Thursday, April 8, 2010

Lijiang, Yunnan

View from the planeI’m in Lijiang now. I flew over from Chengdu and wow, what amazing landscape! I was glued to the airplane window the whole way over. It’s quite mountainous and although quite developed, it doesn’t seem as modern.

The appeal of Lijiang is supposed to be its “old town,” situated near naturally occurring springs which are channeled via waterways running parallel to the narrow cobblestone streets. Overlooking the town is the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (5,596m), which makes an appearance in most town photos.

Naxi cowboyThe town is home to the Naxi people, who have a unique language, customs and even a pictograph writing system. Though the latter was mostly used for religious purposes and has all but disappeared.

Right after I checked in, I went to walk among the streets. While it’s quite pretty, I think there’s very little that’s old. The whole town is somewhat of a shopping mall and is overrun by mostly Chinese tourists. I had little motivation to take pictures of the much commercialized “old town” and instead just walked around sampling food and taking in the Naxi culture.

Lijiang streets:

Lijiang streets

Lijiang streets

Lijiang food:

Lijiang food

Lijiang food

Dried Yak Meat

Lijiang food

Naxi people:

Naxi people

Jade Dragon Stone Mountain:

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain


Anonymous said...

Marko... YOU ARE SO LUCKY! I'm going to Hamilton Ontario tomorrow. I'll try to take some pictures for you of the steel town, the factories and Tim Horton's.

Keep blogging, we love it!

Unknown said...

You are flying all over the country - not bad! But you are missing out on those 25-35 hour train trips surrounded by curious Chinese and endless rice fields to see out of the windows :)

Great pictures as usual! At least I have Alaska to look forward to or I would be totally envious :)


Anonymous said...

Yes, the "old" town is over run by tourists as the same way as Venice in Italy, not many residents remain in their old homes. Try to get to the edge of the old town, especially the section without bright new paint. Observe the way the locals use their water "three wells system". Warning:where you go in China, can't avoid the crowd. Lijiang used to be the far corner of the earth. No highway reached there until 1958. Another part of the area 8 hrs bus ride to the east is a matriarch society. Up north the Tibetan culture. Take your picks.

Are you going to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountains? It would be fun to see how the Chinese tourists get up there - with oxygen equipments. When I was there I skipped the site heading for the Tiger Leaping Gorge instead.

Very glad to read your story. Keep blogging.


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