Towards Yunnan

We flew to Lijiang across over half of China. Looking through a somewhat clouded landscape at my Eastern Chinese airline window I could see that the flood plains were being left behind for hillier country. We were now entering Yunnan province, described by many as the most varied and the most enticing of all China.

Our destination was Lijiang, a town with a history going back over a thousand years and a former trade centre for both silk and tea. It’s often been described as the most beautiful place in China with its complex system of streets and waterways. Lijiang’s elegant architecture, its inimitable atmosphere, its melting pot of local ethnic groups has earnt it a UNESCO accolade on the world heritage list.

Lijiang is primarily the centre of Nakhi culture and preserves aspects of Chinese art which have vanished from so many other areas. Their wood-carving is second to none and I have never seen such elaborately finished windows. Nakhi people also preserve ancient Chinese music learnt from an influx of players from Nanjing, which I was very keen to hear. They also preserve a pictographic writing system somewhat similar to that of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Lijiang also has the reputed finest view in all China looking toward the famed Jade Dragon Mountain. It’s indeed a crossroad of different cultures and a transitional point towards Tibet.

We arrived in the evening and were only able to catch the town in the twilight. Enough was there to entice us to explore its wonders next morning. We could hardly sleep with anticipation.

As ever our hotel was atmospheric and our multi-plated supper superb.




4 thoughts on “Towards Yunnan

  1. Lijiang is World Heritage protected and is being well maintained for the World to visit and appreciate it is amazing so many boutique type shops so much to see and buy best value items and cool to barter. Our rep warned us that there are fakes and real items stones etc and the price does not necessarily reflect the genuine from the fake. The wood intricacies are astonishing such great craftsmanship so many different styles. We stayed at this amazing Hotel quite a maze to get in and out not many people maybe noticed but in the entrance area there was a lovely little turtle in a porcelain pot with water it is considered a good luck creature so sweet. Again I believe that a GPS would help to get around China’s towns as they have a truly intricate network of streets and alleys so best to keep on the main thrust of roads which are safe here except for the odd motorcycle which is electric and silent so take care.

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