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Lijiang

CHINA | Tuesday, 14 October 2008 | Views [574] | Comments [3]

Lijiang is a beautiful place. Former capital of the Naxi kingdom, it is now one of the most visited places on the planet. The old town feels a little bit like a Disney invention (Naxi Kingdom World, perhaps?), yet it pulls it off very well. There are Naxi in there traditional costumes all over the place, but when you go into the country, you see the same thing, so its not just contrived like colonial williamsburg. Since these is a major tourist site, there is a lot more english here then in previous places I visited in china, which is helpful.

In addition to the beautiful old town, I went up to the top of the hill in town, had a great view, and then went to this lake in the north of town trying to get a good view of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (about 17,000 Ft high) which towers in the background, although the top is usually in the clouds. Do to a change in the weather, I eventually got a decent view.

The rest of my first day was spent in frustration, trying to fix the problem of virus on my hostels computer. Yuck. I did have a nice meal at the hostel (all sorts of veggies and fish for $1.50)

Today I took a day trip to Tiger Leaping Gorge. This is a candidate for the deepest gorge in the world (disagreements on measurement methodology), which is a gorge in the Yangzi river, surrounded my mountains, including Jade Dragon Snow Mountain near bye. It took 5 hours from my hostel to the start of the hike (stupid narrow roads, with parked tour buses blocking 1 lane, for a lot of the 60 mile  trip by van). Anyway, this place was great. The wild water had so much energy as it went through the narrow part of the gorge. And the views of the surrounding mountains and river were great. The hike was pretty tough, since it was about a 55-60 degree slope down, so the way up was viscous. We went up a few long ladders which was also a bit scary. Yet this place was awesome. On my trip was mostly chinese tourists (maybe 11 of the 16 of us), and a few of them were on there honeymoon. On the way back we also got some great views of the Jade Dragon Mountain.

I went back to the main square for dinner wanting mushrooms, since there are great mushrooms in these parts. One place had an amazing selection of mushrooms out front. So I went there, asked for mushrooms, and got a boring fried rice dish with barely any mushrooms. I just don't understand....

I wish I had a month for this area. I have no time to go to Shangra-la (a tibetan village) or lake Logu, a beautiful lake with flowers everywhere (I saw a lot of photos) with a fascinating matralineal society with a serial monogamist mating practice, but no perminant marriage. Children are raised my the mother and her brother. Lots of fascinating stuff here...

Tags: mushrooms yangzi lijaing

 

Comments

1

In the Old Town, less than 20% of the people are Naxi. Even those wearing Naxi costumes in shops are more likely to be outsiders.
At Lugu lake, more than half the Moso people are married, partly because it was forced by the Chinese, partly from preference.
There's more info about the area at www.travelpod.com/travel-blog/happysheep/shangri-la-la/tpod.html

  happysheep Oct 15, 2008 1:22 PM

2

Thanks for the insight. Your blog looks great, I will have to explore it some more.

I do have to say that many of the farmers in the countryside where dressed like the folks in town, so even if the folks in town are fake, they at least have the dress down. :)

  jsherdc Oct 15, 2008 11:40 PM

3

Interesting read. Here's my two cents worth...
http://www.travelblog.org/Asia/China/Yunnan/Lijiang/blog-336363.html

  Jason Oct 28, 2008 8:24 PM

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