Sarina’s Travel Journal in Nov 2011: Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, a holy mountain full of legends is a must-see in Lijiang. The blue sky, floating fog and the pure snow contribute a picturesque fairy land. Every sight brings you a surprise and every step takes you to a new scene.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Landscape at the foot of the mountain.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Another 10 minutes bus from the entrance to the cable car station.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

We were taking the car up to the mountain.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Like a jade dragon lying in the snow, to protect the local Naxi people.(Ancient local legend)

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

We met a couple taking their wedding photos on this holy mountain.Long time ago, Jade dragon Snow Mountain was said to be a place where young lovers sacrifice their life to approve their true love and escaped from the arranged marriage by their parents. Now this place is favored by lovers.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Like a holy place up to heaven, so amazing.

Holy Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Had fun on the mountain. We can play the snow activities.

Sarina’s Travel Journal in Yunnan: Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou

Bai Ethinic Minority group is an attraction in Dali, Yunnan. Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou is the most representative of Bai-style residence. The breathtaking architectural style will give you a strong impression.

Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou, Yunnan

The courtyard

Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou, Yunnan

I wore the dress of Bai ethic girls, standing in the second floor of the courtyard. The customs and culture there impressed me.

Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou, Yunnan

A phoenix is on the top of the architecture. This means women take a high position in the family of Bai ethnic minority.

Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou, Yunnan

“Sandaocha” is a traditional regional tea ceremony consisting of three unique tea flavors. First bitter, then sweetness, and finally a bitter sweetness (also a bit spicy). A bitter tea represents a hardship in life. A sweet tea stands for happiness while the mixed flavor is for pondering life.

Yan Family Courtyard in Xizhou, Yunnan

This show comes up when the host presented us the third tea, the bitter sweetness tea. Life is full of bitterness, but sweetness. This show is called Qiaxinniang( it means pinching the bride).

Sarina’s Hiking along Tiger Leaping Gorge in Winter Yunnan

Tiger Leaping Gorge, one of the deepest canons in the world, is tucked between Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and the Haba Snow Mountain. It is near the beginning of the Yangtze River (world’s third longest river). The spectacular scenery makes it be a really wonderful place for hiking enthusiasts.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, Lijiang, Yunnan

Tiger Leaping Gorge is divided into three parts, the upper, middle and the lower. As time is limited, so we took the hiking on the middle part only (1 day tour). The middle part is the most beautiful part of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Our itinerary is Tina’s House – Zhang Teacher’s House – Sky Ladder – Bridge – Tina’s House.

Tiger Leaping Gorge,Lijiang, Yunnan

There are places where you have to walk carefully next to a cliff, and the path gets very narrow in some places. For safety, it is best to go with a group.

Tiger Leaping Gorge,Lijiang,Yunnan

The Sky Ladder, maybe not suitable for everyone. Below it follows the cliff, then the Tiger Leaping Gorge. When climb it, maybe you should not look back.

Tiger Leaping Gorge,Lijiang,Yunnan

Travel Tips:
1. Hiking in this area requires strong physical strength as the trail is narrow and steep in many places.
2. Don’t take too many things with you. Just as simple as possible.
3. Sun glasses and sun block lotion are necessary. The Sunshine is really strong from April to November.
4. Chocolate and water are good things for you. They will fresh you up a lot after a long time hiking.

Safety Warning:
1. Though the trail is well used, it is safer not to hike it alone. It might be best to travel with a partner or in a group.
2. The hiking trail is a little bit slippery in many places, please take care.
3. Hospitals and clinics are not available in the mountain area. Also, in the area there may not have someone who speaks English. It is easy to get lost if you are alone.
4. The Sky Ladder is not suitable for someone whose psychological bearing capacity is poor. It is a little bit dangerous.

Silvia’s Travel Journal: Enjoy Warm Wintertime in Yunnan

Two colleagues at Easy Tour China– Silvia and Sarina, have made their journey to beautiful Yunnan from Nov. 3- Nov. 11.

Nov 3. Overnight on train

It’s not easy to take overnight train for those people who can not fall in sleep well. You will hear different noises from here or there such as snore, whisper, walking, whistle of train…Unfortunately, I’m one of them. I felt bad after the long night, need a better sleep in hotel the next day.

Lijiang Ancient Town, Lijiang, Yunnan

Warm Wintertime in Lijiang

Nov 9. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

We expected Jade Dragon Snow Mountain to be the highlight of our trip. Actually, it is. I never forget how exciting we were when we walked out from the cable car. I thought we enter in a Fairy Tale World…We walk to the top as slowly as we can; it’s not funny if we get altitude sickness here as we do not buy any bottle oxygen.Sometimes I ask others who are breathing heavily from the bottle oxygen: Does it smell good? They always answer me: well, not bad. A child who just finishes one bottle asks his parents for one more: again, again. Ah~I guess it’s easy to get an addict. Thanks, for the scenery that I never saw.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, Lijiang, Yunnan

Breathtaking View of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain

Nov 10. The last day in Lijiang.

Last night, Sarina and I made different decisions on how to spend the last day in Lijiang. She decided to join in a group to Tiger Leaping Gorge and I will just stay in the ancient town for a leisure day. It might be a pity to miss amazing view of Tiger Leaping Gorge, but to me, leisure and relax are the main keys of holiday, especially in Lijiang. How could I leave if I don’t spend at least half day to be absent of my mind, or just read a book in a nice atmosphere coffee shop? Today, I did everything slowly, had breakfast, walked inside the town, bought some souvenir. At last, I chose a small coffee shop which is on bank of the little river to spend the rest of the afternoon. The singer was singing some slow and gentle songs, and I just read a book about love stories, or feed fishes in the river.It’s really a lovely day. Slow time, warm sunshine and Orpheum songs.I guess I will come back again, just for the romantic time.