The description you read about in Lonely Planet is dead on, with the free tea and bananas, and then also the cats and dogs that just wander in and out of the place at all hours.
Instead of scanning the large map and drawing on top of that – here’s a more simple, hand drawn map that should give you enough direction/information to enable you to arrive there safely and without too much trouble (but a fair amount of walking.) And even if this is technically the longer way around, it’s the most simple and direct route for anyone who doesn’t know how to get there – including your taxi driver. Actually, you’ll want your taxi driver to drop you off near the water wheels since they’ll at least know that landmark – and then just follow the water/river down deeper into Old Town Lijiang until you reach “Square Market”.
These are just south of the waterwheels – you can’t miss them, and you’ll probably hear people going past them making that wooden clacking sound all the way down.
But no matter where you are in Old Town, all of the signs will tell you how to get to Square Market/ Market Square. From there you go down Qi Yi Street which as you can see on the map, also follows a water way. Go down until you see Wanzhi Bridge on the left – it’ll be tucked in an alley so keep your eyes open or else you’ll miss it. Go over the bridge, follow the road as it turns left over the bridge, then right again – you’ll be in Congren alley and from here you simply walk all the way down until you see a relatively long glass window that looks like a common area for a hostel (if you’ve been traveling for any amount of time, you’ll know what I mean.) If there is any sign that says restaurant or bar/cafe – that is NOT Mama Naxi’s, so just keep walking.
This is the bridge you have to cross over to get to Congren Alley – this view is from the otherside – if you’re going down Qi Yi Street, you’ll turn left and then come out on the right side of this picture here. Then you’ll cross the bridge and go out the left side of this picture and then you’ll be on Congren Alley – make sense?
This is Mama Naxi herself. and below is a picture of Baba – the gentleman who runs Mama Naxi 2 – the main building is actually Mama Naxi 3.
If you DO hit the end of the road and have to go either left or right, then you’ve gone too far and back up about 100 feet. We hope this helps and we hope you have a great time in Lijiang, China.
You probably won’t reach the guesthouse by email – so just give them a call.
0888-5185930 / 5100700
For our earlier entry + video of when we were actually there – Click here.