We have less than one week left in China before we fly to Yangon, Myanmar on December 11th. We’re looking forward to seeing a new country and getting a new stamp in our passport, but it will be somewhat sad to leave the Middle Kingdom.
We know enough Mandarin to eek by, the people here are incredibly nice, and of course the food has been a real treat. Our time here has been wonderful, it really jumpstarted our 14-month adventure in a unique way. China was so completely different than any place we had been before.
The past week has been a real whirlwind; last Friday and Saturday we were hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge and this week we’re planning our next country. My thighs are still a little stiff from the ’28 switchbacks’ of Tiger Leaping Gorge but the views were breathtaking and totally worth the effort. I think those two days of dusty walking and scrambling up rocky trails were the highlight of my trip to China. These pictures don’t begin to do it justice.
After visiting Tiger Leaping Gorge and the nearby town of Lijiang, we headed to Dali. The town of Dali is an old stopover on the hippie trail, and has the laid-back attitude to prove it. It is situated on beautiful Lake Erhai, a glittering lake with fishermen roaming in long dugout canoes. On a recent minibus tour around Lake Erhai we saw fishermen hauling in their nets using a motor, women paving the roads, and marijuana being processed (apparently it is somewhat legal in this part of the country).
On our first day in Dali we headed to the nearby village of ShaPing to see a weekly market. It was a good mix of produce, random sundries, and local crafts. Zev even got his beard clipped for 5 Yuan (about 80 cents). The barber had set up a chair on the outskirts of the market and trimmed up Zev’s beard with a comb and a pair of electric clippers, which were attached to an extension cord plugged in at a construction site about 40 feet away. The barber cleaned up Zev’s neck with a frightening straight razor. The result was a ‘70s style porn star ‘stache. It should grow out nicely, just like Zev’s Chinese hair cut.
After Dali we moved on to Tengchong, our current locale, which is known for its’ hot springs and volcanoes. We soaked in the hot springs and walked up some uninspiring hills. The exercise certainly did us good.
We’re excited for a stopover in Kunming before we fly to Myanmar. As far as preparations for Myanmar are concerned, we are emailing hotels and plan to stock up on some basic supplies such as shampoo, sunscreen, etc. which may not be available due to long standing trade restrictions – which are actually in the process of being rolled back. WiFi could also be somewhat intermittent in Myanmar, so our blog updating may be sporadic.