Friday, January 30, 2009

Yunnan - Day 2 : Lijiang (丽江) Part I

first stop was breakfast at a little shop (with no windows...) in the "new" city.
although very primitive the food was very good and very cheap; 6 yuan each!!
dumplings (handmade on the spot) and Yunnan rice noodles washed down with some hot soya milk.

feeling warm and energized we then made our way towards the "jade dragon snow mountain" (
玉龙雪山) a short drive from Lijiang city.
we hired a mini-van with driver for the day to take us around the various sights we had planned.
after confirming a price the day before of 150 yuan we were then told it would be double because of the chinese new year. apparently no driver wanted to drive on this day as it's a day traditionally to spend with family.
having travelled a bit now i know
nothing runs smoothly in China. knowing that if we were to argue and try to get the agreed price we would be left standing with nowhere to go. having limited time i would rather pay and see the sights than see nothing.

so off we went.

nothing is free in China either so the first pay-out was to get to the mountain itself (190 yuan!)
i'm no mountaineer so we took the cable car (170 yuan) (along with half of china!) to the glacier which is near the peak of the mountain at 4506m! talk about thin air!
it's the highest part of earth i've ever been to and i could feel the altitude sickness kicking in. luckily we had bought some portable oxygen tanks at the base of the mountain (don't know about the quality of the O2 though... the tanks looked very 2nd-hand).
but the headaches and dizziness were well worth it. the view from up here were amazing!

next stop was "maoniuping" (牝牛坪) or yak meadow.
there was another cable car going up to another peak, but guessing the view would be similar we opted to spend some time walking around the beautiful crystal clear waters of the terraced river running through the valley.
apparently wild yaks come down here from the mountain to feed and do whatever yaks do.
the only yaks here though were tamed ones by local tribesmen.

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