Well we decided at the last moment to skip Dali and go straight to Lijang. What a great choice that was! This is the most magical place we have seen yet! Our hotel is situated just outside of town and it is truly amazing! The old town of Lijang is around 800 years old, the streets are cobblestoned and lined with small canals clean enough to drink.There is no polution here, the air is clear as can be. This is the region of the Naxi minority group and they are so totally diferrent from what we have experienced so far. Their costumes are colorful and worn with pride, they are so friendly. We are now in the Yunnan province and it is considered one of the most beautiful. Mostly consisting of farmers and villages surrounded by agriculture, the pace here is much less hurried than anywhere else in China.
Lijang is at the foot of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain which we actually went up today! Well you won't believe it, we took a cable car up to the peak, around 15,000 feet! It was something else, you will see in the pics, they gave us all warm red jackets to wear and oxygyn! We needed it, I tell you we could hardly breathe and struggled climbing stairs up there. But it was like taking an escalator up to the top of the Materhorn!
The old town is all red lanters everywhere with little shops selling everything everywhere, like a fairy tale. We shopped in a daze surrounded by all this antiquity. We are doing well and we hardly bump into any Americans but quite a lot of Europeans. The food situation is improving and we are now discovering some wonderful places to eat that serve Western cuisine as well.
More later, we miss you all and thanks again for all your fun messages we love them!
Steve and Inge