World's Greatest Places 2021
Jade Spring Park in Lijiang
Mario Weigt—Anzenberger/Redux
July 20, 2021 6:36 AM EDT

With its ancient cobbled lanes and overlapping waterways, the Lijiang Old Town in Yunnan province, named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997, has long been a popular escape destination for China’s city dwellers. The smoky flavors of dishes from the country’s Naxi minority are popular with visitors, as is the selection of craft beers and cocktails in the charming pub Stone the Crows. And several new luxury hotels work to highlight the region’s natural beauty. Among them: Hylla Vintage Hotel and Cloud Nature Experience Center, whose undulating, walkable roof mimics the rolling hills behind it; and Hilton Lijiang, which has its own hanging garden. Lijiang is also the main access point for Tiger Leaping Gorge—a spectacular hiking trail tracing the Jinsha River—which just reopened after a half-year closure for renovations. —Charlie Campbell

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