June 13, 2009 at 7:52 pm Leave a comment


I arrived in Lijiang from Dali a few days ago planning to stay with a host from CS. Otherwise i would have gone to Shangra-La, the beginning of Tibet because that was the city i really wanted to visit. My first day in Lijiang was uneventful. I walked around the old city, lit up and noisy, amidst hundreds of Chinese tourists. I treated myself to dessert, an 18 Yuan cheesecake at the restaurant where my host worked.

Later at night, my host nonchalantly told me that he had guests coming and that i had to leave the next day. Of all the CS experiences i’ve had this was probably the worst, despite all the hosting experience and positive references he had. To agree to host me for several days and then tell me to leave was ugly and i think it’s because he hosts so often that he’s stopped caring for his cs-ers. Ironically, he had so many of the qualities i seek in people: well read, interested in simple living, even a vegetarian. And yet, he was cold and not a question or word came without my prodding.

In any case, it was a blow.

But it turned out well. I found a bed at the quaintest place… Mama Naxi guesthouse. Run by a middle aged Naxi woman who speaks of herself in third person and treats her guests with the familiar way of an aunt. The guesthouse is always full of travelers, mostly from Israel, western Europe and America and nights here are full of chatter and laughter.

Since Kunming i’ve spent about $50 on the train to Dali, food, guesthouses, bicycle, bus to Lijiang, and the gorge entrance fee. Lijiang is even less expensive than Thailand and yet nothing seems cheap enough. I hate counting every Yuan. On Monday i’ll be back in Kunming =)


Entry filed under: travel. Tags: , , .

Kunming to Dali Tiger Leaping Gorge and a poor attempt to express my views on interaction between travelers and locals.

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