Friday, September 24, 2010

Memory of Lijiang

I didn't write many posts about my trip in Yunnan, because I wasn't organized enough to that. Well, I'm still not. But last night I caught up with the interesting guy I met in Lijiang, and recalled the days there. During my trip to Yunnan, I visited Lijiang for twice. I didn't explore that much for the first time because I had to prepare for Shangri-La. But fortunately, I got a second chance and made full use of it.

For visiting Luguhu Lake, I decided to join in one of those two-days travelling groups when I was Kunming. But just before our departure to Luguhu Lake, the manager of the agency told me that there was a landslide on the way to Luguhu Lake, so he couldn't take the risk. Instead, he offered me free accommodation of three days in a hotel located in Lijiang Ancient Town. Well, I was really tired out after the long journey to Shangri-La and they offered a cool compensation, so that's why I got to stay in Lijiang for another three days.
When I dragged my suitcase to the entrance of the ancient town, a girl sent from the hotel came and showed me the way. She seemed young and dressed in special national costume. She told me she was from Naxi minority and worked at the hotel I'd live in. She was shy but spoke good Putonghua. She even insisted on carrying the suitcase for me.
The hotel is called 丽江水岸(Sunny Riverside). There I met that cool guy I mentioned, because he was the owner. He is called 雪狼(Snow Wolf). This hotel is well-decorated (and luxury). As you may know, hotels located in Lijiang ancient town are all special. But this one is still eye-catching - the house, including everything in it were made of solid wood. It's in line with local conditions there as Lijiang is rather dry. There's no way a wooden house like that can survive in Shenzhen.

Snow Wolf showed me the ancient town in his way and treated me to different restaurants and bars. As he said, he wanted to show me the real and best Lijiang so that I wouldn't feel sorry for missing out Luguhu Lake. I think the local government should honor him as a freedom of the city.

I didn't regard Snow Wolf "cool" merely because of his generousness, but of his personality and his way of living. He's my parents' age which you could barely tell. He once served in the special forces and was still of strong physique. Not like those new-riches in China, he's public-spirited. As one of the leaders of some NGO, he helped found a primary school for orphans. I got to meet other members and they all turned out to be hiking freaks.^^

The five pictures above are how the ancient town looks in early morning. Lijiang in daytime is just like any other busy commercial streets, filled with travellers. Night life there could also be nasty and hardcore but thanks to Snow Wolf, I went to some tasteful bars. There I met talented musicians, talked about music with then and even sang a little, without drinking any alcohol. I loved it! You don't have to know each other's name or phone numbers and you won't even meet again, but you're no strangers at the moment. I told to myself that "I'm so gonna come back again".

Snow Wolf sounds like a figure in those chivalrous stories. And more than one friend asked me why was Snow Wolf so nice? What did he want for return? It's a question I once asked myself, but got no answer. Guess there're more nice and cool people than we thought and that's what travelling for.

"Get out of here. This land is cursed. Living here day after day, you think it's the center of the world." - "Cinema Paradiso"


Anonymous said...


SHUO said...


Impacted Wisdom Truth said...

Just looked through these again. There are some really beautiful photos here, Shuo.

SHUO said...

Thanks, Gregg. Yes, Lijiang is a beautiful place. Hope it doesn't get too commercialized soon... You should really pay a visit to China.

Gabrielle Evelyn said...

WOW~I also hope to have trip to Lijang,but the cost at the summer holiday is really too expensive...

Hermes bags