Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Beautiful Yunnan

Yunnan Province is gorgeous and has officially skyrocketed to the position of my favorite province in China.

Honestly, if I were coming to China for 2 weeks, the one chance I had to come to China... I would fly into Beijing, spend a few days around Beijing to see the most important sights, like Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Great Wall... then fly to Lijiang, spend time in Lijiang (or Dali), then onto Guizhou's small minority villages - one is Xijiang, and finally onto Guangxi province to see Guilin/Yangshuo area. This is truly the China people envision when they think of China. (Have you see The Painted Veil? This is what I am talking about for the second/third part of the trip.)

Anyway, we are now in Guizhou Province - I think which is officially known as China's poorest province. The city we are in is surrounded by karst limestone hills, which makes for very beautiful and unique topography. Unfortunately, our guidebook warned us about the locals' love of dog meat. Consider me officially a vegetarian while I am here. Thank God for Pizza Hut!

Here are a few pictures from our time in Yunnan. I am disappointed that I was sick during the time we were in Kunming - I really, really wanted to see the red fields (东川红土地), but unfortunately, that wasn't meant to be. I am, however, feeling much better, thank you for your well-wishes, they worked! :)

These photos were all taken in the ancient city of Lijiang... yes Lijiang can be touristy but it's beautiful, has a special ambiance and is definitely worth a visit. It reminded me of Pingyao in Shanxi.

The countryside

This is the first bend of the Yangtze River

Naxi Villages

Tiger Leaping Gorge... yeah so the actual park was closed, so in typical China fashion, some guys trying to make money offered to take us to the other side...

We went, and came across this. Pretty sure this side was more dangerous than the closed side.... seeing as how half the road was gone and all....

Workmen working towards trying to prevent any (more) crazy landslides

The gorge

That's it for Yunnan. There was so much more amazingness to see, but like I said, I got sick and we had to rearrange our travel plans.

Feeling much better here in Guizhou! Though the weather report said a high of 80 and a low of 65.... I am currently freezing seeing as how I am working with a high of 40 degrees and we didn't pack anything warmer than a fleece!

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  1. Those alleyways are so charming, I love the history here, thanks for the great pics! Yunnan seriously has Pizza Hut? That is crazy to think about.
    Feel better and stay warm!

  2. Love the photos. Oh how I would LOVE to go back to China. One day, right? And a girl has to eat! I would be eating Pizza Hut too!

  3. Totally Awesome!! I have 2 friends that live there now. THey LOVE it!!! remote, but.....beautiful eh?

    Nice pics

  4. So amazing. How cool that you are getting to live this!

  5. I love your pictures and thanks for sharing. I'm drinking Pu'er tea as I'm typing. I think it's from Yunnan province. I hope you feel better.

  6. Great to hear you are feeling better! Thank you for the fantastic pictures and all the great stories. Keep 'em coming!

  7. I love your rooftop photo, and those cute puppies!
    (they are safe, right? no one is going to eat them?)

  8. Well, I have to admit that I truly envy you now. You've been so many parts of china, which, as a Chinese, I haven't visited yet.
    Talk about Lijiang, I have a friend who opened a bar there, but I haven't got a chance to visit. What a shame!
    Wonder what's your next stop? the three gorges of Yangtze river and the dam?

  9. Amazing pictures... what a great adventure!

    Happy Halloween!

  10. Living and working here in Yunnan myself (DALI) and it is truly an INCREDIBLE place! I have been an English teacher for Mark's School in Xia Guan (New City Dali) since February and think I will stay another year! Been to Tiger Leaping Gorge (And Lijiang) two or three times too and man is the gorge amazing! Also really like Shangrila and Deqin where I did some really challenging bike rides over summer break. I think my favorite area in Yunnan, though is the Nujiang Valley near Burma! It is also almost completely untouched and unlike touristy Dali and Lijiang, I am usually the only westerner there! Liuku is 4 and a half hours west of Dali by bus and it is another 3 hours upriver to Fugong which is even more spectacular! Gorgeous big blue river with lots of rapids and amazing mountains around it (Like a completely undiscovered and non-touristy Tiger Leaping Gorge!) Home of the Lisu Minority and a place I have been several times because I love it so much and it is so different from the rest of the province. Anyway, also an American and working to learn more Chinese. Yes. Completely agree. YUNNAN is just an unbelievable province and I can hardly wait to explore Jinghong and the far south of the province over spring festival (Possibly see Ruili as well in the far western corner at the border with Burma!) Dali is an AMAZING place to live and work.