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Published: October 3rd 2013
Tea Horse Caravan Bridge
The one that has apparently been in use for centuries, and on which you can supposedly still see the marks of the horses' hooves. I only saw horse sh*t.
After two nights in busy, busy Lijiang, and threatened by the imminent hike in room rates due to the Chinese national day celebrations, I decided to pack up and make the slight detour southwards to the small town of Shaxi.
Described by LP as similar to entering a wormhole and going back in time, Shaxi was indeed a stark change from noisy Lijiang. Apparently, it's one of only three ancient cities that still remain from the days when horse caravans of tea merchants used to traverse across the country along the famed Burma Road. It's also the best preserved, and they say that at the cobble-stoned bridge just outside of town that still remains, you can still see the etches from the horses' hooves if you look closely enough. (All I saw was horse manure though).
Essentially just a two-street town set around a small courtyard, flanked by a single temple, and ancient Chinese theatre, Shaxi town itself wasn't quite as quaintly picturesque as I'd been led to imagine by LP, but its lazy lanes, friendly locals and small smattering of curious tourists was certainly still a pleasant change from the bustle of the big cities that have been
Shaxi Old Theater
Apparently very, very old.
all I've seen in Yunnan so far. And the surrounding countryside was simply Yunnan at its stunning best. I also met a Swiss couple Benoit and Fabienne, and I will now remember forever that Gruyere cheese is in fact not French, but Swiss!
Stayed at Ouyang Courtyard Inn.
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