That's me
That’s me

This is a picture of me – just to prove I was actually there.

There, in this case, being the old town of Lijiang. In the background is the 18,000’+ Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which dominates many of the local views.

We stopped in the old town. It’s been here for 800 years but was largely rebuilt after a major earthquake in 1996. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist destination for Chinese visitors. The new city has been massively redeveloped in the last few years.

We spent three nights in a beautiful courtyarded inn. It was cold (the city’s at about 7,500′) but the air is clean and crisp.What you can’t see is the stinking cold I have (and still have). The beard is there because there wasn’t room in our luggage for my razor.

We didn’t get to see the Mu Palace, but it’s fun just to wander the cobbled streets and window shop in the endless touristy shops.

If you’re there and missing Western food (of course you won’t be) I’d recommend N’s Kitchen in a little square near the centre (No. 17, Jishan Alley). It’s on the first floor, so it’s easy to miss. It’s also a place where you can get advice on local cycling and walking and maybe employ a guide.

Here are a few pictures from our visit…

There weren’t many Westerners about. We stopped to watch some traditional Naxi dancing in Square Street and became something of an attraction ourselves. People wanted to be photographed with Pat because she was a foreigner. We should have charged 10 kuài.

Pat with new friends. Naxi dancing in the background
Pat with new friends. Naxi dancing in the background

We spent Christmas Day in Lijiang. Christmas dinner was a meal on the outdoor terrace of a restaurant. It was a pretty special Christmas.