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In fact, when we left the airport it could have been Queenstown, it was only missing the gondola and lake.
It's very temperate here but sunny, lovely weather to just stroll around the streets taking in the sights, sounds and smells (although Hana does have a sunburnt neck).
The town is split into two parts the old and the new. We've stayed in the old town which is amazing. Lots of narrow cobbled streets with traditional old buildings. It's a UNESCO world heritage site and the traditional home of the Naxi
Our hostel is built in a traditional styled courtyard and has lovely views over town to the mountains and a balcony for Chris to sit in the sun and have his coffee in the mornings.
We've done none of the standard tourist stuff i.e. Tiger Leaping Gorge. We've been trying to avoid the Chinese tourist as much as possible who travel in large packs conducted by megaphones.
We've hardly seen any other European tourists.
We went up the hill that divides the old and new towns which had lovely views over the old town and up to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. The Chinese tourist seemed loathed to pay to walk up a hill so it was quiet peaceful at the top.
We have had some lovely food, including Yak skewers which were quiet nice but very fatty and spicy potato fried rice which was a combination of rice and grated potatoes!
We also saw a Chinese movie being made which appeared to be set in the past but one of the soldiers had a camcorder around his neck?!?
No one appears to speak english here which can make things challenging but also refreshing. We managed to find the booking office for the train and booked a ticket to Dali for Monday so we are feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. Unfortunately we opted for the morning train without knowing it was at 8.30 in the morning, so we have an early start tomorrow.
Lijiang is an amazing old town filled with history and culture and a enjoyable way to ease into the Chinese leg of our adventure. Bring on Dali!