Friday, October 19, 2007


I've spent the last few days in a frequently rainy Lijiang, in Yunnan province, home to the famous Tiger Leaping Gorge, which has been rained off most of the time I've been here.

Despite the Disneyesque feel, the overwhelming crowds and the constant drizzle, this classical Chinese town with it's many minority influences (Naxi minority in particular) has proved to be a lovely place to spend a few days. I've been wandering around most of the time snapping happy with the nifty fifty (my new fast lens), and getting some fun shots of the local residence who beam as I chat with them in broken Mandarin (in fact some of the locals don't speak Mandarin at all, but one of the many minority dialects which I nod along to with a bemused smile).

I've been staying in a wonderfully calm, wooden guest house for a grand total of around 2 pounds a night, warming myself around their little coal burner and reading in the covered courtyard. I'll attempt to track down a website for this place (Panba guesthouse) as it's well worth a stay, being situated in the old town but far enough away from the crowds to feel very peaceful.

Tonight I head to Kunming, capital of Yunnan province, not particularly out of choice but simply because I need to head here before taking my flight tomorrow night back to Beijing, as my trip draws to a close.

Some point when I'm not sitting in a freezing cafe with wet clothes I will update the blog with posts about Jiuzhaigou and Chengdu, take II. For now I will head out and try and track down something interesting to have for lunch (grubs are frequently on the menu, though the local cuisine is not a terribly inspiring one).

Greetings to those who are warmer and drier, but possibly not as relaxed as I currently am.

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