The guided tour with the best hotels began. We arrived at the airport, and we had a shuttle service to our hotel, where we spend the whole day. It was refreshing as the last days in Hunan was not comfortable, and after arriving in the hotel, everything was just clean and beautiful. We even could wash our clothes there.
So in which place did we end? We were in Kunming, which is the capital of the Yunnan province and located in the southwest of China. In contrast to the other locations, I didn’t do any research. So I barely knew anything about this place and province. Thus, I also couldn’t be disappointed. But I have the feeling we haven’t covered some crucial spots which I really would like have to see. Anyway, let’s take a more in-depth look!
Our trip started with a road full of seagulls. Impressive. You might think the seagulls are not scared, but they are. If you go to close, they fly away.
With a bus, we went to the Longmen gate and then took a cable car (wow, we took a lot of cable cars). Compared to other mountains, we now see mountains and temples! Great upgrade! Our whole group rushed literally throw the mountains, and after some minutes, we finished it.
The highlight of this mountain was the street foot before entering the bus to the peak. This street food is much more diverse than others, and I tried many dishes and loved all of them.
Yiren Ancient Town
Oh, come on, again? Yes, and it’s not the last. The special this time was the bonfire, and that you could see a show while eating. The fire, however, was nice and had a charming atmosphere. There was also no history/museum part included, and even the story with the silver shops did not occur.
Stops to Dali
On our trip to Dali, we stopped and took a jeep tour. Basically, one drove us near to the Erhai lake, we took pictures, and then we changed the location, doing it three times. On this day, it was cold, and the sight was not beautiful, so I was not motivated to take a lot of pictures.
The next stop was the Xizhou ancient town. We spend one to two hours in this temple, or whatever it is, where our guide talked about the history. Under all, she talked about the architecture, preventing ghosts from coming in, and stuff like that.
Oh, did you know it’s common that nearly EVERY sign has a mistake, funny translation, or has twist ups with letters when it’s translated into English? Here is a funny example.
Our dinner was doing a barbecue on our own.
Dali Ancient Village
Finally, we arrived in Dali in the evening. In the morning, we had breakfast like every day. I enjoyed every breakfast in those nice hotels we stayed in.
After breakfast, we went to the old town of Dali, and without lying, this town is incredibly beautiful!
That’s everything we did in Dali. Now, let’s get some impressions about the next city Lijiang.
Dongba Mijiu Town
Our group split into two groups. One group went to the snowy mountains, and one group, including us, went to the Dongba Mijiu town. They said it’s not worth to go to the snowy mountains if you already have seen snow before. So, instead, we enjoyed the town, which seemed new. And indeed, it was just built 11 years ago. To go around, we paid much money for the car again (we had to, even though it would be easy to just go by feet), and additionally, we also bought tickets for the glass bridge, which is 96 meters height and not spectacular.
However, we moved down the scenery, and it was impressive and authentic. You saw people making music, and it was a gift to see how happy they are. Overall, you crossed three spots where people suddenly came out. They laughed and played for us. To this time, we were four people only. The two younger ones didn’t want to go down, and the old couple was too exhausted. So, it was just nature down there, two others, and the tour guide. And the most important, no silver shops anywhere!
By the way, we asked the tour guide (a different one) what it’s about the story behind silver. He told us that Chinese adapted it by Europeans because European like silver first. Somehow, it find its way to China. So basically, it was not a Chinese tradition, but became one. Plus, the tour guide believe it kills bacteria as well. Because of these reasons, many villages use this story to earn money, even though it’s not their original background.
The old town of Lijiang
I don’t have much to say here.
Shuhe Ancient Town
We started our day (it was the 6th January btw) with another ancient town. It is the Shuhe ancient town, and well, it was more like a ghost town. Why do we go there if nearly no shop is open?
Except for this fact, you could pay attention to the buildings and nature. I could notice that the water is really clean. Probably, this water comes directly from the mountains.
Then the last activity of the guided tour took place. We visited the Lashilai lake, but actually, we should choose what we will do. So there were four different packages, and, like many others, we didn’t choose any of them. All packages were expensive and not worth it. For example, the cheapest package includes a car to see something. To ride a horse costs more than 50 Euros, and so on.
Instead, we spend our time with some locals. We played Chinese poker and danced with the minorities because we had to wait for 2 hours till the others, who took one of the packages, came back.
The guided tour ended after having lunch. But I have to tell you another story about Chinese habits here. So Chinese love to shop. For example, the tour guide gives probes, you can try it, and then you can buy it. This is a popular way to sell things here. You get food probes from random people, and then you can buy a bundle of it. Mostly it’s about dried meat, but the same thing also works for fruit or nuts. Surprisingly, there is always someone who bought the purest crap (at least in my eyes) when something is offered. The most exaggerated things, however, occurred when having lunch. And whenever we had lunch, it was like that. So, many people come around and offer us, while eating, different kind of foods. The offerings can be related to our meal, for example, tea, or small snacks. They are pushy, but still, they succeed! As German, it is just annoying for me. I want to eat quickly and in peace.
The next days
In the next few days, we stayed on our own in Lijiang. We had to plan the next steps, and additionally, we calmed down a bit. We got used to using a bicycle and explored the city more detailed. Under all, we discovered a park called Heilongtan Park. Beautiful.
Based on the next images you can get an idea of what else we did.
Then I want to share a typical scene here. You see an old woman with her “car”. She is carrying her things, and you can see her “Alipay” or “WeChat” sign. That’s how you pay her!
Yeah, with the bus, we went to the airport, and it was time to say goodbye. I stayed two more nights in a hotel nearby once my flight was going back to Beijing (for one day).
Overall, I’m happy about the guided trip. Even though some important parts were not covered (like Shangri-La), we had a lot of fun, and I will definitely look back to this great time here!