A Travellerspoint blog

Lijiang Adventure (Summer Break)

HeyHeyanda Big G'Day toya

Wednesday, 10th August 2005

After a Stella's breakfast we packed and boarded the bus to Lijiang.

Though it was a beautiful drive there I was in mixed emotions about leaving Dali. I had met so many people whom had arrived in Lijiang only to leave either the following day or the day after that due to the crowds of people. Surely it couldn't be that bad. If it is, then why not leave Lijiangs 'old city' and venture out into the new city or surrounding country side. I warmed to this idea and whilst my iPod blasted Mr Bungle through my ears China filled my vision with splendour. Mike Patton is a gift from above to the music scene.

Any man whom can include the Balinese Monkey Chant into a song must be so.

We arrived in Lijiang under grey skies that opened as soon as we stepped from the bus. We hailed a taxi and ended up joining a German couple in a little silver mini van. When we arrived at the 'old town' I was surprised at how the 'new city' stopped at a canal and on the other side of the small bridge the 'old town' began. Just like that. I know there was an earth quake some nearing ten years ago that levelled the new city but shouldn't there at least be some merging from new to old.

At least it would help stop the felling that one is entering an amusement park.

We crossed the bridge that led from new to old and past the large water wheel. As we entered the hussle and bussle that was Lijiang streets I instantly warmed to the town's charm. It was just BEAUTIFUL! Exceptionally beautiful. The canals, the cobble stones, the Naxi architecture, it really was like being taken to a different time and place. Gee, I like what you've done here and I do like what you've done over there and that's a nice use of stone there etc.

We entered the rabbit warren and began the pricing rounds.

We ended up back near the water wheel, down a little alley way and bedded in a beautiful little Chinese Guesthouse. I've no idea what the name of the place was as it was in Chinese. We took a room on the second floor that overlooked the little court yard below and headed out in search of food.

Once our stomachs were happy we began to walk aimlessly upon the cobblestones.

Soon after we ran into Nick and Shannon the Aussie couple from Beijing. We happily sat for a beer and tea. It was freezing and the beer watery and warm. Dali beer has become a non favourite very quickly. It is brewed with rice along with the hops and this gives it a beer flavoured water taste. We quickly headed to little café for warmth where we found that a bowl of soup was actually cheaper than a coffee.

The day passed and night entered our world as we continued to walk the streets of Lijiang.

We made our way up to the 'Looking At The Past Pavilion'. Of course it was closed but standing near the gate offered great views of the 'new city'. Back down we went and finally found the Old Market Square again to get our bearings. From here we headed home. It was cold, it had started to rain again and I was very tired.

Thursday, 11th August 2005

I rose and headed out into crowded streets to find breakfast.

I decided to sit for a noodle soup and spend the day walking around. By eleven I was getting frustrated and actually thinking of purchasing a ticket out of Lijiang back to Dali where the streets were wide and spacious. Lijiang is frequented by thousands of Chinese tourists. All use their umbrella in both sunshine and rain. There are swarms of yellow peeked-hatted tour groups led by a beautiful girl and her megaphone. I was prodded and pocked and decided to leave the crowds behind before I lost one or both eyes.

I quickly took several small alley ways that led into peace and quiet.

I spent hours walking the back streets of Lijiang. Each corner led to a new and exciting photo opportunity. The place is just beautiful. I criss crossed my tracks and found the local market where I spent an hour walking amongst the people and eating another large bowl of noodles.

As night approached I made my way back to the 'old market square' and headed to Sakura Café for dinner.

Hey, it has both Korean and Japanese; this means only one thing, Bibimbap! It was awesome. With a full stomach I headed out for another walk and due to the crowd I ended up in a bar called Mishas. Great place, warm and the staff were very friendly. I joined a group of people all chatting at the window table.

There we sat for hours as the crowds all made their way home.

I left in the early hours and tried my hardest to find my way home. I had no idea where I was. Without the crowds and the lights and a clear head I had walked myself into confusion. I found a young police man who after gathering his two fellow men of the force, led me home. It was so strange. The night was so quiet and I had three policemen surrounding me. One in front and one on each side. Their heels clicked upon the cobble stones and I felt like I was being led somewhere other than home.

When we arrived they giggled and said good night and continued on their way.

Friday, 12th August 2005

Both Kylie and I headed out for breakfast and then to 'Mu Family Mansion'. What a beautiful place. A place you could spend many hours in and we did. We relaxed and sat in the sunshine. Yes, the sun had finally broken though. Hordes of yellow peeked-hats rushed on by following the sound of the megaphone. We made our way up the hill and ended up at the 'Looking At The Past Pavilion'. We slowly made our way back down the hill and lay in the sunshine on a couple of seats for the next hour.

From where I lay I could see the roof tops of the old city. It was just beautiful.

I spent the rest of the afternoon in a little café I found as I was doing my best to get away from the crowds of people. It was called The Sarah Café. I found it down a little alley way. It was quiet and offered a great menu. I spent hours reading and drinking fruit juice and water. The two staff had such beautiful warm smiles and sat with me from time to time asking all sorts of questions in their broken English.

A guy from London whom was also doing his best to get away from everyone walked on by.

He spotted me and dropped in for a chat. We ended up having dinner there and headed to Mishas Bar for a couple of beers before I headed home. The weather had turned again and I wanted to get home before everyone turned their lights off. I was woken several times during the night by loud claps of thunder. It was just beautiful!

Saturday, 13th August 2005

We headed to Muma Foo's for breakfast. Not so good. I spent the day in the back streets again and finding my way up the little mountains to find new and exciting views. I returned to the local market area for lunch and headed out into the fields for the afternoon. I met Kylie on my return and we heeded to the Sakura Café for Bibimba. We had spotted a sign for 'The Frosty Morning' English Pub where you could watch a movie and relax. We searched and finally found it. We met Philip and his Chinese wife whom sat to watch a movie with us.

Kylie headed home and I stayed for a few beers and to play pool with Philip and Sean a guy I had met in Dali.

Sunday, 14th August 2005

For breakfast ee headed to an Italian place Kylie had spotted and wanted to try. Why not I thought. The food was not so good! I decided on spending the day riding out through the fields to where ever I ended up. I headed off to grab a bike and met two Irish Lasses. One named Melanie and the other Debbs. They were here for a couple of months travelling around. As we rode we talked of where we had been and wanted to go. We all wanted to do the gorge trek but were waiting as the track was closed due to the rains making it unsafe.

In the end we decided to take a chance and head off the next day for Qiaotou (or Chitow). Settled!

We biked it to Baisha which is a little Naxi village not far from Lijiang. It's a small village with one main dirt road. The houses are just beautiful. They are old and without a hint of modernisation. We locked our bikes up well away from the famous Dr Ho. I'm not going to give an explanation here; you'll have to read him elsewhere. We sat for lunch in a little local place and then headed out on foot to explore. We walked around trying to find the little temples. We found a bunch of piglet's and thought, hey, that's a sign (anything would do) and continued past them out into the fields.

We walked and walked and talked and walked and talked.

It's great when you meet people and there is an instant click. The three of us got along from the moment we met at the bike café thingy. The road took us up hill and here we began following a family. They motioned for us to follow them. We left the road and continued up what I thought was a goat track. Where are we going? Soon several flags indicated. We finally made it to what I think was 'Yufeng Si' or Jade Peak Temple. None of us were on a 'fresco' hunt so we sat with the Lama and the family drinking tea and eating cake.

The views were breathtaking and well worth the walk.

We decided on taking the road down the hill instead of sliding on our butts down the goat track. When we made it back to Baisha we grabbed our bikes and slowly rode back to Lijiang. After heading home for a shower and to pack I took the girls to the Sakura Café for dinner and we ended up at Mishas for beers afterwards.

Beers N Noodles toya....shane

Baisha Village

Baisha Village


Baisha Village2

Baisha Village2


Fuguo Si Monastery

Fuguo Si Monastery


Fuguo Si Monastery2

Fuguo Si Monastery2


Guest House

Guest House


Making Boutsa

Making Boutsa


My favourite quiet spot, the Sarah Cafe

My favourite quiet spot, the Sarah Cafe


Naxi Women

Naxi Women


Old City Streets

Old City Streets


Old City Streets, just beautiful

Old City Streets, just beautiful


Old City Streets1

Old City Streets1


Old City Streets2

Old City Streets2


The old with the new

The old with the new


View of Old City

View of Old City

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login