Okay, so I've been reluctant to post this because I think that unfortunately this WOX Comments forum has been pretty much dead for several months now. However, I promised a part 2 so here it is.
In the summer of 2016, I decided to go to Europe instead. But my family and I finally made the move here to LiJiang in December, 2016. Now, that we've actually been living here for a few months, I can say a few things about the area.
First, a few negatives. The hospitals and dentists are not as good as those in Xiamen. Prices at Walmart are a bit higher. The weather is much cooler than Xiamen; at night it goes down to about 0 degrees C in the winter months. Because of the altitude, daytime sunshine UV is very intense, hence the darker complexion of the locals. Fair skinned folks like me should wear a hat, and everyone could use sunglasses. Many Chinese tourists flood the Old Town during the national holidays. For non-residents there is an 80RMB fee to enter the Old Town which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Non-residents also pay a hefty fee to go to the nearby Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Tiger Leaping Gorge, and other parks. Not much work available for Laowai aside from somewhat low-paying English teaching jobs.
The positives are many! Little to no industrial pollution. Clear blue skies and fresh air. None of the sweltering heat of southern, coastal China. Lots of friendly ethnic minorities who are proud to wear their traditional clothes, play their music and dance in the public square each day. All are welcome in the circle dances. Very good restaurants as well as western fast food. There are often quiet beautiful places in the old town with lots of nick knack, souvenirs to buy. The nearby mountains and parks are stunning. Real estate is far more affordable than Xiamen and there is much to choose from.
I'm not sure if anyone is actually reading this, but I'd be glad to try to answer questions about LiJiang if you have them.