Street shopping Old Town Lijiang, Yunnan

From Kunming, we took a flight to Lijiang, where we were greeted at the airport by a gregarious older man who drove us into town. The funny thing about taxi drivers is that they are the same candid selves mainly anywhere you travel. You will get the juiciest local gossip, and outspoken words on what they really think about their corrupt government. NYC or Lijiang, it’s all too common (with the exception of countries like Burma or Iran).

Once we checked in our hotel which was supposedly a 4star but more like 2star, we met our Nakhi tour guide. The hotel manager informed us that warm water would only be available from 6-9am and 7-11pm, so plan accordingly.

The hotel was conveniently located in the center of the town, and we walked over to Old Town
, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The government has made much of an effort to preserve this ‘old city‘. Lijiang has a history going back more than 800 years and was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road. The Lijiang old town is famous for its orderly system of waterways and bridges. We shopped through many streets which seemed to never end.

Yunnan’s most popular tea is Pu-er tsa. We stopped by a tea garden where pretty young girls of Nakhi ethnicity presented us with various types of tea & served us tastings. Shortly after, we would find ourselves in another shop making coffee. Those are the best moments in travel, when we’re invited in someone’s house, someone’s coffee shop, learning about their craft, the history of the crop, and how that cozy feeling in a faraway place is all so familiar.

The Nakhi ethnic group runs their family as a matriarchal structure, the women being the head of the household. In their culture, the women act in the main work force, while the men stay at home and refine their skills in Art & Philosophy. In this case, the women are regarded highly, well respected. How many of you men are wishing that was the case here? ha ha.

Here is my travel video on this day:

In this video is also our visit to the one of the main tourist attraction in Lijiang which is Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. It snows here all year long, with an altitude of 5600 meters. The higher, the tougher it is to breathe. We took a cable car to 4600 meters and I was struggling with my breathing, life depended on my oxygen tank.


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