Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Yunnan, China

Nov 17, 2017 - Thailand in a Squishy Banana

Jinghong is the largest city in the Xishuangbanna (Squishy banana) prefecture in the extreme south of Yunnan, China. It straddles the Mekong, which the Chinese call the "Lancang River". We chose it as a destination while we were literally chilling in Shangri-La, and were keen to find hot, humid weather “somewhere in China”. As with most of Yunnan province, about half the people are tribal, meaning not of Han-Chinese descent. Thus, Xishuanbana is noted for its distinct culture and gets visitors from other parts of the country because it is...

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Nov 15, 2017 - Gorgeous Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge, about 60km north of Lijiang City, is located where the Jinsha River passes between the 5,596m Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the 5,396m Haba Snow Mountain. At a maximum depth of approximately 3,790 meters (12,434 feet) from river to mountain peak, Tiger Leaping Gorge is said to be one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. Legend says that in order to escape from a hunter, a tiger jumped across the river at the narrowest point (25m wide), hence the name. While many bus tours take people out to...

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Nov 10, 2017 - Tibetan Prayer Flags

Lung ta (horizontal) prayer flags are of square or rectangular shape, are commonly hung on a diagonal line from high to low between two objects (e.g., a rock and the top of a pole) in high places such as the tops of temples, monasteries, stupas, and mountain passes. Blue symbolizes the sky and space, white symbolizes the air and wind, red symbolizes fire, green symbolizes water, and yellow symbolizes earth - health and harmony are produced through the balance of the five elements. I learned that the Tibetans believe the prayers and mantras...

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Nov 9, 2017 - A Taste of Tibet in Shangrila

Shangri-La was formerly called Zhongdian County (中甸县; Zhōngdiàn Xiàn) but was renamed on 17 December 2001 and upgraded into a county-level city on 16 December 2014 as Shangri-La (other spellings: Semkyi'nyida, Xianggelila, or Xamgyi'nyilha) after the fictional land of Shangri-La in the 1933 James Hilton novel Lost Horizon, in an effort to promote tourism in the area.

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Nov 17, 2016 - The end of China (at least for me)...

It’s Friday evening at the end of my first full day in Myanmar – it’s been a brilliant first day but I’ll come to that in the next entry - firstly to finish off writing about my time in China! Catching up from when I last wrote – I was still in Shaxi, Yannon in China, writing from the little hostel looking over the rooftops of the ancient town. The rest of that day ended up being very chilled – I had thought about heading to the hanging monastery I had read about but after speaking to a couple of people in the hostel that it wasn’t really...

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Nov 14, 2016 - Off the beaten path in China....

I’m currently sitting in ‘my office’, on a roof top terrace of my hostel in Shaxi, Yunnan. This is one of the first times I’ve actually sat down and written my journal anywhere other than a train, but given I only have one train journey left in China, it’s not until tomorrow night, I don’t board until 11.45pm (assuming I manage to get a ticket) and I’m a little behind on my journal already, I thought I’d bring myself up to date. Last time I wrote we were heading to Kunming which continued without incident – other than the man shaving in...

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Aug 5, 2016 - Old Lijiang

Voici le lien à l'album en ligne / Here is the link to the online album: https://goo.gl/photos/DWi2EPoidnQYuDRR8 Après un court trajet de quelques heures en train, nous voilà dans l'effervescence de la vieille ville de Lijiang et ces milliers et milliers de touristes chinois. Notre auberge se trouve parfaitement située dans la zone piétonnière donc proche de tout et sûrement plus charmant qu'un hôtel d'une chaîne connue. NOT!!! Ce jolie édifice ancestrale semble tout droit sortie d'un film d'horreur avec ces immenses tâches De Je Ne Sais...

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Sep 3, 2015 - The stunning beauty of Lijiang, Shangri-la, and Tiger Leaping Gorge

I have to credit my friend and coworker, Melanee Lucas, for sharing her gorgeous photos of her independent visit to Lijiang and thus piquing my interest to go there. The town itself is sometimes referred to as the "Venice of the East" and it certainly did not disappoint. The old part of the town is a UNESCO World Heritage site and chock-full of tiny cobblestone alleys, intricately carved wooden houses, flower-lined wells and waterways that used to provide drinking water, and cute, colorful shops, restaurants and street stalls. We stayed in...

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May 9, 2015 - May 5 - Tacheng Nature Reserve

Tuesday May 5th In the morning we went to the Tacheng Nature Reserve to look for one of the rarest primates on earth, the Golden monkey, also known as the snub-nosed monkey. We were very lucky and managed to get some great photos of the feeding. In the afternoon we again spent time driving along the most spectacular highways and crossed the Baimang Pass, over 14,000 feet on our way to Deqen where are to stay for two nights.

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May 7, 2015 - Rock and Roll!

In the morning we visited an Buddhist nunnery up in the hills. One of the nun's saw Gill's walking stick and asked to try it. They had none so Gill gave it to her. Then a long drive back to Shangri La. In the evening we attended a Tibetan song and dance performance. Great fun and for a better description one could call it a “Tibetan Folk/Rock Concert”!!

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May 2, 2015 - Shaxi

May 2nd Today we continued exploring Dali. First stop Xizhou where looked at Bai architecture, characterized by open courtyards, surrounded by rooms and walls reflecting the light into each other.Then a visit to a “tye dye” factory. In the afternoon we arrived at Shaxi, a small, but very pretty, village that played a major part in the ancient Tea Horse route to Tibet. As far as I understood the village had remained extremely isolated until 1990’s when some western travelers wandering off the main route “discovered” it. It had been...

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Apr 30, 2015 - Dali, Lake Erhai and Three Pagodas

Start the day with a 360km drive on a new highway for Dali, north west of Kunming. There are still remnants of the old city wall that once protected it. The main inhabitants are the Bai people who have lived in the area for over 3000 years. There city is set against the Cangshang Mountains (13,000 ft) and is on the shores of Lake Erhai (6,000 ft) We visited the 9th century Three Pagodas and also wandered around the town.

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