxi Copper Pot, etc.

5. What to Pack

Travel light when strolling in the old town. Bring a camera with you that you can take photos along the way. Sunlight is very strong in Lijiang, wear sun protection such as hats, sunglasses and use sun block, etc.

6. Photography Tips

To shoot some amazing photos of Lijiang Old Town, photographers should not miss Sifang Square, Stone Archway, Five-Phoenix Tower, Naxi architecture and Naxi Ancient Music performance. It is better shoot in the early morning and late afternoon.