Saturday, November 30, 2013

Baishuihe and Shuhe Village

After the Impression Lijiang we visited a couple of other areas nearby.

Here are links to previous Lijiang postings if you missed any:
Lijiang Ancient Town
Tiger Leaping Gorge
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Impression Lijiang Show

The water is amazingly clear as it comes off the mountain.

Maybe you get even better luck if you get your coin in the smaller bowl in the center.

This valley is calle Lanyuegu or Blue Moon Valley. The Baishui River runs through it. I'm pretty sure dipping your finger in the water brings good luck. The water looks very blue.

It was late in the season but this flower was very pretty.

No idea what these little berries are.

I forget the name of this area. Again water cascading down. In this case a Buddha figure is added.

Here is a closeup.

I'm not sure what to make of the snakes.

The yak is eyeballin' me. I had to look it up but apparently yaks are basically hairy cows.

Wikipedia Yaks --> Yak

Later in the afternoon we walked through the village of Shuhe.

There is a river running through the village and this is one of the little farmer's plots in the village.

Yep, they are standing in the water. I can't imagine how cold it is.

You can read the story of the 3 wells and water conservation if you click on the picture. The first pool is used for drinking water, the second for washing food and the 3rd for washing dishes, I think.

All sorts of street snacks.

This woman is selling fruit outside the fancy purse store. I kind of like the juxtaposition but I should have captured it better.

Check out the sunflowers.

There are a lot of large dogs in Lijiang. In Beijing we are used to seeing only small dogs.

This guy was just chatting with his friend and watching the tourists go by.

This is the typical construction method in Lijiang. The bricks are made of dirt, stones, straw and manure. I don't think they are fired - just dried.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Impression Lijiang

Men standing on horses at Impression Lijiang show

After our trip up onto Jade Dragon Snow Mountain we attended the Impression Lijiang show.
Male dancers at Impression Lijiang show

The theater is outside. The mountain forms a backdrop to the stage.

The show is produced by Zhang Yimou. This is the same guy who produced the opening ceremony for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Women carrying baskets on their backs at the Impression Lijiang show

The actors are local people - not professional actors.

It is an extravaganza of song and dance that depicts the lifestyle of the ethnic groups in the area.
Drums at the Impression Lijiang show

It is a pretty impressive sight.

The show has a cast of about 500 people and 100 horses.

The set is pretty spectacular.

We had a pretty good day. It wouldn't be quite so much fun in the rain or summer time temps.

There are 300 actors in this scene.

Here is a crowd shot to get an idea how large the theater is. I understand they run 6 shows a day in peak season to give you an idea how many people visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Tom and Margot Savage on the balcony of the Crowne Plaza in Lijiang, Yunnan, China

The next morning we got up early for a full day of sightseeing. In fact the sun was just touching the top of the mountain when we finished breakfast.

We passed this little farmer's market on the street corner as we headed out of town.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or  玉龙雪山 orYùlóngxuě Shān

The scenery on the way to the mountain was spectacular. This area is part of a protected scenic area so they control development very tightly.

We were reminded of the interior of the south island in New Zealand - big mountains but a little dry.

This is the jumping off point for the cable car ride to the top of the mountain. It is a multi-step process - you get off your tour bus and take a special bus to the cable car station. I think they do that to keep control of the buses on the narrow, steep roads to the station. Some of the tour buses may have trouble negotiating the turns or the steep sections.
Cable car up to Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

This is a shot out the window of the cable car. It is a pretty long ride. The elevation change on the cable car is about 3800 feet.

Click to enlarge.
Elevation marker 4506 on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain 玉龙雪山 orYùlóngxuě Shān

Margot is posing at the cable car station at the top.

Note that this is meters NOT feet. That converts to over 14,800 feet. That's higher than any mountain in the lower 48. The top of the mountain is 18,360 feet.

Click to see what Margot is holding in her hand.
Walkway on Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or  玉龙雪山 orYùlóngxuě Shān

It is a little bottle of compressed oxygen. You can take a little huff whenever you feel light-headed. For me that was the second I stood up to get off the cable car.

We chose not to climb up another couple of hundred meters of stairs.

View from Jade Dragon Snow Mountain or 玉龙雪山 orYùlóngxuě Shān

This is view of the surrounding countryside from the top of the mountain.

This is a picture of one of the glaciers near the top. No need to click - it isn't that interesting. I include it just for completeness.

I took this from the cable car on the way down. I thought the light was nice.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as seen from the Crowne Plaza hotel in Lijiang

We were greeted the next morning by this scene from the hotel lobby. As you can imagine the mountain dominates the landscape.

The next day we took a trip to see "Tiger Leaping Gorge". This involves a trip through the countryside and over a mountain.

As I have mentioned before, farm fields are small by American standards. There is also still a huge amount of manual labor involved. On the other hand, every stalk or piece of straw is gathered for animal feed or fuel. That said, they are obviously burning something in the field.

Here a herd of goats cleans up a field.

Much of the drive is along the Jinsha River (Golden Sand River) with beautiful views of the snow capped mountains. The air was amazingly clean and fresh, too.
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain as seen from Shangri-la County

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountain has only been climbed once (by an American team) according to Wikipedia. Our tour guide said it had never been climbed because of the nature of the rock.

This little girl was selling fruit on the side of the street.

Click on the picture to see what she is studying.

Here is the beginning of Tiger Leaping Gorge. The Jinsha River is part of the Yangtze River system which is the 4th longest in the world.

Tiger Leaping Gorge

A legend holds that a tiger once jumped from one side to the other using the stone in the middle as a stepping stone. The local tourist bureau put up a statue of a tiger for reference. Click to enlarge.
View of Tiger Leaping Gorge

The gorge is not considered navigable and a number of people have died trying.

That is Shangri-la on the other side of the river.

Here is Margot about 16 hour after arriving in Beijing from the U.S.

I think this means move quickly so a rock doesn't fall on you.

This is supposed to look like the teeth in a tiger's mouth.

Can you guess what these are? Click to enlarge and put your guess in the comments.

Here is a short video.