It all started here...

It all started here...

Friday, May 31, 2013

Old Town of Lijiang, Yunnan, China

Lijiang, Yunnan (4/27/2013)

This could have been the highlight of this trip for me. I have heard and read so much about the Old Town of Lijiang and it was one of the top places on my bucket list. 

We had a full-day of activities planned here in Lijiang today. The restful night at the villa and the wonderful breakfast really prepared us for a busy day. Weather was amazing and it was just a great day to explore. I was a little worried because there was a big fire here a couple of weeks ago and I didn't know what to expect.

arriving the outskirt of old town

entering the Old Town of Lijiang

so far so good

It was actually quite a quaint and beautiful place.

The famous great waterwheel.

women in ethnic costumes

part of our tour group

I have always imagined that Lijiang is just a narrow street with old buildings and bars.

Old buildings, yes.

Narrow streets, no.

Our local guide talking about the six-fold doors.

One of the many bars in Lijiang.

These bars would be filled with young people and foreigners at night.

During the day they are empty and quiet.

It's hard to tell here but this is actually a carcase of a whole pig displayed inside a bar. The innards are all taken out and the whole pig is suppose to be preserved for many years before it will be consumed. I vaguely remember something like the pig was killed when a child was born and then preserved until the 21st birthday celebration of the child. Not sure if I heard it correctly though. The strange thing is that it didn't smell at all when this picture of the pig was taken.

Notice the Naxi writings next to the Chinese characters.


Tri-lingual--Chinese, English, and Naxi

Naxi girls are called "Fat Golden Girl" and yak meat is one of Naxi's specialties.

Dance performance by the Naxi women.

Some of them appeared to be quite old but they were proudly dancing away. Good for them!

interesting signs

"Cooking Demonstration" by a street food vendor

an old well

pretty side street

Several local tourists became part of our group, temporarily.

Hand-crafting their famous ginger candie

No English translation? OK, it's McDonald's.

Looking at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from Old Town.

Time to shop for yak meat!

Our new friends from Melbourne, Australia. It turned out that we have a mutual friend in N. California.

Lijiang is a beautiful town indeed and now I can check it off my list. Some members of our group went back there in the evening and they said it was crowded with bar hopping young people looking for a good time. The Old Town is still on the list of UNESCO Heritage Sites, but we were told that they have been warned twice of the commercialized Old Town before. If they receive the third warning, that means they will be taken off from the list. Let's hope that it will not happen.

UNESCO description of Old Town of Lijiang: