Kunming to Lijiang

2-6 October 2009
Yangshuo – Guilin – Kunming – Lijiang

Nothing much to report for the rest of our Yangshuo experience. We
decided to use the last few days to just relax and take it easy before
the next segment of our trip. We really won't have much downtime until
we get to Beijing in two weeks. We continued to frequent 7th Heaven
Cafe for their free wifi and nightly movies, as well as their
excellent Yangshuo style fried rice and fried noodles.

We were driven via private car back to Guilin for our 5 pm overnight
train ride to Kunming in the Yunan Province. After reviewing our
itinerary earlier I realized we probably should have just flown from
Guilin direct to Lijiang. Oh well. We arrived in Kunming around noon
and took a taxi to Cuifu Park near Yunnan University. We ate a
restaurant near the park, which I could not figure out the name except
that he had many yellow umbrellas advertising a beer. I had the
Yangzhuo style fried rice and Scotty had the beef fried rice, which
was very spicy. We walked to the Muslim quarter to find one of the few
remaining mosques. Along the way we found a market beneath an
underpass of Renmin Zhong and a "flower and bird" market selling all
sorts of things. In addition to flowers, birds, fruits, trinkets, we
also found turtles, beetles, mealworms, squirrels, mice, and rabbits.
We never found the mosque but we weren't really looking that hard. I
did see turets from far away but lost track of it as we got eaten by
the tall buildings. We caught the taxi to the airport for our 6:30pm
flight to Lijiang. Kunming would probably be good for a day – maybe a
day and a half if you wanted to visit the stone forest outside of the

Arriving in Lijiang we were greeted with a cool evening, which was a
relief after the heat of Yangshuo. We were picked up and ferried to
The Tea Boutique Hotel. The Lijiang airport is definitely quite a ride
from the city. I was glad we weren't catching a taxi there because we
would've never figured out how to get to the hotel. We met the
proprietors, Kevin and Maggie, and then were shown our room. The hotel
is built in the Naxi style, the local ethnic minority, on Tiger Moon
Hill. The rooms feature large windows and a shared deck overlooking
the old city. It is an absolutely breathtaking location and we highly
recommend the place.

On the recommendation of Kevin, we headed to a tea house restaurant
for dinner. He warned us that it was a little expensive so we were
shocked that after a rather large dinner of beef and veggies,
tempura-like beef, soup, baba bread, and two sodas that our bill was
less than 100Y. The beef and veggies were heated on a fire dish. The
waitress brought out this dish with an unknown substance that caught
fire (we will probably get cancer in 10 years from this!). The beef
and veggies were heated on a wire mesh suspended over the fire. It was
a pretty cool presentation and it was tasty along with everything

The old city was packed, probably due to the national holiday, and you
could barely move down the main street. However everything was lit up
beautifully. This city is the most picturesque we have been to so far.

We rose early and had breakfast at the hotel – Scotty had the American
breakfast, bacon, ham, eggs, and toast, and I had the Chinese steamed
buns, boiled egg, marinated veggies, and rice porridge. After the
second trying of rice porridge, I can't seem to bring myself to like
it. It is old rice soaked in water. There was some kind of bean in it
this time but it did not improve the taste. I tried adding salt and
then adding the marinated veggies but nothing helped. Then we walked
down to the old city and got lost in the maze of cobblestone streets
and alleyways. The old city of Lijiang is spectacular and one of my
favorite places so far. It is also bolstered by the fact there are
tons of dogs running around as well, which Scotty enjoyed very much.
We had lunch at a restaurant on one of the waterways and then headed
back up to the hotel for a bit of a rest.

- Julia