Lijiang, Yunnan


Yunnan (雲南, literally “cloud of the south”) is a Chinese province located South-East of the territory.

Lijiang is a city renowned for its beauty, listed in UNESCO world heritage. It is located 2,500m above sea level, and the air is pure.

The old town does not allow any other vehicle than electric scooters, making it very quiet and breathable specifically compared to the average city in south-east asia.

It has an authentic feeling to it, nothing is staged as can be in some of the army-run neighbouring countries – Thailand in particular, which makes one able to really dive in a different world.

The dominant ethnic group in the region is the Naxi , one of the multiple minorities of China ;  it is worth mentioning that Ethnic minorities in China are officially recognized and benefit of protection guaranteed by the constitution.

Old Streets of Lijiang – Lijiang has actually been largely damaged by a massive earthquake in 1996, but many things rebuilt in the same ancient style in the old town area.

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It feels like being in one of these Kung Fu movies, except it’s real! (Yes, that’s the extent of my culture).

In the background is the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, towering at 5,600m above sea level!

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Influence of Tibetan Buddhism: prayer flags in sanskritG86C3327

More Traditional Chinese TempleG86C3328

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The Black Dragon Pool – a sacred landmark of Lijiang

Unfortunately the pool is nearly empty now due to development around and unauthorized water catchments

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Overseeing the old town

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The Yak Meadow – 3,700m altitude, features a Tibetan Buddhist Temple

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And Yaks – it’s not Yak Meadow for nothing!G86C3379 G86C3387

Villages nearby Lijiang – very specific dry stone architecture, notice the sow and donkey – few engines around.G86C3434

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One of the specialties of the region is the Silk Embroidery.

The Red Army actually executed the master embroiders around 1972, as they were artists, and worked for the emperors before, they did not really fit with the ideas of revolution.

Now the government sponsors these schools in part to keep this part of culture alive.

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The Naxi scripture – one of the last hieroglyphic writing still in (little) useG86C3470

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Confucius – at last we meet!

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Lijiang also has a modern side – and quite nicely so!

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Tea is one of the famous products of Yunnan – a tea tasting session was a must! G86C3545

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