Blogs from Yunnan, China, Asia - page 9


Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming February 9th 2013

Hello all, To begin the blog (and not to sound arrogant but) I must say, I've been a lot of places and seen a lot of things. The Spring Festival in China (AKA Chinese New Year) can be summed up in one word: "impressive". There have been some fireworks going on all week, all in a buildup to the big show: the first day of Spring Festival. The evening has been particularly loud and bright. Some background: Spring Festival (Chun Jie) is the celebration of the lunar new year. East Asians, the Chinese in particular, celebrate with food, alcohol, and fireworks. Just imagine a non-patriotic 4th of July multiplied by 100. There are 100 times more people, equal amounts of food and drink (per capita), and 10,000 times more fireworks. Lucky for me, I am a ... read more
Drinking with Uncle
Super Roman Candles

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 » Baishui Tai January 29th 2013

After breakfast with Glynnis and Seamus in Shangri La we said our farewells to them and caught a taxi (10 yuan)to the bus station where we purchased bus tickets (cheap 24 yuan each). I think there were only two buses a day and ours didn't leave until 2.30 that afternoon. As it was only 10.30 in the morning and having no desire to spend the next four hours at the grimy bus station we reloaded our bags back into another taxi and went back to the old town to fill in the time. After leaving our bags at the hotel we spent the time checking out the shops and people watching in the square. The time soon passed and we were on our way to Baishui Tai having no idea of really what to expect. It ... read more
Leaving Shangri La - icy streams
Women in a village near where we stayed
Jerry enjoying a patch of sun at the guest house

Asia » China » Yunnan » Shaxi January 24th 2013

Our bus trip (33 yuan each) from Dali was eventful. We passed by many weddings - at one stage the bride and groom tried to catch the bus but we were already over loaded. Another wedding we passed had a rather inebriated groom, half undressed staggering down the road, surrounded by other drunken men and trailed by his poor bride and her friends. The sad part was that they were all very young. We came close to having a collision - the bus braked suddenly and we were all thrown violently forward. We felt very vulnerable for the rest of the trip whenever we came close to other vehicles. The last bit of excitement was a drunk or drugged man, covered in blood, standing in the middle of the road attacking vehicles as they went past. ... read more
Another view of the theatre
Statue at Shibaoshan Mountain
The peaceful village square

Asia » China » Yunnan » Dali January 20th 2013

Leaving Weishan by minibus (23 Yunnan each), we arrived on the outskirts of Xiaguan (new city, 18 kilometres south of the old Dali) an hour later. We passed many small workshops making the stone pieces for use as tomb entrances. It would have been a major task carrying the twenty or so pieces of grey stone to where ever they were needed as they looked extremely heavy! The bus dropped us off on the highway at the edge of the city where we caught a moto taxi (5 yuan) to the train station where we knew we would be able to find transport to Dali. You feel quite vulnerable in those tiny little motorbike taxi amidst the traffic, particularly when surrounded by larger buses on both sides! We were really shocked at how the city had ... read more
Crammed into the tuktuk
Food display outside restaurant
Fisherman on Er Hai Lake

Asia » China » Yunnan » Weishan January 19th 2013

After reading the guide books we decided that Weishan sounded an interesting town to spend twenty four hours in and as it was enroute (albeit a different road) to Dali, the next spot on our itinerary, we decided to head there. Or at least we thought that by buying a ticket on a bus with destination 'Weishan' on the front would be a direct bus but three and half hours later the bus skirted the outskirts of Xiaguan (new city of Dali) before turning back and heading a further hour and half to Weishan. Upon arrival at the bus station on the edge of the new town and after catching a moto rickshaw (4 yuan) to a hotel in the old town we were pleasantly surprised to see that the town actually matched the guide book ... read more
Near our hotel in Weishan
Through the arch
City gate at night

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming January 17th 2013

Ok – zugegeben. Bis zum Himalaya sind es noch ein paar Hundert Kilometer – aber das ist in China keine Distanz mehr. Als ich noch in Peking meine Reiseroute für die weiteren Städte in China festgelegt habe, war die erste Priorität: nur noch in warmen Gegenden rumreisen. Da ich während meines Pekingaufenthaltes schon durch Workshops oder Wochenendtrips nach Tianjin, Xian und Shanghai fliegen konnte, waren ein paar Städte im nördlicheren Teil Chinas schon abgedeckt. Deswegen beschloss ich, mich hauptsächlich nur im Süden Chinas zu bewegen. Nachdem mein Plan in Hong Kong mit wunderbar angenehmen Temperaturen aufzugehen schien, wurde ich nach meinem eineinhalb wöchigen Aufenthalt in dieser tollen Stadt bei meiner Weiterreise nach Guilin eines besseren belehrt. Trotz intensiver Recherchearbeit meinten selbst die Hostelmitarbeiter in Guilin, dass es wohl der kälteste Winter se... read more

Asia » China » Yunnan » Kunming January 16th 2013

We had only planned to spend a short time in Kunming - mainly to visit the Stone Forrest nearby - before moving on but unfortunately I began to feel unwell and we had to stay longer. It is the capital city of Yunnan province and has a population of over seven million people. Enormous by Australian standards but average by Chinese figures. Kunming has developed rapidly in recent years under China's modernisation plan and that was very obvious to us as we had previously visited the city in mid 2005. To try and counteract traffic issues in large Chinese cities all the bus terminals are now situated on the edges of them eg traffic coming in from the west goes to the Western Terminals and so on. The bus from Jianshui took 3 hours and cost ... read more
The Stone Forrest
Kite flying in Cuihu Park
Linny flying a kite at Cuihu Park

Asia » China » Yunnan » Jianshui January 14th 2013

We left the terraces the same one we had arrived - dragging our cases through the heavy fog along the slippery paths and over the haystack in the car park to the waiting taxi. Costs this time were shared with another couple however. Our driver (the same one we had used for our market trip) left us with a hug at the bus station in Nansha where we purchased a ticket (60yuan) to Jianshui, 5 hours away. Another long day of travelling (with the over two hours just to arrive at the bus station in Nansha added on) saw us arrive in Jianshui late in the afternoon. The city was once a key trading point during the Qing dynasty and has now developed into a low key tourist town for the Chinese. The old town is ... read more
Shop front
Street scape

Asia » China » Yunnan » Yuanyang January 11th 2013

We had a long day as we left Vietnam and headed across the border into China where we were to spend a few days in the highlands amidst the rice terraces at Yuanyang. This area covers 2200 square kilometres and despite its astounding beauty, due to it's distant location, the region has not opened to mass tourism as yet. One crop of rice is grown a year and after the harvest in September the terraces are filled with water until planting in April. Most of the women in the region still wear their colourful traditional dress and the terraces were first cultivated over 1300 hundred years ago. It was an hour by minibus from Sapa to the border town of LaoCai where our driver dropped us off at immigration. No problem there and we were soon ... read more
Duoyishu, the village we stayed in
And again...
The view from our bedroom window at Jacky's guesthouse

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