Day 3 Lijiang

Trip Start Mar 23, 2012
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of China  , Yunnan,
Sunday, March 25, 2012

After getting off the sleeper train we caught a taxi in to town, very determined not to fall asleep. I saw the bed in our hostel however and I couldn't resist the big winter duvet so we ended up napping until lunchtime Our first port of call was a restaurant, we found a Tibetan place round the corner. We got yak meat dumplings and a bacon Baba bread (sort of like a naan bread) sandwich. Even though it was a little bit chilly it was still worth it to be sitting on such an atmospheric street with a little canal running down the side of the restaurant. The town was so incredibly beautiful, it was very reminiscent of Venice or Prague, the old town is so complete it feels brand new. This in part is due to the Chinese passing strict laws in the old town and large scale restoration. After lunch we headed to Black Dragon Pool the most famous sight in Lijiang and the most photographed in Yunnan. This is because as you enter you can see a lake with a beautiful pagoda with some huge snow peaked mountains in the background. The lake however was pretty much dry when we arrived (winter and spring are very dry in Yunnan) and the mountain seemed almost camouflaged against the blue sky. We could see it better than the photos suggest (if you lean your monitor/laptop backwards you can see it!). The park was more than a photo opportunity though, wandering around we got to see some elderly women practicing a martial art with some swords, lots of elderly men playing Mah Jong, a few pagodas and lots of blooming trees and flowers. In the afternoon we wandered around the old town some more, finding a vantage point to see the roof tops and to see our first cherry blossom (which made Edana very happy). When the temperature started to drop we huddled in a small restaurant and got some pork dumplings and some less authentic cuisine. That evening we got to experience the Chinese night out, we walked through a street selling chopsticks, yak meat, jade bracelets and even more yak meat. We walked down to the town square which has long given way to the tourists and me and Edana became tourist attractions ourselves with lots of Chinese very unnonchilantly taking our photos. We walked back to our room via all the bars which were crammed with Chinese. Each bar had its 'thing' weather it was strange stage shows, karaoke or skillful cocktail waiters. Lijiang might just be their Malaga or Mallorca. 
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