Yes! I’m one step closed to Macau and Hong Kong! I’m on the bus to Lijiang and it feels good. Some people like to spend a long time in one place and really see it properly but I guess I’m limited in time and just staying long enough to check out the touristy things of each place. I mean after a few days, you get the idea and once you start spending extended hours in your hostel online, you know its time to move on.
Along the side of the road are heaps yak tails hanging in front of houses. Yak tails are a speciality here but I have no idea what they are used for. I’d probably use them like a feather duster or if desparate, use it to whip my kids.
I was speaking to the owner of the guesthouse I was staying in yesterday and boy are Chinese people brainwashed. She says that from what they gather from the news, USA is slowly working their way towards taking over China …. Maybe it is the truth but seriously?! They are so brainwashed into hating America. She asked questions like, ”what makes USA the boss?”, ”why did they go in to kill Gadaffi and Saddam?”, etc.
As the bus approaches Lijiang, the road signs have Chinese as well as Naxi writing. It actually seems like a bit of a joke cause their writing are like pictures by kids in kindergarten and remind me of Oracle Bone script, the earliest known Chinese script. I’ve noticed that a particular picture used to represent one character can also be used to represent another character so I think each picture has multiple meanings.
The new city is such a nice place. I had to remind myself I’m in China because it feels like a really nice suburb in Melbourne with nice double story apartments, a line of trees separating traffic in the middle of the road, not many people walking the streets and just a general chilled out, quiet feel to the place.
I got off the bus and got on No. 11 bus to the old city. I walked like 10 minutes before I found Mama Naxi’s place. I dropped my pack and checked in. The lady at reception then gave me a banana as a welcoming gift. Its the first hostel ever to give me a welcoming gift! I then headed out to explore the old town. I immediately like it more than Shangrila. It’s much bigger but more chilled out with frequent music stores pumping out chilled-out tunes with the store keeper tapping the bongos to the beat, heaps of yak meat stores, regular ox horn shops as well as souvenir stores.
What makes this place much cooler than Shangrila for me is the canals running through the old town. It just makes it that much cooler with the lanterns and lights at night.
I visited Lion Hill during the arvo to try and get up high and get a birds eye view of the old city. I went into this tea house and they charged me 2RMB to go upstairs and take photos.
I then headed to the Black Dragon Pool in the arvo for the obligatory Lijiang shot. However in Lijiang, you’re supposed to pay a 80RMB preservation fee when you enter the old city but no one does. Only when you visit tourist attractions do they check your ticket and if you haven’t paid, you’ll have to pay. This was the case at the Black Dragon Pool and after loitering outside, a lady approached me and asked if I wanted to go in. She offered to take me the back way for 20RMB, ok why not. Let me tell ya, it was well worth the 20RMB because the road she took me through forked so many times and was a fair distance. Towards the end we nearly got busted cause a guard saw us through a gap in a door and we had to hide for a bit =P Anyways, after making it in, I headed for the Pool and camped for some sexy light for photos.
Rest of the night consisted of just getting lost once again in the spider web of streets in the old city whilst taking a happy snap here and there.
When I was camping out at the Black Dragon Pool, the dude next to me who was also camping showed me some photos of places he has been to and one place caught my eye. It’s called ‘The First Bend of the Yangtze River’ near a village called Shigu. I might check it out tomorrow.
Posted by Wordmobi