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The Stunning Adventures "Not all those who wander are lost." Tolkien

Beautiful Lijiang and Tiger Leaping Gorge

CHINA | Saturday, 1 September 2007 | Views [1043] | Comments [1]

Minority women in Lijiang

Minority women in Lijiang

The Yunnan province, where Lijiang is located, is a beautiful area in Southern China full of a wide variety of greenery and diverse landscapes.  The areas we have been to and will be in border Myanmar, Laos, as well as Vietnam.  As of now, we are in the city of Lijiang, there is an old part of the town which is referred to as "Old Town"...imagine that.  Parts of it are authentically old (other parts are being built to look like the rest and are definitely not the same) but nevertheless, it is so charming...there are a number of winding cobblestone streets that take you to tiny little restaurants, teahouses, and different shops selling local crafts, tea, and other odds and ends.  Our guesthouse has a little courtyard that is surrounded with old buildings that are topped with Chinese style tiled roofs.  It's lovely.  We get dinner each night where our table is spread with about 8 different dishes and free green tea.  We can eat to our hearts' content for 10 yuan which is less than a dollar fifty.

We arrived in Lijiang from Kunming via a 9 hour bus where we were able to gaze out the window at vast rice fields and rolling green mountains. To backtrack briefly, we spent a number of days in Kunming after our 26 hour train ride from Hong Kong where we cleaned clothes, re-grouped, and enjoyed some delicious local food.  One of our favorites in Kunming (and the rest of Yunnan) is the "Across the Bridge Noodles".  The story comes from long ago when a woman used to bring lunch to her husband everyday while he studied diligently on a nearby island.  Each day, she wished his meal would be warm for him, but by the time she reached his location, his lunch had gotten cold.  One day, when she brought some chicken broth, she noticed the oil that had hardened on top of the soup, had kept it warm beneath.  She found that when adding noodles, raw meat, eggs, and vegetables to the hot broth, they were all cooked instantly and tasted quite delicious.  From that day forward, she was able to bring her husband a warm meal. 

Of course we didn't study on an island while we enjoyed these delicious noodles, we just sat ourselves down in some tiny little restaurants.  There is a good photo of Greg in our gallery where he found something we couldn't exactly identify in his soup...items like this we would set aside and conintue to slurp on...

So back to Lijiang...we just got back from a two day hike yesterday that was incredible. The English translation for the area is "Tiger Leaping Gorge".  It is about a 2 hour minibus ride from where we were staying in Lijiang.  It was so incredible! We hiked up to the top of the gorge which was absolutely breathtaking.  Apparently it's one of the deepest gorges in the world.  There are towering snowcapped mountains that reach 3900 meters above (no, we didn't hike to the top of those).  We spent the night in the gorge and we had a breathtaking view of the mountains.  The following day we got to schlep through several waterfalls on the trail.  We came down and decided to go all of the way to the bottom of the gorge...which we realized as we were going down was going to be a pretty steep trek back up, obviously.  But it was so worth it.  The rapids were so wild; some of the biggest and strongest we've ever seen.  You weren't supposed to, but we crouched down on the rocks close to it and managed to get our fingers wet in the Yangtze.  I actually got a good splash that hit my face, surprisingly.  The way up was quite insane.  We didn't want to go the lengthy way we came down so we opted for the "ladder" that was made by a local family, that we wer told was safe.  We paid the 10 yuan to a man that chased us up the trail as they require it for "maintenance".  When we reached the ladder there was a sign that said "Dangerous ladder" (and an arrow to the left), "Safe path" (and the arrow was to the right).  The vertical ladder was made of rickety metal and was held to the "wall" in many spots by branches and vines.  Nice.  Two girls who were smaller than myself and much smaller than Greg gave it a go and as one was climbing said "It's a bit dodgy." Greg and I thought of our history and opted for the "safe path", along with one of the girl's husband.  The safe path turned out to be a groove in the rock that this family had blasted out themselves with dynamite.  There were wire metal "railings" to hold onto which we both decided to not put too much weight on as we were not sure how secure there foundations were.  We were not convinced that the people who had created theses means of ascent/descent had the proper knowledge  to ensure safety.  We were quite relieved when we reached the top.  Although, we did truly enjoy the whole experience and the views were amazing.

Tags: Mountains




Oh! You guys are doing so well! I'm glad that you are getting to see and experience so much, I will have to catch up on your blog. I'm a lil jealous, while Kuwait is great and a new adventure of its own, it's not the open road. Bless you both! I look forward to keeping in touch!

  Karla Sep 5, 2007 6:33 PM

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