Asia travelogue: Lijiang china

Lijiang: a tourist shithole or a quaint Chinese throwback?

A guesthouse tout drives us to her place in the Old City area. $9/night. Free wireless. I am going to publish my own travelbook series entitled Travelling the World Wrapped in a Wifi Bubble. Just a list of names of places and the word ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Old City has cobblestone charm. Wooden houses. A water wheel. A water canal runs through the town. A cycle of tourist shops: tea, yak products, wood burned carvings, and repeat. The town is hugged in all sides by mountains, the most picturesque of which is Yulong mountain (jade dragon mtn) which I quickly develop an unhealthy attachment to.

Horse riding in the Lasha Lake region. When we return, we find our driver playing mahjong with the ranchers.

Yak meat is a specialty here altho I haven’t actually seen any yaks walking around. We also try the dongba/ naxi- style roast pork, which, it turns out, is just bacon.

I try every local beer I can. My favorite is a sweet pilsner called Wind, Flower, Snow & Moon. While not the most macchisimo name for a beer, it is an allusion to a Chinese proverb about friends that stick together through everything: every wind gust, every flower bloom, every snowfall, every moon cycle. That’s as good a name as it comes for the liquid fuel for camaraderie. [Update: this is wrong. See comments]

Yulong mountain is climbable… by cable cars. How else would the tour groups reach 4600m elevation? Highest cable car is closed this morning due to high winds. Plan B at 3200m is still picturesque. Yak jerky for the road home.

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