First holiday away with the gal!
02.10.2011 - 07.10.2011
We and the rest of China decided to head to Lijiang for the October National Day holidays. Its an overnight (or 8 hour) train ride away from Kunming which was pretty cool. We had a "soft sleeper" on the way there and a "hard sleeper" on the way back. The only difference really is the hard sleeper is 3 bunks high and a bit more squashed, the soft sleeper is 2 bunks high and has a little more room.
The attraction of Lijiang is it has a really nice old town area and is close to the mountains. The town is set in a big wide valley with a few 5500m peaks around it, which on a good day you can see. Its also the closest real town to the Tiger Leaping Gorge, the deepest canyon in the world. I will have to head up here again at some point to either run or hike it as we didn't get to it this time.
I booked our accommodation online in a place away from the tourist hordes (well, reasonably) in another old town area called Shuhe (pronounced Shoe-her) which is about 10km away from Lijiang. We spent most of our time there though and a couple of days walking around Lijiang old town. Its a pretty nice spot, even with all the tourists and has a lot of history with plaques showing things like "This is where Kublai Khan (Ghenghis Khans grandson and heir) and his men drank water from"!!!! Coming from NZ (where our visible history only stretches back to the white man due to the tribal and fluid nature of the early Maori) this is quite awesome!
The towns have really pretty canals running through them and old buildings abound. Its a great place to go and I would recommend it to anyone (though try and go outside of the Chinese holidays!).
I managed to go running one morning while I was there. I tell you, running from 2400m up to 2900m isn't to be taken lightly! I was a bit dizzy on the way up and had to stop running around the 2700m mark for fear of falling over! I guess the altitude takes some getting used to for that sort of activity...
Check out the pics anyway!