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Lijiang Cooking Class & Market Visit

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit

Tu-Sa at 9am

Duration 3 hours

350 RMB / $55 USD per person 5 years old and over

Make & eat 3 dishes with hands-on Instruction

The Essentials:

Start the day by exploring Lijiang’s oldest market to shop for your cooking class, with hands-on instruction led by a local Naxi minority family. Each person will prepare and eat three dishes.


Local Lijiang market visit to try some local snacks and shop for your cooking class, transit to our cooking studio, all ingredients and instruction to make and eat your dishes.

Group Size

Small groups of 2-10 people per class.


You will meet your host for the day at Elephant Hill Market, a 10 minute drive north of Lijiang’s Dayan old-town. An email will be sent with detailed meeting location details immediately after booking. The cooking class will finish at our cooking studio nearby.

Dietary Requirements

Vegetarian and gluten-free diets can be accommodated with advance notice. You must notify us of any dietary requirements when booking, same-day requests cannot be guaranteed. Message us prior to booking if you have any questions.

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WeChat ID: Lostplate

About Our Cooking Class:

For thousands of years, Yunnan people communicated and traded with each other along what’s known as the “Tea & Horse Caravan Road.” This ancient trading route stretched for over 4000km, and served as a link to places like India, Tibet, and Central China. While it became famous for its most traded commodities, tea and horses, it was a way of life for local nomads and small minority groups.

While these people traveled for weeks and months, they got clever with their culinary skills. Cured meats were the only way to preserve meat for long journeys, foraging for mushrooms and wild herbs became the norm, and the high altitude required cleverness to prepare simple things like rice. But beyond that, unique flavors and ingredients criss-crossed Yunnan from far-away places, making Yunnan’s cuisine incredibly diverse and in many ways more SE Asian than traditional Chinese. This can be seen today in the markets, and in the dishes and cooking styles that locals use to prepare their family recipes. 

During this cooking class, you’ll join a local Naxi minority family and learn all about the influences, ingredients, and recipes that they have grown up with – and learn how to prepare them yourself so they can become part of your family recipe collection too.

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit Ghost Chicken
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What You'll Do:

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit Market Fruit

Meet your host for the day at one of Lijiang's largest local markets - no tourists here - and discover the unique selection of seasonal ingredients available today.

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit Market Baba

From discovering wild herbs used for traditional Chinese medicine to sipping on a local version of moonshine to trying a few local snacks, experience market life like a local.

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit Instruction

Receive hands-on instruction in our cooking studio from your local Naxi minority host family as you learn about the primary ingredients and flavors that create our local cuisine.

Each guest will make and eat three dishes, including clay pot rice noodles - Yunnan's most popular staple food.

See first-hand how the ancient Tea & Horse Caravan Road has influenced local cuisine with a dessert you never expected to find in China.

Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit Courtyard

Relax in our courtyard, enjoy a selection of snacks and drinks, and chat with your host family. You'll leave with a full stomach and new friends.

We've Been Featured In:

Customer Reviews:


“We loved the Beijing Lost Plate tour so much we decided to do this one during a brief trip to Xi’an. It was another top evening out. Our friendly and knowledgeable guide Michelle took us in a well-stocked tuk-tuk through the teeming and atmospheric streets of Xi’an’s ‘Muslim quarter’. We stopped at small, family-run restaurants and tried some great Xi’an cuisine. The soup dumpling place we stopped at was busy with locals – this tour is the real deal.”


October 2020


“This was by far and away the best food I had on my entire trip in China! Not only was the food outstanding but all the local places were so accommodating and inviting. Best soup dumplings in my life! And I now am obsessed with the biang biang noodles and I’m desperately trying to find them in New York. My only regret was not going on the tour as soon as I arrived in Xian because I couldn’t revisit the places before my journey home.”

Alexandra E

March 2020


“Wonderful experience. We traveled through the alleyways of old Xi’an sampling the vast array of local cuisines. Watched a restaurant make biang niang noodles banging the dough making the sound “Biang Biang!” Learned the history of Xi’an as the terminus of the Silk Road and the influence of the spices on the cuisine. The guides are super knowledgeable and friendly. Good for the adventurous eater (me) and the picky eater (teenage daughter). Hands down the best experience we had in Xi’an. Authentic, educational, fun, cultural,delicious!

Nancy R

February 2020


“We absolutely loved our food tour led be the amazing Jessie! THE highlight of our China trip. Before meeting her, we had walked down the main “strip” of the Muslim quarter and it felt very geared towards tourism which Jessie confirmed upon meeting. Instead of spending time there, we visited four out of the way spots that were each gems in their own right. The trip was managed so effectively that each stop was a perfect length with multiple (plentiful) food choices. The tuk tuks are branded and were a fun way to easily get around between the stops. We took our young children and loved experiencing the best Xi’an has to offer with the best tour guide.”

Erin C

December 2019

COVID-19 Health & Safety.

  • Flexible Cancellation Policy: We have always offered one of the most flexible cancellation policies in the industry and that hasn’t changed. You are able to reschedule your tour or receive a 100% refund for all cancellations made at least 48 hours before the tour start time. Your reservations with Lost Plate are worry-free.
  • Symptom-Free: We require that all guides and guests are free of any symptoms. Guides or guests showing symptoms of any illness, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath, will be asked to not join the tour.
  • Social Distancing Measures: We will maintain social distance whenever possible during the tour. We follow all local regulations and restaurant requirements, which means it’s possible your group may be seated at multiple tables at a venue.
  • Masks Required: All guides and guests are required to wear face masks at all times when not eating or drinking. If you are unsure where to purchase a mask, please let us know so we can send some recommendations. If you have a medical exemption or disability that prohibits you from wearing a mask, you must book a private tour for just your group by contacting us.
  • Sanitization: Hand sanitizer or hand-washing facilities will be provided at each stop.
  • Individual Portions: When possible, all portions will be served in individual servings. If larger dishes must be shared, public utensils will be made available to ensure each guest’s safety.
  • All restaurants that we visit follow local requirements. Temperature checks, personal registration, and/or health app screening are likely. It is the guest’s responsibility to meet requirements at each stop.
  • Your guide has the right to refuse service to anyone not complying with safety protocols. If you have any questions or concerns with any of these details, please contact us before your tour begins.

Frequently Asked Questions:

At Lost Plate, we provide much more than a full meal’s worth of food so we recommend you come prepared to eat! In addition to trying a few snacks at the market, each guest will make three separate dishes, all of which are full portions. Since you are making each dish yourself, you’re also able to adjust each portion size. After lunch, a selection of snacks and drinks will also be available.

We recommend eating a very light breakfast before meeting us at the market. You won’t be hungry again until (a late) dinner.

No problem! We are able to accommodate most dietary requests with advance notice, since we prepare some of the ingredients ahead of time. You must notify us of any dietary requirements when booking, same-day requests cannot be guaranteed. Message us prior to booking if you have any questions.

You’ll be on your feet for about 1 hour while we visit the market, and the pace is very slow with a lot of (standing) stops to visit with local vendors. 

During the cooking class, you’ll be on your feet for another hour while you are at your cooking stations. You are welcome to take seated breaks at any time once we get to our cooking studio.

There’s no charge for children ages 4 and under to join since they won’t be able to cook on their own. We will prepare ingredients for all participants aged 5 and over. Since we have limited cooking stations, all participants ages 5 and up pay the same price.

Our minimum is 2 and maximum is 10. We make sure each class is small enough to be intimate so you’ll get plenty of face-time with your instructor. Bottom line is, you’ll have a super-local experience and make friends along the way.

The entire experience usually lasts about 3-3.5 hours. It’s not uncommon for guests to stay longer and enjoy the sunshine in the courtyard while chatting with other guests and your host.

This cooking class will operate rain-or-shine, so we suggest you dress for the weather. In rare cases of extreme weather, your host will cancel the tour and provide a full refund.

Yes we do! If you would like to book a private cooking class for your organization or group, just contact us and we’ll take care of you.

We sure do! If you have joined one of our food tours before, we are happy to offer you a 10% discount off the total amount of your cooking class. We want to keep feeding you as long as you let us! Your previous confirmation email included a promo code to use on future bookings, so make sure enter the promo code when booking online.

Bookings cancelled 2 days (48 hours) or more before your class are fully refundable (100% refund). Bookings cancelled within 48 hours notice are not refundable. Cancellations must be communicated by email to or by phone. If you would like to reschedule your tour with less than 48 hours notice, we will need to charge 50% of your total since we prepare food and ingredients in advance and we are unable to fill your spot with short notice.

Ask us anything,
we love a good question.

Lijiang Cooking Class & Market Visit


$55 USD/person

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