Doors (with monk's veggies drying) at the Bamboo Temple outside Kunming.

Doors at the Bamboo Temple (with monk’s veggies drying) outside Kunming.

 

Serene Buddha.

Serene Buddha.

 

In Kunming, famous for an almost perpetual spring, the weather was warm and the willows were just turning green. In Kunming, famous for an almost perpetual spring, the weather was warm and the willows were just showing green.

In Kunming, famous for an almost perpetual spring, the weather was warm and the willows were just showing green.

 

 

View from

View from “Dragon Gate,” a series of grottoes, corridors and temples carved into the middle of this lakeside cliff, also outside Kunming.

 

A happy deity.

A happy deity.

 

Ancient depiction of

Ancient depiction of nearby “Cow Spring,” filled with once-bitter water which a Buddhist legend says was turned sweet by the tears of a calf for its mother. Seeing the tears, the expectant butcher found sympathy, decided not to kill the cow, and renounced his trade.

 

Friendly turtle and snake.

Friendly turtle and snake.

 

Next we visited the gorgeous ancient city of Lijiang, the almost perfectly preserved capital of China's Naxi people. The small, cobbled, canal-lined city dates back to a few hundred years B.C.

Next we visited the gorgeous ancient city of Lijiang, the almost perfectly preserved capital of China’s Naxi people. The small, cobbled, canal-lined city dates back to a few hundred years B.C.

 

Goldfish in buckets.

 

Lijiang is crisscrossed by clear gurgling canals, and here decorated for the upcoming Chinese New Year.

 

Rooftops.

 

Late-day streets with stalls.

 

A first glimpse at Yulong Snow-Covered Mountain from Lijiang's old town.

A first glimpse at Yulong Snow-Covered Mountain from Lijiang’s old town.

 

A postcard-perfect look at Yulong Mountain from temple-dotted Black Dragon Pool.

A postcard-perfect look at Yulong Mountain from temple-dotted Black Dragon Pool.

 

Lion statue. Tadpoles.

Natives of Black Dragon Pool.

 

Yulong Mountain from Black Dragon Pool.

 

More Yulong Mountain from Black Dragon Pool.

 

Baisha gate.

The next day we visited Baisha, a small Naxi town near Lijiang with an authentic feel.

 

There we got even more views of Yulong Mountain.

There we got even more views of Yulong Mountain.

 

This photo is courtesy of an old Naxi woman who has figured out how to make a living laughing at foreigners!

This photo is courtesy of an old Naxi woman who has figured out how to make a living laughing at foreigners!

 

A few hours away, the ancient town of Dali is also well-preserved, with some beautiful sights.

A few hours away, the ancient town of Dali is also well-preserved, with some beautiful sights.

 

Dali veggie market.

Dali veggie market (photo courtesy of Lacey).

 

Dali meat market.

Dali meat market (photo also courtesy of Lacey).

 

Dramatic weather and the west gate of Dali's city wall.

Dramatic weather and the west gate of Dali’s city wall.

 

We like pagodas.

We like pagodas.

 

 

One thought on “Opening Travels in China, Part I – Around Kunming, Lijiang and Dali

  • April 30, 2008 at 9:15 am
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    You are a much prettier Naxi bride than me.

    Reply

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