Blogs from Lijiang, Yunnan, China, Asia - page 2

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Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang November 28th 2013

I had some weighty thoughts about drunken singing stints in an old city night club but let me just say we had fun last night and the band, for some reason, kept buying me beer. Always a mistake. Jinyi got some kids from Shenzhen up dancing with us so it wasn't so embarrassing until the bandleader kept asking me to sing the final song. I thought he meant we were to get up and dance one last time but he wanted me to sing and Jinyi was running around snapping photos so …. Sorry about that China: Hey Jude never sounded so bad! I'm adding as many photos as I can. Hope you can understand how to get here.... read more
Haike Banquet 2, Mao Watching Down
Beam Settling Lijiang
Yan, David, Jinyi

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang November 27th 2013

I am sitting in the corridor outside our room in Lijiang, China’s World Heritage Site, designated for its ancient, eight-hundred year-old city two blocks from this very unancient, very spartan but comfortable ten-dollar a night hotel. The noise of China washes over me. At first I tried just listing what I was hearing. Because it kept changing, even as I moved my notes around in a circle, recording what I heard, I couldn't make it make sense. Now I am trying again, but this time I will pay attention to types and sources of sound in this country that has created the most wild and busy construction zones on the planet, where even in the most remote villages I see through a train window huge bridges are being built, brick houses with rebar reinforced corners and ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang November 18th 2013

One of the special animals of China is the snub-nosed monkey. There are actually five species. The golden snub-nosed monkey is the most widespread but also annoyingly difficult to see, especially now that China has forbidden access by foreigners to all the habituated troups (this was the species I went to Zhouzhi to try and see and was refused admittance). Then there's the Yunnan or black snub-nosed monkey which is restricted to a small area of northwest Yunnan, and the Guizhou or grey snub-nosed monkey which is found on just one mountain in Guizhou. These second two species were both formerly treated as subspecies of the golden monkey, which is quite ridiculous if you see how completely different they all are! Down in North Vietnam is the Tonkin snub-nosed monkey, and over in Burma is the ... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang September 28th 2013

Did somebody say "tourists"? It was a 3.5h bus ride from Old Dali to Lijiang, another city with a distinctive ancient, labyrinthine portion in the centre. But if Dali is laid-back, hippie and bohemian, then Lijiang is its noisy, restored, main-stream counterpart. Arriving close to the country's national day holidays certainly didn't help, as the maze-like narrow streets of Old Lijiang were packed from dawn to dusk. A Unesco World Heritage site, with the imposing Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as backdrop, Lijiang has been more than discovered by domestic tourists. Its restored streets and traditional buildings are filled with cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops, bars, guesthouses, banks, tour agencies, you name it. And this weekend, it almost seemed like all of China must have been in Lijiang! It's still a pretty place though, notwithstanding the crowd, which ... read more
Tourists, tourists, tourists...
Yak Meat!
IMG_5021

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang June 8th 2013

Arrived in Chengdu after a long overnight train ride, having provided entertainment and photo opportunities as exotic foreigners at the stations. A quick explore of the relaxed city was followed by a pleasant cafe beer, a very spicy 'cook-your-own' Sichuan hotpot dinner and later a visit to a teahouse opera variety show, including shadow puppetry, fire breathing and local speciality super-fast 'face changing' complete with lavish costumes. The next day we headed out for a morning at the nearby Giant Panda breeding centre at Bifengxia, teeming with the cute but bamboo-obsessed bears (see photos). Driving on we arrived in Leshan, home of the giant (71m !) Buddha - the world's tallest - carved out of the cliffs overlooking a river confluence. Joined a long queue of jostling Chinese tourists (due to a national holiday) to climb ... read more
Pandas eating bamboo
Lazy Panda
Lots of Pandas

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang May 14th 2013

I got to Lijiang in the early afternoon, which was just perfect as had almost the whole day to explore still! The Chinese guy who joined me on a bike on the way to Caicun the previous day told me if I liked Dali, I was going to like Lijiang even more. As promising as it sounded I wasn’t totally convinced but have to say that he was absolutely right! What a charming place – narrow cobblestoned streets, beautiful wooden finished buildings, bridges and canals all around, absolutely beautiful! Jade River splits into three streams here which flow along the streets of the old town and apparently some people go as far to call Lijiang ‘Chinese Venice’… There would have to be a few more canals to be called that I’d say, but there is something ... read more
women of Baisha
in Baisha
famous dr Ho

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang March 6th 2013

Lijiang I'm SO glad I chose to add on two more weeks to my trip itinerary before booking my flights. Discovering a place like Lijiang is the exact reason for giving myself the extra time. It's surroundings are filled with places to explore and endless hiking opportunites, various minority cultures, and awe inspiring scenery. I will definitely be coming back to visit Lijiang again next time I travel to China. Lijiang Old Town is characterized by it's confusing labyrinth of cobbled streets, rickety-looking wooden buildings, and open waterways. The only downside to this place it it gets absolutely PACKED with Chinese tourists nearly year round. I read that nearly 12% of Yunnan's total tourist population comes to Lijiang. That's HUGE! The town's tiny alleyways are frequently jammed with Chinese visitors and as you walk through the ... read more
The Dali Girlfriend
The Naxi Loft @ Kaiwen Village Inn
Richard He, my Hiking Guide

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang January 31st 2013

After deciding to stay on the bus at Tiger Leaping Gorge we continued to drive through to Lijiang which added another two hours onto our day. We had visited Lijiang in 2005 so was familiar with the general layout of the city. It was however, like all Chinese cities we had previously visited, so much larger than we remembered. Lijiang has as it's backdrop the impressive slopes of Yulong Xue Shan, usually totally capped in ice and snow, but looking devoid of both when we arrived in the city. We had seen it's icy slopes on the opposite side of the mountain though on the bus trip earlier in the day. Lijiang's old town is the original capital of the Naxi people, a group of Tibetans who moved to this region of Yunnan in the thirteenth ... read more
Baisha countryside
Colourful painting in the Naxi style
Enjoying the morning sun

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 24th 2012

Day 12 Lazy day in Lijiang Today was spent lazing around the Old City of Lijiang after doing the final packing of the bike and getting Roger and Elaine's bikes out of storage ready for despatch to Kunming this afternoon. It was good to be on the streets early before the mass hoards of tourists are out in force. I bought a few small gifts for granddaughters in the many shops offering anything and everything at double the price of the country markets. We bumped into a retired couple from England who set off three months ago in St Petersburg and followed the silk road down through Kazakhstan until they arrived here. They are due to go down to Vietnam and Laos before returning home in another month. We have had umpteen cups of coffee and ... read more
Stream in Lijiang
The well

Asia » China » Yunnan » Lijiang October 23rd 2012

Day11 Yulong Snowy Mountain is 5600m tall and sits at the opposite side of the Tiger Leaping Gorge to the Haba Snowy Mountain! Which is 5400m. It looms large on the landscape and is often capped with cloud as it was this morning. The stay in Daju was very pleasant with the new rooms now in operation. It is still a little basic with only two rooms having shower and toilet, plus one shower and one toilet out in the yard. Luckily by pure chance we had the room with the shower and toilet, the down side was we had to share and had middle of night invasions. Sitting out in the vines for meals was very pleasant and after noodles we were off at 8am across the plain to the foot of the mountain, first ... read more
Road
Lunch stop




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