What happens with Lijiang hotels is that the offer far exceeds demand, and so, bargains exist left and right. The demand does exist, but when you have an old town which is several kilometers long filled with hotels the hotel offer is just too high.
Lijiang is indeed a very popular travel destination with local Chinese tourists. But the hotel offer is insanely high.
My tips when visiting Lijiang:
Travel light, those with a log of luggage will have a bad time. (Backpack if you can).
Those with wheel-trolleys will struggle badly.
Stay in the old town.
The old town is not car friendly (in fact there are no cars here), and the roads are made of irregular stone and steps.
Avoid coming here during Chinese golden week holidays or Chinese new year, the place would be packed to the flag.
Coming to Lijiang in low season is an excellent idea.
Beware that the place is cold even in summer. On winter it will be freezing and full of snow.
Lijiang old town characteristic roofs.
Top 5 hotels I recommend to stay in Lijiang:
I have stayed in Lijiang no less than in 3 different occasions, these hotels I recommend =
Lijiang Hemuju Inn. 5*. 50$. Staying here was such a dream. The decoration was incredible, it was like living in a movie.
The awesome patio on Lijiang Hemuju Inn. This place was incredible.
Mama Naxi hostel.
Liman Wenzhi room. So neat.
A few videos about Lijiang to arouse your traveling mood:
Verdict about Lijiang
I regard Lijiang as one of my best trips ever. And that, for me, it’s saying a lot.
Regarding the hotels, the choice is vast and the stars don’t matter as much in Lijiang. Take them with a pinch of salt, and don’t overthink your choice, many hotels are actually similar and built on the local style. In fact, many of businesses in this city are local businesses run by local families who live in the hotels themselves all year long. So be extra respectful of the place.
Other than that, enjoy. I’m sure you will love this awesome city.