Category: Yunnan

Apr 15 2010

Lijiang to Chengdu, China

Snow capped mountain over Lijiang town.

Mu Clan association of the Naxi people.

Lijiang old town

Got on the 1pm bus towards Chengdu (297Yuan~USD$45, around 900km).

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There were a few options to Chengdu. Another way is to take a bus to PanZhiHua (7 hours ride), then got on the train to Chengdu (12-13hours). There is also a flight costing 350Yuan which departs on Friday night.

The road from Yunnan to Sichuan passed by many mountains. View on the way

Apr 13 2010

Lijiang to Shangri La, China

Shu He old town

LaPaiKu hotpot again for lunch and head to Shangri La with 3 other hostel mates.

Shangri La is around 200km away from Lijiang. Got the 3pm bus (59Yuan~USD$9).

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Shangri La is at a higher elevation, so the bus has to go up a windy and a narrower road. Saw an accident on the way.

Arrived at Shangri La at around 7pm after 4 hours bus ride. Shangri La old name is actually ZhongDian. Shangri La is actually a name synonymous with a beautiful place with peaceful people isolated from the world. The name was made famous in the novel Lost Horizon by a British author and some people think that the place is the closest to the description of Shangri La in the novel. ZhongDian is located at around 3400m above sea levels, with different minorities such as Dai, Zang, Naxi and Bai living here. Shangri La is also used as a metaphor as something special people seek after. The Chinese government hope that ZhongDian will follow the success of Dali and Lijiang as famous tourist spots, and changed the name to Shangri La.

Stayed at Shangri La international hostel (20Yuan~USD$3).

Visited the old town.

Local hotpot for dinner (26Yuan per person~USD$4). ShuYouCha, a kind of Tibetan tea is famous here because there is a big Tibetan population living in this area.

There is a tibetan temple at the old town.

Trying to turn a big Tibetan bell.

Apr 12 2010

Dali to Lijiang, China

Rice with 2 dishes for lunch (17Yuan~USD$2.5)

Took the 12.15pm bus towards Lijiang (40Yuan~USD$6) which is around 180km away.

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Lijiang is populated by many Naxi people which is a different ethnicity from Han Chinese. Naxi people has a strong matriarchal influence and Naxi women work harder too. Lijiang old town has a history of over 800 years since the Song dynasty.

Arrived Lijiang at around 4pm. Took a taxi with 3 other travelers to K2 hostel (30Yuan~USD$4)

which is located at ShuHe, around 5km away from the old town of Lijiang.

ShuHe old town

Lijiang is a bigger town than Dali. Lijiang is famous for LaPaiGu hot pot (80Yuan for 4 person), the hot pot has pork ribs and eat with vegetables.

Took a bus to Lijiang old town. Lijiang old town is a maze of cobbled street with many old buildings as well as stream flowing through the city. The city has 800 years of history since the Tang dynasty.

Symbol of Lijiang

Lijiang is more touristy than Dali and has a lot of tourist.

Women in traditional dress kniting

DongBa writing which use pictures and symbols to represent words.

There are many souvenir shops selling goods for tourist at every corner of the old town. Lijiang old town has become a touristy place.

Apr 11 2010

Kunming to Dali, China

Took bus 146 to the west bus station

and got on the 10.15am bus to Dali (100 Yuan~USD$14.5).

It’s around 380km to Dali.

View on the way

Passed by a wind farm.

Dali is located at an elevation of 1800m above sea level. There are many Bai people here and on the way passed by houses with Bai architecture.

Got to Dali at around 3pm. Dali has a new town and an old town. The bus dropped me at the new town which is called XiaGuan. Got on another bus (3Yuan~USD$0.5)

to Dali old town which is 13km away.

Stayed at Four Season Hostel (20 Yuan~USD$3)

which has a good location. The hostel is just right next to RenMin street, a popular street in Dali. There are other hostels with better reviews but those are located further west to the town.

Dali old town

Rented a bicycle for 2.5 hours (5Yuan~USD$0.7).

New part of Dali

3 pagoda

Did some biking around Dali. Towards ErHai.

Erhai Lake

Back to Dali old town

A church

Dali old town is still surrounded by an old wall

Dali is just located right at the foot of the mountain and the wind can get very strong. I tried to cycle to the 3 Pagodas but decided not to because it’s too windy.

Noodles for dinner (4Yuan~USD$0.6)

Apr 10 2010

Kunming, China

Arrived in Kunming at 5.30am in the morning after 9.5 hours of bus ride.

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Since the bus dropped me off at the new eastern bus station which is a little far away from the city, took bus 193 to the east station. Took bus 62 and walked to Camilia Hostel,

Unfortunately, it’s close for renovation.

Kunming has a population of around 6 million and is the capital of Yunnan province. During the 8th century, the Kingdom of NanZhou, a tibetan-burmese kingdom captured it and made it a secondary capital. Many Chinese migrated to this region during the Japanese occuption. There are many ethnic minorities living here and they made up a big percentage of the population in Yunnan. The weather here is quite cool as well.

Got on bus 52 and found my way to Coudland hostel

which is located close to ZhuanTang lake.

Yunnan Provincial Museum

There an exhibition about Kunming-HaiPhong, Vietnam railroad in the museum. This is one of the first railroad which link China to the outside world.

GuoQiaoMiXian (Over the bridge noodles, RNM12~USD$2)

CuiHuGongYuan (Green Park)

There are many different ethnicities in Kunming. The locals love dancing and there were different groups of crowd dancing with different tunes.

Exhibition Center

Outdoor dance again

Apr 09 2010

Sapa, Vietnam to Hekou, China

Arrived in LaoCai at 7.30am. Stored my bag at the train station (10,000 Dong~USD$0.50), had breakfast (20,000 Dong~USD$1)

and got a minivan (35,000 Dong ~USD$1.7) to Sapa. Sapa is just around 35km away from LaoCai. Sapa is a very colorful town with a few ethnic minority groups such as the Hmong, Dai and Tay.

It’s very misty up in Sapa.


BBQ piglet


Hmong people discussing about business

Terraced paddy field

Got back to LaoCai at 2pm and got on a motorbike taxi to the Vietnam-China border which is 3km away from the train station.

Leaving Vietnam

Crossed the border to the border town, HeKou.

Bought a 8pm bus ticket (137Yuan ~USD$20, 450km, 9 hours) from HeKou to Kunming.

I almost forgot that the time in China is an hour ahead of Vietnam, luckily there were still some time left when I thought about that. The sleeper bus left at 8pm sharp and was full. China has a first class infrastructure, the roads are much better than Vietnam and many other South East Asian countries. After spending the past few weeks on slow buses going on windy, narrow and bumpy roads, the bus ride to Kunming felt quite different. The bus went pretty fast. Instead of going around the mountains, there are many tunnels through the mountains and it’s a 4 lane highway so the ride was more comfortable.


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