Thursday 27 December 2012

Discovering the Hidden Secrets of Yunnan Province

Yunnan is a province located in the South West of China and its capital is Kunming. My trip to this province started with a flight from Sanya, Hainan to Kunming late at night. We stayed a night in Kunming and the next day got a 4 hours long car drive to Dali.

In Dali, we visited the Erhai lake where we rowed a boat around the lake and saw the amazing scenic landscapes of Dali. Then, it was time to head towards the area where the most famous monument in Dali is located: The Three Pagodas. The monument, which was created based on ancient Buddhist architectures, has been selected as a national treasure meriting preservation in China, which makes it a must-see place in Yunnan.

The Three Pagodas in Dali, Yunnan.

The next day it was time to head to Lijiang, where we discovered places that were named as a UNESCO Heritage Site. This includes the Old Town of Lijiang, which as a history of over 800 years and it is a town that really differs from other ancient towns in China. In order to enjoy the most of this town, patience was required as it was an old town with hidden places to discover at different sites. Therefore, the first thing we observed was that there were many ethnic minority groups and each of them had their own rituals. We attended to their performances and for dinner tried a variety of different dishes typical of the ancient town.

The Old Town of Lijiang is well-known for their orderly system of waterways and bridges. We saw this representative structure at the entrance of the Old Town.

Once in Lijiang, there were many places of tourist interest that we visited. For instance, we spent one day at the Jade Dragon Mountain, which was really an achievement to go 4680 metres above ground level. We got a cable that took us up the mountain and we walked up for another 200 metres where the views where incredible. It was amazing the amount of people that queued up to visit this astonishing mountain.

Another of the hidden secrets in Lijiang is the Lugu Lake, which is 6 hours away in bus from the city centre. We had to wake up very early to be able to arrive to the lake before noon and contemplate the spectacular scenery of this amazing lake.

Furthermore, we also spent one day at Shangri-La, where we had the opportunity to visit the Songzanlin Monastery, which is a copy of the same huge temple in Tibet.

In Shangri-La, we also had a great chance to visit the Pudacuo Park, which is really a gift for people's eyes due to the stunning scenery.

Last but not least, in our last day we came back to Kunming and visited the Stone Forest, which was really another box of surprise for our eye-sight. What a way of finishing a treacherous journey!


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