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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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.

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Customer Reviews:


What a charming and authentic experience learning about Lijiang and Naxi culture while cooking an amazing meal! Fancy was so hospitable, first showing us around the market to buy ingredients for our meal, and second inviting us into her cooking studio to cook and enjoy good food, local drink and conversation. To make the experience even more special, Fancy went to the market earlier that morning to ensure she got some of the first mushrooms of the rainy season which had just begun that week.

This is an experience that should not be missed. So many experiences in China these days are tinged with a feeling of inauthenticity, so it was a refreshing surprise that this was the most authentic experience we had on our trip across Yunnan. You won’t be disappointed!

Adam B.

November 2021


We had a wonderful day with Fancy touring the market and making lunch! We met her in the morning and toured the local market while enjoying breakfast/snacks. Then we went back to her place where we relaxed, cooked, and ate lunch. She has a wonderful set up and since we brought our kids she catered the whole experience to be family friendly—including bringing out some of her own family’s toys for our kids to play with. I would highly recommend this experience!

Stephanie P.

August 2021

COVID Travel & Safety in China:

  • China is Open for Tourism: Effective March 2023, Chinese embassies around the world began re-issuing tourist visas for entry into China. Existing, valid, and unexpired visas, regardless of issue date, are also valid – as is visa-free transit in select cities. There are no quarantine or vaccination requirements in China.
  • 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 24 hours before the tour start time. Your reservations with Lost Plate are worry-free.
  • Symptom-Free: We ask that any guide or guest showing symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, not join the tour out of respect for other guests and our vendors.
  • Masks: Masks are not required during the tour, but you will occasionally see locals wearing one in public. Free free to wear a mask if you prefer.

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 info@lostplate.com 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


350 RMB/person

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China is Open!
Save $5 On Our Food Tours.

After three years, China is now issuing tourist visas again! To welcome you back, we’re giving you $5 off your first food tour with us. Fill out the form below to get your promo code:

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