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01 March 2009

A trip of 10 days - Lijiang

Even if we plane to go Dali first and then Lijiang(丽江), we decide then to do Lijiang first and finnaly canceled Dali. We chose this because of transport logistic, because we understand that stay just 2 days in a city is just too short and tiring and because all person we met who have done the both cities said that they preferred Lijiang.

So let's go on 17th Tuesday about 10:00 am(with the plane company "Lucky air" what an ironic name!). When we arrived we can feel that the temperature is warmer than on Kunming, great! The way in bus allow us to discover many beautiful mountain landscape.

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Lijiang is like Dali(大理), city which is cut in two parts; one part is the old town which is the touristic but charming side, the other part is the new city without personality, at least for Lijiang. So the taxi driver bring us to the entry of the town and stop there because not allowed to enter.

The old town is composed of many little street where there are many shop which sell tea, jewel and many kind of food like the local speciality, the Yak. After a long visit to find our guest house, we have a tea-orange break into this. This famous guest house, Mama Naxi's Guest House is very popular for foreign people. A warm and family place where it's easy to communicate with everybody. Food is good and cheaper, beds and bathroom are clean and Mama is a real show. She is like a theater character in a performance, she can speak a little of english, enough for understand. She have help of young people who made cook, company pets are here for watch (even when they are sleeping or asking food). Anyway, a guest house that you must try, moreover Mama can book ticket and can bring with car in the new city for 2 Yuans, very cozy.

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The district is really organise for tourism which is I think the main source of money. You must pay about 80 Yuans to contribute to the Lijiang environment from you want to visit a touristic place. A good joke when we see the very expensive prize of tickets for temple, toll, cable car and so on. However it's true that the place is clean if we compare to the rest of China, so we can be happy with this... This tax allow you to enter in temple and park for free like the Dark Dragon park with is a pleasant place, you should visit this at the end of the day (close at 7pm). I can contribue to the Dongba culture which have a pictogram write still used, with engrave a little draw in a stone.

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We also visit the Yak plain where there isn't any Yak but may be just shit of them...However the landscape were very beautiful. We were a little disappointed about this visit because it only take half a day and it's expensive. You have to take a private transport to go to a touristic center where you take a new bus to go on the mountain where you take a cable car and then take a ticket for the plane, so almost 300 Yuans just to see a mountain landscape.

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During the night the old town change in a burning atmosphere with many noise and light, street became animated and in particular the street of Chine bar and club. Understand by "Chine"; hight leve music, hotess who try to rent you a table for 400 Yuans(depend of negotiate)... You should try this just to feel the atmosphere and Chinese people who become crazy... I advice to just stay few moment in this place and then go walk in the silent old town part where you can admire the show of light water and old building. Then, drink a Yak milk which is like a occidental sugar yogourt. If you are hungry you can go to the Susan's Naxi local restaurant where you can taste Yak meat with menthol with a soap cheese plate, delicious! Try the Yunan tea, my favourite one is the black.

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Finally this trip also allow us to meet Alice, Nicolas, Melissa, Elvin and other, thank to everybody for their good mood. We certainly come back there to do Tiger Leaping gorge, walk in the old town and why not meet the famous Ho doctor, but it's another adventure...

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