the National Week Crowds in Lijiang
: (4.9 stars)
Oct 03, 2003 01:25
beautiful and picturesque, many places to visit
packed with locals (as it was Chinese National Day)
Chinese National Day is on October 1, and extends into a week of
holidays and travelling for Chinese people. Lijiang in particular
appeared to be a very popular destination for local tourists as
it was packed with thousands of them crammed into the cafes, shops
and narrow cobblestone streets. Unfortunately this turned out to
be the time we were in Lijiang, and although it may have altered
our impression of the town a little (like when the hotel prices
more than doubled!) we still thought it was beautiful and picturesque.
There are countless alleys and winding streets to explore in Lijiang,
with red lanterns adorning the shops, huge water wheels at the entrance
of the old town and a great lookout with sweeping views of the old
style rooftops. There were lots of Naxi people strolling around
(the local minority people) in their blue clothing with yaks wool
strapped to their backs to pad them from the baskets they wear.
One day we went to see the Black Dragon Pool, a crystal clear lake
with huge fish visible, bridges, pagodas and views of the snowcapped
Jade Dragon mountain (well, it was hidden behind clouds but we imagined
what it looked like!). There was a natural spring in one part of
the lake, and lots of Chinese people looking into the water and
screaming at the top of their lungs!! We couldn't really work out
what they were doing but guessed it was some kind of good luck thing,
or maybe they were trying to raise the dragon from the pool?! It
was funny to come across anyway!
We spent alot of time exploring the streets (and unfortunately for
the boys, the shops!) and once again were the subject of a few snap
happy Chinese tourists' photos. After a few days we ended up catching
an overnight bus back to Kunming (so we can catch the train up to
Chengdu) which was an experience in itself. We caught a sleeper
bus - where the bus has three rows of bunk beds instead of seats.
They are tiny and crammed, but better than sitting up I guess, except
when we were on windy bumpy roads and we had to cling onto the bars
of the beds so we didn't roll out into the aisle! We now have an
18 hour train ride to look forward to...!