Travel Thursdays

I never really wrote an in-depth post about our “honeymoon” in Yunnan, mentioning the trip and posting a few photos when I accepted the Liebster Award.

“Honeymoon” hence forth will be in quotations because the trip included my youngest sister, and friends, who were also colleagues of mine at Xi’an International Studies University.

I’d describe it more as a trip that just so happened to precede our wedding ceremony.

Lijiang 

Lijiang, a city in the northwest part of China’s Yunnan province, is home to the Naxi and several other ethnic minority groups. Dating to the late Song dynasty, its old town encompasses cobblestone streets, canals and a Central Market Square, including shops and restaurants. Black Dragon Pool has famed views of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain range, fronted by the Moon Embracing Pavilion. Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lugu Lake, and Yufeng Temple are other points of interest reachable via Lijiang.
We spent time traipsing Old Town Lijiang, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Don’t forget to stop at the Prague Cafe, like we did, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The cafe offers Yunnan coffee, great selections of domestic teas, and American or British style breakfasts. It’s not cheap, but because two members of our party of five do not really eat Chinese food, it worked as an option once or twice.

Do not attempt to visit the Yunnan stretch of the Tea Horse Road or 茶马道, now generally referred to as the Ancient Tea Horse Road or  茶马古道 was a network of caravan paths winding through the mountains of Sichuan, Yunnan and Guizhou in Southwest China.

We were driven to where the road begins courtesy of the hostel in which we stayed. ZJ hemmed and hawed over the price of riding horses for the five of us. Pushing, shoving, yelling, and some verbal abuse later, we headed back to the old town.

Lugu Lake, although on our to-visit list, was a eight hour ride from Lijiang, through tough terrain, I might add. I had just wrapped up Yang Erche Namu’s Leaving Mother Lake, a memoir about growing up in the matrilineal Mosuo, an ethnic minority group living near the pristine lake.

Dali 

Dali is a city in southwestern China’s Yunnan province, on the shores of Erhai Lake. Its history stretches back to the kingdom of Nanzhao (8th century). The walled old city, from the Ming dynasty, contains traditional homes and towers from the Bai ethnic minority. Beyond the old city rise the Three Pagodas of Chong Sheng Temple, dating to the 9th century.
Walk through the old town, including Foreigner Street, take in the old town from up on the city walls, bike around Erhai, and climb Cangshan.
We also visited Shuang lang, on the opposite side of the lake, once a small fishing village, now a rather high-class tourist destination, most buildings and businesses having overtaken the village since 2012. The coast is now completely built up by tourism estates; we spent the afternoon basking in the sun, playing cards, drinking coffee, and photographing the whole affair.
I mentioned earlier this trip served as a “honeymoon,” and with Valentine’s Day, we made sure to send my sister off to fend for herself for dinner (it’s okay we armed her well with her journal stock full of Chinese phrases), so we could partake in a romantic evening of pizza 😊

 

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