Monday, April 25, 2011

Don't Dilly Dali on the Way

We head north in our jolly bus, along winding roads and watching kids' DVDs, to Shizhong Mountain, miles from anywhere. It has a small temple built precariously out of the cliff face. Then on to Shaxi which was an important staging point on the old tea route to Burma and Tibet. It's been beautifully preserved by a combination of a technical college in Zurich and the local council. It's also eerily quiet - totally unlike Dali Old Town. An oasis of calm - see right.

Continue northwards, eventually reaching Lijiang and the tiny village of Yuhu just the other side of it at around 9pm. We're booked into the small and rustic Nguluko guest house, run by a sweet old couple, who've stayed up to serve us some dinner. It's basic (just 4 rooms - we have the place to ourselves) but has a lovely away-from-it-all charm. The village is in the shadow of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and was where the expolorer, botanist and ethnographer Joseph Rock was based between 1922-49. More about him later.

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