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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lijiang: A Traveler's Paradise

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain on our arrival (the only time we saw it)

Lijiang is the most amazing tourist trap. A classic old Chinese town revitalized as a tourist Mecca for Chinese people full of trinket shops, magic spells cast on the spring sluices using goldfish by day and on floating candles by night. There are countless good restaurants, cheap quaint guest houses, and the whole town is set up with wandering cobble-stoned alleys and little wooden maps like a proverbial game of Myst.

Girls servicing Chinese night clubs

Tea shops trinket shops and birds nest soup shops

Divining by floating candles on the ponds

After we arrived around four the day before we were escorted on spec by a woman to the really cute quiet "Leaf and Rain Garden Inn" - just the place to shelter after a hard week on the road.

Our place of respite - the Leaf and Rain Garden Inn

Today we took a 'rest day' which comprised walking the town and up the wooded hills to photograph the gray tile roofs. Taking breakfast and lunch. Inadvertently having Christine's fortune cast in a Taoist temple for an unspeakably large donation when we curiously wandered in. In the afternoon we biked out to Baisha which will be in the next posting.

Traditional notice boards and the little sluice like streams
that pass through many streets in the old town

Different forms of traditional head dress of the various Naxi groups

Divining goldfish which have messages attached for luck

Traditional metallic Miao headdress and lunch in the restaurant

One of the remaining traditional wells

Climbing stairs to the forested mountain above the old town

Oceans of gray tile roofs in the old town

A spirit roof guardian with a very gaping mouth

The largest sweetest mangoes we have ever seen!

The new city is on the other side of the mountain

Panorama of the Old Town

A Buddhist stupa in the distance

The girls play with leaves and the boys pile stones

Entrance to the Taoist temple

Inside the temple Christine was mesmerized by a 'priest' who read her fortune
and then asked for a humungous donation which we couldn't afford.

Traditional public washing pools have two stages.
On the left in the clean pool, people are washing vegetables,
and on the second one on the right they wash clothes.

An group of elderly Naxi people who are going to do public dancing

Firstly they dance to a ghetto blaster playing Chinese music

Then they dance to a musician playing Oriental pan pipes

Video of Naxi golden oldies dancing to traditional music

Their individually-embroidered capes

Young meets old

'Wild men' offering horse rides for photography

False water wheels which are only for show and do nothing

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from Lijiang in clear weather (internet)

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