Wednesday, December 17th, 2003 – Day 302

Wednesday, December 17th, 2003 – Day 302

I meant to do a few things today but they did not come through. I was up at 9.00am and headed down to the Public Security Bureau for a Visa Extension. This can take a week in Beijing as they question why you need one, but here I had an additional 30 days for 160 Yuan. I only need about 10 of those but I found 30 days was too tight so I needed 60.

I had planned to take a Public bus to Yulong Xueshan (Jade Dragon Snow Mountain) today but SO much hassles with Public Transport (if there any). This is because the Number Six bus (mentioned in the Lonely Planet) doesn’t exist and The number Seven wants 150 Yuan. (I later found out that the bus goes from the small bus station opposite the Mao statue station for 8 Yuan.

This magnificent 35km (21-mile) long mountain range framing Lijiang is a must-visit. The tallest of the mountain’s 13 peaks is the daunting Fan Peak; elev. 5,596m/18,355 ft.), perennially snowcapped and climbed for the first time only in 1963 by a research team from Beijing. Today’s visitors have a number of options for exploring the mountain. All require you to pay a 60 Yuan ($7.50) entrance fee to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Scenic Area, about 30km (20 miles) north of town. Many tourists visit as part of an organized tour.

Anyway as I plan to start the tiger Leaping Gorge Trek tomorrow, I had to buy a cheap Chinese Army Coat. Its new, she wanted 140 Yan, but I got her town to 50 Yuan. Its OK. I headed down to the market with my Magnum Walking Boots. The Sole had some loose on both boots. I have noticed this for months. There were about 6 people mending shoes at the market. Its cool. The lady wanted 5 Yuan per boot to re stitch them by hand. She was over charging but I respected the job she was about to do. She did not know what tick the leather comes in with these boots. It was very hard work and it took her nearly 45 minutes to stitch them by hand with tough thread back together. She did a great job and I gave her 14 Yuan. She was delighted but it was I who got a bargain and I was ashamed.

I then walked to Heilng Tn Gongyun (Black Dragon Pool Park) and paid the 20 Yuan entrance.

About 1.5km (1 mile) north of the old town, this park, which contains the source of much of the old town’s water, also offers Ljiang’s most famous photo op: the distant snowcapped Jade Dragon Snow Mountain fronted by the park’s Moon Embracing Pavilion, and Wukong Qio (Five Arch Bridge). In the eastern section is the three-story Ming dynasty Wufng Lu (Five Phoenix Hall), with soaring eaves meant to resemble flying phoenixes. Also here is the Dongba Cultural Research Institute, where you can see experts translating Dongba pictographs.

It was pretty and a nice walk around the lake which was full of fish.

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang – Heilng Tn Gongyun (Black Dragon Pool Park) (17-12-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang – Heilng Tn Gongyun (Black Dragon Pool Park) (17-12-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang – Heilng Tn Gongyun (Black Dragon Pool Park) (17-12-2003)

Later, I purchased some supplies for my trek over the next three days. I also had a nice Naxi meal in a restaurant for 12 Yuan (1.20 euro).

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang (17-12-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang (17-12-2003)

Click on the picture to see it in its original size

Lijiang – Mao statue (17-12-2003)