A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: willh

Ewok Spotting in Yunnan

The Great Chinese Adventure Continues.....

semi-overcast 9 °C

G'day everyone!
We are well and truly into our trip now, and China continues to amaze, baffle, and impress. I am writing from the World Heritage listed old town of Lijiang in northern Yunnan province. We also visited Dali, another old walled town in Yunnan. UNESCO acreditted Lijiang with a World Heritage Listing in 1997, but unfortunately the Chinese version of preservation and good tourism involves turning a place into a theme park. A bit tough to feel like you're on an epic adventure when every shop in town sells either t-shirts, combs, fireworks, burnt cds or any of the other tacky cliche crap. Fortunately, if you can see past that stuff or find some hidden alleyways it can feel a bit more like the real thing. The towns themselves are at the base of some pretty speccy mountains, which always impress.

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Old laidies with their baskets in Lijiang

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A gate in Dali's Old Town. Awarded photo count: 1-1 Will v. Kempton.

We've also been spotting a few Ewoks here.

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Still on the lookout for a Thommo sized Ewok outfit.

The locals call this area of Yunnan the end of the Himalayas, and we have been doing alot of walking, climbing and riding up some shmassive mountains. We met a local guy, Richard (Dick), several days ago while eating breakfast who wanted to take us up the mountain to 5000m. Dick turned out to be full of crap, but we are pretty certain that we got beyond 4000m.

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This is Richard pointing to Snow Mountain, which initially he had told us we were climbing. At this stage, apparently we were at the same altitude as Everest base camp. Perhaps not, Dick?

We took a shabby little van to a village half way up the mountain, then got on pack horses to about 3200m, and then walked for a bloody long way into and above the snowline for some pretty impressive vistas.

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Kempo on his old grey mare.

Even more impressive was the Tiger Leaping Gorge. This was probably one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. It is the third deepest gorge in the world, and rises 3900m from the frothy Yangzi river below to the 5000- 5900m monster mountains above. The trek lasted two days, and we were hiking at between 2000m- 2700m about halfway up. At times we were perched on sheer cliff faces way way up. I haven't been able to come up with superlatives to explain the walk, and given Chinese computers, I'm not sure that I'll be able to get any photos to you guys either. Fingers crossed I find a good computer somewhere. Until then:

We have been celebrating Chinese New Year with the locals, and as of the 18th, it is now year of the pig. I'm not sure if this is how they do it every year, but they seem to be celebrating by enjoying eating heaps of them.

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Chinese kids/ babies win hands down as the cutest on Earth.

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For you Moof. This guy cooked us some great noodles. Showing Kempo how its done.

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Gotta love Chinese road signs.

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Kenny wouldn't know what to do with the poo bats you cop in China. We have seen the worst (seriously) toilets in the world here. But this one must be one of the best. Little tv screens, cigarette ash trays, but no toilet paper. Got the priorities sorted there...

We took in some local culture in the form of Classical Chinese music in Lijiang. Think of senile old men banging pots with cats screetching in the background, completely out of tune and you're close. They looked pretty cool though...

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Will try to get the gorge trek photos up asap. Until then hope you're all great.
Will and Matt

Posted by willh 20:57 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (7)

China II

Will and Kempo tackling everything china can throw at us

overcast 13 °C

Ni hao everyone! We are througholy enjoying all china has to offer, which is shiteloads.
So far we have eaten our way through pigeon, goose, eel, heart, lung (who knows from what animal), fish head, and... penis.

Yes, it's official. Kempo and Will have eaten penis. Ox penis.

We are currently in a fantastic place in the southwest called Yangshou. Lots of limestone peaks rising out of nowhere. Great markets, food, people etc. You all should visit, China really doesn't dissapoint. Language is a little bit of an issue at times but we have done pretty well by meeting people who speak english and with a bit of sign language we can and generally blunder through each day.

Some highlights:
- All you can eat yum cha. Last night we ate with some canadians for 33 yuan (5 bucks). All you can eat of so much crazy, great food, all you can drink, and soccer on tv. Gold.
- Meeting some local lads in Guilin and getting shown around all day. They came to the train station and helped us buy train tickets which saved a nightmare. The lads did a no show on us the next morning and then we spotted one with another westerner later. Obviously a tourist slut.
- Choosing what animal I wanted to eat at a restaurant. When I ordered fish they took me into a room to chose which one. This was basically a pet shop, with birds, snakes, rats, fish and dogs for eating!
- Hong Kong at night. Amazing views, great vibrant city. Worst hotel I've ever stayed in- including cambodia and india for kempo even.

Hope you are all happy and well. Will try to update again soon, enjoy the photos. Please send us a comment too!

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Hong Kong by night

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This guy was really cooking up a storm

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Chungking Mansions
Clearly not a mansion. More like worlds worst hotel.

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Mmm... Pigeon Head
This one is for you kinga. Doing our bit to bring down the pigeon population. Wasn't bad, but don't think I'll eat it again in a hurry.

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Oiyou Tea with the locals
This is us drinking the local tea in Guilin with our tourist slut "mates" Jiu and John.

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Bring it on....
Auditioning for the Kung Fu Hustle II

Posted by willh 04:17 Archived in China Tagged backpacking Comments (6)

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