Lijiang Naxi Cuisine Cooking Class & Market Visit

Tue-Sat at 9am, Duration: 3 hours

$55 USD per person

Each participant will make 3 dishes.

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 ethnic Naxi family. The cooking class will take place in the instructor’s home cooking studio. Each person will prepare and eat three dishes.


A guided market visit, transportation to our cooking studio, all ingredients and hands-on instruction for preparing 3 dishes, plus snacks and drinks throughout the class.

Group Size

Small groups of 2-8 people per class.

Start Location

Meet your instructor at Lijiang’s “Elephant Hill” Market. An email will be sent with meeting location details immediately after booking.

Cancellation Policy

Reservations cancelled 24 hours or more before your class start time are fully refundable.

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 accommodated. Message us prior to booking if you have any questions.

What You'll Do:

Meeting Location

This class starts at Lijiang’s “Elephant Hill” Market, a 10 minute drive north of Dayan old town. An email will be sent with meeting location details immediately after booking.

Local Market Visit

Meet your host at one of Lijiang’s largest local markets (no tourists here!) and discover the unique selection of seasonal ingredients. From wild herbs used for traditional Chinese medicine to sipping on a local version of moonshine to trying a few local snacks, you’ll experience market life like a local.

Yunnan Ghost Chicken

Rich in folklore and flavor, this dish’s name comes from ancient stories that suggest chickens were the most common sacrifice for ancestral ghosts. In order to not waste the meat, it was prepared with local herbs as a cold dish. Still popular today, it’s the perfect starter for us!

Clay Pot Rice Noodles

Due to Yunnan’s high altitude, rice wasn’t always easy to cook. It was easier, however, after it was turned into flour and formed into noodles – which is today’s go-to staple food. Flavored with fermented soybean paste and local pickles, then cooked in a small clay pot, this is sure to become a staple in your kitchen too.

"Palooda" Dessert

Originally from Persia, these flavors were brought to India, through Myanmar, and into Southern Yunnan. Seasonal fruit, sago, and purple rice is added to a base of coconut milk for a delicious way to finish your meal!

Enjoy a Traditional Yunnan Countyard

After lunch, enjoy some local snacks while soaking in Yunnan’s famous sunshine in your instructor’s courtyard garden.

Plus More Surprises!

* This itinerary and menu is subject to changes and adjustments based on availability, but it will always be awesome.

Join an ethnic Naxi family and learn about the ingredients and recipes that they grew up with.

For thousands of years, Yunnan inhabitants 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.

Traveling for months at a time forced these traders to get clever with their culinary skills. 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. 

Discover these ingredients while learning to prepare local recipes that can become part of your recipe collection too.

Lijiang Yunnan Cooking Class Market Visit Ingredients

Customer Reviews:

A third of our customers were referred by a previous guest. Were you one of them?!

Frequently Asked Questions:

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 accommodated. 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 aged 5 and up pay the same price.

Our minimum is 2 and maximum is 8. 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.

Yes! You’ll get a promo code in your confirmation email that will give you a 10% discount on all future Lost Plate tours. It doesn’t matter if the tour is in the same city or a different city, we want to keep feeding you as long as you let us. Also, children ages 4 through 15 receive a discount on all tours (3 & under are free).

Bookings canceled 24 hours or more before your tour are fully refundable (100% refund). Bookings canceled within 24 hours notice are not refundable. If you would like to reschedule your tour with less than 24 hours notice, we will need to charge 50% of your total since we are unable to fill your spots at short notice.

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