Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Yunnan Part III: Lijiang

This is the third and final post from the vacation. Lijiang was our last city and it was my favorite. It is more difficult to get to because you have to cross through a mountain range on a big bus so the ride wasn't pleasant. The old city is quaint and well-done, even if it is mostly newly restored. It is in a valley between many mountains and at an altitude of about 2400 meters. We stayed in a guesthouse called "Mama Naxi" and Mama and Papa served as our travel agents the whole time we were there.
This is us with Mama:

And an older generation of Naxi people:

By the time we left we could swear that the altitude or overly sunny weather got to the people. The citizens of Lijiang all seemed slightly (or at times a lot) crazier than the other Yunnanese people we had met. Papa would yell questions at you with noodles hanging out of his mouth only to forget what you said five minutes later. Somehow, out of the chaos, they managed to do all kinds of things for us like rent bikes, reserve a car for a day, buy our bus tickets, etc. A bizarre system, but it worked.
This is the Naxi people doing a dance with some regular bystanders in the square. About 30 seconds into it I start narrarating:

And this is where we ate dinner the first night. Very crowed, a little touristy, but a nice spot next to a canal.

Lijiang had a park that we went to our last night that was gorgeous. At dusk it had the best view of the highest mountain in the area.

We climbed a hill at dusk to overlook the city. This was a view from the same park of Lijiang at night:

And when we came down from the hill, the entire park was lit up with multi-colored lights. What a beautiful place!

The last part of Lijiang that needs mentioning is our trip to the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is a Gorge between two mountains that is actually deeper than the Grand Canyon. We went on a walk through the gorge. This is just a small introduction video.

Next time we go back to Yunnan, I hope we leave enough time to hike the upper trail!

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