Trip Start Mar 11, 2010
35Trip End May 01, 2010
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Where I stayed
Civil Air Blue Sky Hotel
I bought a new jacket this arvo from my new best mate here in Lijiang. He wanted 480y for it but let me have it for 200Y and he assures my it is real North Face so I will be warm and dry when Im up in the mountains.
Ill update this ASAP just wanted you to know where and when I will be
I got my LOI for Uzbek today and they just printed it for me here so it looks like all go.
Lijiang airport is about 30km from town but luckily for me there is a shuttle bus which I got. When I arrived in town it was about 11.30pm and the hotel next to the bus station looked OK. They wouldnt deal on the price cos they dont speak a word of english. I cant get any deals here cos no one speaks english. Im sure I could do better than $14/night if I could only use my charm? Most people come to Lijiang for the view of a fairly famous park and the old town. The obligatory photo and the "money" shot is .....Black Dragon pool park, 5 arch bridge, Moon Dreaming Pagoda and Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the background. Im not gonna say that again you can work it out when you see the pics.
The woman at the hostel was trying to sell me a map and pointing to a place up the hill she seemed to be saying was worth a look. Stupidly I went to look. 5 hours walk to see a new hotel complex being built, what a waste. I finally found the park and snuck in while the check out chick was distracted with a big bunch of Chinese tourists. The chinese holiday at home. Lijiang is a tourist town. There are no money changers, no internet and no one speaks english, they dont need to cos Im the only white boy in town. The park was spectacular and I walked down to the old town and snuck in the back way so didnt pay the entry again
Ive been up to Shangri-la and Im back again. Im staying at the same place again cos it is right next to the bus station for the bus to the airport. i tried to do a deal but they dont speak english but after a little haggling I got them down to about $12. I have 2 missions while Im here..get a watch and the money shot. I walked around for a while and managed to get a watch so I wont miss my flight tomorrow. The quickest way for me to get to Black Dragon pool park was to follow up the river from old town.
In the old days (a few hundred years ago) Lijiang used to be one of the few cities in the world with running water. The river was directed into channels and flowed down through the town. The old town and a couple of these channels have been renovated and form the tourist attractions. For me it is a bit yuppie, with high end cafe and souvineer shops.
Anyway I was going imto the park and some old woman was yelling "ticket, ticket" and flashing a wad of tickets at me. I hadnt realised there was a gate there so I declined and walked around to the top gate and waltzed in on the back of another tour group. The only good thing about the tour groups is you dont have to wait long for the next one.
I got my "money" shot and waited for a few more in different light and for it to get dark so I could get some with the lights on. While I was sitting waiting for it to get dark heaps of tour groups came through and all stopped to get photo's. One group stopped and they were Japanese and they had a few slutty looking young girls with them. Next thing I know they were sitting next to me to have their picture taken. I dunno why? Maybe they thought I was Budda nah it was probably my rugged good looks, theyre only human. There was an old Japanese couple there doing the same thing as me, waiting for dark, and when it got a little dark and the lights came on we took our pics and left cos it was freezing cold.
The weather has been brilliant while I have been here. The nights are cold, low single figures, but the days are great. mostly T shirt weather. They had a clod snap in Beijing and the north yesterday so I hopr they get a heat wave in the next week. Urumqi, where Im going next week, yesterday was min -8 max 2.