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