Bethnic at the Stone Forest
The Stone Forest near Kunming is out of this world. I felt extremely comfortable wandering around dressed as an ethnic minority (Bethnic!!) They even let me keep them on all day which was great but made leaping over huge steep and pointy rock surfaces quite terrifying! It's perfect mountain goat territory. Never seen anything like it. 'Sop the rock, can't stop the rock....'!!
Geo: 25.925, 103.174
Yunnan province is simply beautiful. We flew there from Tianjin with special half price student tickets in the New year holidays. The capital, Kunming is bright and refreshing. We'd almost forgotten what fresh air and greenness was like after so long in Tianjin! The Chinese call it the city of flowers. It certainly possesses a cleanliness and sparkle that no other Chinese city I've visited has. The weather is gorgeous. Blue skies all day and in this part of China you can actually see them through the smog!
After Kunming we caught the bus up to Dali. Bus rides through this area are quite something. The scenery is spectacular, you don't want to close your eyes. It seems I had my video camera running for nearly the entire 10hr journey!! Dali is a bit of a backpackers' haven. The chocolate brownies were what I appreciated the most! We caught a boat to a local Naxi market which was wonderful to see and photograph but probably the only time in China I've felt un welcomed.
For me, the highlight of the province was definitely Lijiang. And not only because I was chased through the cobbled streets by a rich Chinese businessman
Birds get taken for walks in China and The Black Dragon Pool park is a perfect place to do so. The air is full of birdsong whilst their owners sit and play chess.
clutching a rose, asking me to marry him and offering me is mobile phone!!! It is such a sweet and beautiful place. We stayed much longer than we had planned, sitting in little cafes watching little old ethnics wander through the narrow streets. The Naxi music concert is a treat. The members are so old they nod off for most of it! Luckily for us it turned out that the guy we'd booked to take us to Tiger Leaping Gorge the next day was its youngest member. I made the trip to Yak Meadow which was my idea of paradise - breathtaking scenery and lots of big hairy yaks to play with 😊 😊 I love them! The shopping in Lijiang is wonderful too, so many beautiful crafts. We were posting boxes back to Tianjin. Accommodation here is amazing too. We were staying around a little red courtyard run by local ethnics (the same place as where Michael Palin stayed in 'Himalaya' - we went there first!!) We were extremely lucky again as it turned out there was a festival for ethnic minorities at The Black Dragon Pool Park which is in itself stunning.
Yunnan is truly a paradise. A
Black Dragon Pool
A real paradise! The water was so clear we could see all the fish in it. It was tempting to catch one, they're worth a lot in China for good luck.
spot of bliss in what up to then we had considered a very hectic country. Only when you notice such contrasts do you appreciate just how huge the scale of China is.
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