If you have a few days to spare, Lugu Lake is a great getaway from Lijiang. The lake straddles the border of Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and is dotted with dreamy little towns belonging mostly to the Mosuo, a matriarchal subgroup of the ubiquitous Naxi. Exploring the Lake's 80 km (50 miles) of stunning lake and mountain scenery is possible by bus, but biking and hiking provide better views.
Buses taking about five hours depart each morning from Lijiang. Tickets that grant entrance to the area are Y80, and a car ticket can set you back another Y30 for one day. An airport, currently slated to open by 2016, may turn this into a major tourist hot spot.
Lugu Lake, Lijiang, China