Loading...
Start a new Travel Blog! Blogabond Home Maps People Photos My Stuff

Yunnan, China

a travel blog by prrrrl


I have two weeks to explore this province. I do not do whirlwind breeze through tours so I will only have time for two or three locations. Come along!
view all 2 photos for this trip


Show Oldest First
Show Newest First

Frying pan into the fire Frying pan into the fire

Lijiang, China


Going to Lijiang to escape Beijing's bitter cold winter is like jumping from the frying pan into the fire. Or rather like jumping from the refrigerator into the freezer. No central heating anywhere! It's COLD at night here. The night was saved, however, by a heated mattress pad. Cozy! Can I see the Sunrise from my bed, please?

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 1, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Sunrise, Cold and FryingPanToFire

Send a Compliment

Rat in maze test 1: FAIL!

Lijiang, China


Lijiang's Old Town is a maze of narrow curving alleys criss-crossing up a River bank. I'm dropped off at the edge and told to go down then turn left. It's 9:30 in the evening and very dark. Hmmm... I had picked the Panba Hostel for several reasons, one being that it was one of the few accessible by car in the Old Town. Since I knew I'd be arriving at night that feature was very attractive to me. Now I was set adrift in the maze in the dark. There was more than one way to go down. Would there be more than one way to turn left? I asked directions two times - itself astonishing as the streets were nearly deserted at that hour - the second being the most helpful. I'm blogging from the Panba right now. Phew!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 1, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Dark, Rat and Maze

Send a Compliment

Rat in maze test 2: SUCCESS!

Lijiang, China


Eat a hostel breakfast? Not if I can help it. Bad American food is not my idea of a fun time. I took off through the alleys and to stay returnable to my cozy mattress pad, I decided to go straight. That went through the market square, clear across Old Town to a tri-belief temple turned function hall. I explored the NW corner of Old Town with a 'turn right at each intersection' plan so i could retrace my steps with a series of left turns. I started recognizing alleys and could forego the retrace. I did find breakfast along the way, an egg pancake sprinkled with diced scallions. When I came upon Naxi dancers in the Market Square I was excited. My camera can take video! Then the battery died. No more alley exploring till I can record my cool finds!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 1, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Naxi, Alley, Breakfast, Battery, Success, Dancers, Maze and Pancake

Send a Compliment

Rat in maze test 3: FAIL!

Lijiang, China


My routine is to get up early to wander the maze, getting pictures before the crowds descend. I stop for breakfast early in my wanderings and stop for lunch at the end. Breakfast - check! Wandering - check! Lunch - no check. Where are the restaurants?? Not find a restaurant in China? Weird! I finally stop a smiling gentleman and ask him. I also tell him I prefer cheap, having heard earlier that the restaurants in this World Heritage Site are pricey. He suggests some snack eateries and even walks me to the street as that's the direction he's headed any. Perfect! I enjoy a nice lunch in a local eatery, not a tourist trap. Now to find my way back to my hostel. I think I'm south of the Old Town and my temporary abode is on the east side. Just walk northeast, right? I walked & walked and was eventually totally outside the Old Town. Oops! I can either back track or go around this huge athletic Field. I go around hoping I can reenter Old Town on the other side. Despite one dead end alley that I had retrace my way out of, it worked, obviously, as i'm here to type my Story. But I put many kilometers on my new hiking boots that day.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 3, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Restaurant, Lunch, Cheap, Boots, Maze and Fail

Send a Compliment

Five on a bus

Lijiang, China


Palled [pal-ed?] up with a gang of other solo travelers to bus to Bai Xia, rent bikes and explore the villages & remote temples. Once in Bai Xia, a quaint little village with many shops selling Chinese handicrafts and antiques [making me feel like I was in Beijing at the Dirt Market] we hunted for a bike rental. Despite assurances back in Lijiang that there were such establishments, there were no bikes for let to be found. Now what? We had endured standing room only on a very tightly backed bus for a trip several villages outside Lijiang. Hike? Just one sight was 8 kilometers out so we would only have time to see one thing. Rent a mini [as in smart car size] van for half the day seemed the best solution. We tried. The hostess at a cafe tried. No mini vans for hire. Now what? We decided to take the bus to the last stop and walk 2 kilometers to a 'sight'; I'm not sure if it was going to a temple or village. But, travel such as we do rarely goes entirely as planned: we met a senior citizen on the bus that was Naxi minority from Lijiang but currently living in the US. He showed us his Missouri Drivers License. He told us that he was going to see a temple with great views. We tagged along with him. He hardly spoke any English but all but one of our five solos turned group could speak Chinese to varying degrees. The bonus was he sort of knew where he was going and could speak the local Naxi when directions were needed. The first temple was nice, free to enter, small and gave me several good pictures. The second involved slogging up a hill & through some woods only to find out there was an exorbitant entrance fee of $17. We took pictures of the outside with its Tibet style banners and hiked on to a near by lake. Only the lake was not so near by. A second[third] attempt to hire a vehicle also proved futile and we walked back to the bus stop. This time we actually got seats. Well, three of us did. Back to Lijiang for dinner. Not the most effective touring day but pleasant none the less.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 4, 2012 from Lijiang, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Bus, Tibet, Rent, Bikes, Fee, Minivan, Pals and BaiXia

Send a Compliment

Tiger Leaping Gorge! Or, the near perfect day

Qiaotou, China


So much to catch up on...

Day One: Just about ideal. 9am bus, not too early, came right to our hostel so no sloshing to the long distance bus station and all for only 5rmb [81 cents] more than the public bus.

Bumpy ride to be expected in this part of the world. Mei ban fa [nothing I can do about it.]

Short walk from drop off point [that doubles as a bag storage service] to local restaurant for very good meal with two as yet unknown to me vegetables. [In this part of Yunnan, menus are rare. A refridgerated display case holds tubs of veggies that you point to then discuss how it is to be cooked. I do not understand all the cooking methods. When I don't, that's the one I pick!]

Hike started in perfect weather with sunny skies and fluffy clouds. Mountains visible from the start. We make the Naxi Family Guesthouse in 2 hours, the posted time.

Naxi family almost ignores us but does serve us Yunnan tea with a fresh mint leaf for a very nice flavor. They are in the process of giving a baby a bath. That involves heating the water over a fire, putting out interlocking foam pads on the concrete courtyard floor, and having clean blankets & clothes nearby. After rub down [what the pads & blanket were for] baby gets dressed and wrapped in a Naxi back carrier. It looks like a quilted blanket but there is a head rest sticking up from the center of the top and two very long straps off each of the top corners. It takes two adults to get the baby in place. Baby is wrapped in the quilt then the straps, that are now crossing infront of the baby, are draped over an adult's shoulders, then crisscrossed over the adult's chest making a big letter X. The straps are now at the adult's waist level where they are wrapped at the adult's waist to the back becoming a seat for the baby. One adult needs to hold the baby in place while all this wrapping is done. When done the adult walks the baby to sleep, the little baby butt sticking out over the waist wrap. Very clever!


permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Bus, Tea, Hike, Naxi, Baby, Menu, Local, Vegetable, Mint and Carrier

Send a Compliment

TLG II Or, my lack of skill stays hidden

Qiaotou, China


They do not speak English at the Naxi Family Guesthouse. Go, but be prepared. Naxi Ma Ma was waiting outside my door one time because she wanted me to translate a phone call for her. But when she called the number the person was not there. Phew! My skills go unchallenged!



permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Naxi, Phone, English, Translate, Mama and Unchallenged

Send a Compliment

TLG VI Or, it's the pictures that count

Qiaotou, China


It gets windy. Water drops occassionally from the sky. We press ever downward.

Tina's is bland but has nice views from the restaurant. It's hard not to have nice views in this gorge so that's not saying much. We're REALLY tired. Maybe Corey not so much as he is half my age - if I shave a few years off mine. [Youngins!] Eat & crash. What was suppose to be only a mildly challenging day has turned into a near disaster.

But I've got great pictures!

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Rain, Pictures, Wind, Disaster, Tired and Views

Send a Compliment

TLG III Or, the not so perfect day starts

Qiaotou, China


Day two in the gorge seems so long ago... Today is Thursday, Day two was Tuesday. The plan was to hike to the second guest House away, a 4.5 hour hike that we had all day to do. No rush. Noodle soup for breakfast [I've stopped ordering noodles here as they really are a northern specialty, the noodles down here are just packaged pasta - not the homemade yumminess that they serve in Beijing.] Now for the most challenging part of the hike: 28 Bends, two dozen plus four switch backs [I did not count to confirm] with significant elevation gain. They were not the most fun for me, mostly because I had brought a chest cold with me and the air in my inhalations, under extra pressure of high elevation and under the weight of a backpack, were not finding the membranes of my aveoli as usual. Cough, cough, hack...

I was a bit dismayed to find that when we had accomplished this infamously toughest portion of the trail we immediately descended in altitude. All that gain in elevation was for naught? The rest of the hike was much easier. We made the first guest House [Tea Horse GH] hoping to stop for the hour Thai massage. It was closed! They served us complementary tea and we pressed on.

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Tea, Cold, Massage, Elevation, Congestion, Cough, Bends and 28

Send a Compliment

TLG IV Or, the not so perfect day gets worse

Qiaotou, China


We had a small lunch of Naxi Ba Ba [the local flat bread] and deep fried bananas. Had we known what was coming we would have loaded up some energy. But we thought we just had 1.5 hours to go to Halfway GuestHouse. We did. But the 1/2 Way had a school group and no en suite rooms. No heating pads on the beds, either. Noisy & cold was not appealing. The beds sans heat pads were in a room with breezy gaps in the windows. The non en suite toilets were down the hall, down the concrete steps and around the corner from the sinks. They were open air squatty potties with awesome views of the moutains [and completely private unless the Mountain goats have binoculars]. Pretty to see but cold to use on a windy Mountain night. We decided to press on 1.5 kilometer to th next guestHouse. We're tired but what's 15 more minutes?

Five Fingers GuestHouse was up - yes, UP off the trail. Stiff legs, just one more hill. We climb to the GH and it looks abandoned. We call out for humans. One responds. Can we have a room? Nope, too busy. To busy with what? Not a single guest there. Not a single remodeling project, though needed, in process. Not a single sound of industry anywhere. I tell her I'm old [I'm past the age of mandatory retirement in China] & sick [cough, cough, hack...]. She refuses to House us.

Go back 15 minutes to the noisy cold place?

permalink written by  prrrrl on March 8, 2012 from Qiaotou, China
from the travel blog: Yunnan, China
tagged Private, Cold, Old, GuestHouse, Retirement, Cough, NaxiBaBa and Bananas

Send a Compliment

Viewing 1 - 10 of 26 Entries
first | previous | next | last

View as Map View as Satellite Imagery View as Map with Satellite Imagery Show/Hide Info Labels Zoom Out Zoom In Zoom Out Zoom In
find city:
trip feed
author feed
trip kml
author kml

   

Blogabond v2.40.58.80 © 2018 Expat Software Consulting Services about : press : rss : privacy