28.02.2007 - 03.03.2007 23 °C
Well, what an interesting experience, lots of good and bad things about the Chinese tourist experience in Lijiang - a beautiful, and beautifully restored (there ws a major earthquake in 1997) traditional Chinese town, with an amazing maze of winding streets, canals, water wheels, temples, mansions and shophouses with the enormous peak of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain looming behind the town.
Some of the 'experience' is almost unbearably tacky though, particularly the 'Bar Street' where Chinese tourists come to get drunk with other chinese dressed in ethnic costume.
The town is undeniably beautiful though, and we spent a whole day just wandering round - particularly the view across to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain from the black dragon pool park, where we sat and drank delicious local tea for a few hours, watching the goldfish and staring at the snow.
We also spent a day cycling to a few of the local villages - one, Shuhe, was another 'reconstuction' which exists purely for the purposes of tour groups - pretty, but with no soul - some nice views over the mountains though. Another, Baishu, was a lovely working village with genuine Naxi farmhouses and an obvious working life.
Some great food in Lijiang - particularly the local Naxi barbecued fish and fried rice with cured ham, also a sizzling Yak platter!
We stayed at the excellent Moon Inn with very friendly staff and a comfortable room, and views over the old town and the mountain.