Category Archives: Yunnan

Road Trippin’ Through Northern Yunnan

China is an extremely easy place to travel. Between high speed trains and cheap flights, the entire country is conveniently accessible at relatively low cost. And while we’ve traveled thousands of miles on the road as well, most of that has come by bus and hired car. So when a local friend with a car Continue Reading »

In the Fields of Dali

Dali is one of those special places in China that everyone seems to love, westerners and locals alike. To those that have been there, Dali is synonymous with tranquility, nature, yummy food, and of course, beauty. And unlike its somewhat chaotic neighbor, Lijiang, Dali has a chillness about it. Yes, there are a fair share of Continue Reading »

Jiabi, a taste of Tibet in China

Jiābì (佳碧) is a small village about 45 minutes outside of Déqīn (德钦). Home to no more than 50 families, Jiabi is nestled in the shadow of Méilĭ Xuĕ Shān (梅里雪山). The village is 100% Tibetan. Younger people who either were vigilant students or watched too much TV speak mandarin. Otherwise, Tibetan is the only language spoken or Continue Reading »

Rest stop in Deqin

Déqīn (德钦) is a dirty, modern, Chinese city consisting of mostly Tibetan people. Deqin lacks any sense of character or soul. At night, drunken bar fights between knife wielding locals are not unheard of. That might be a slightly harsh depiction of a small city tucked into some stunning hills, but that’s how a lot Continue Reading »

The city formely known as Zhongdian

When I think of Shangrila I imagine springs erupting from green pastures that neighbor grassy plateaus adjacent to rolling hills that are gradually folded into epic snow capped mountains of almost biblical proportions. Shangrila is supposed to be that kind of mythical place. In 2001, Zhōngdiàn (中甸) decided to attempt to cash in on the Shangrila myth, Continue Reading »

A Night on Tiger Leaping Gorge

Tiger Leaping Gorge (虎跳峡 – Hŭtiàoxiá) is one of the deepest canyons in the world. Its winding trails and vast cliffs lie only 60 kilometers outside of Lijiang. Apparently foreigners started hiking the gorge in the 1980s. Since then a well maintained trail complimented by numerous guesthouses have made Tiger Leaping Gorge a safe and Continue Reading »

Making the Best of Lijiang

Lìjiāng (丽江) is a predictable, yet undeniably enticing ancient city. Long established as an extremely popular tourist destination located in northwestern Yunnan, the Old Town of Lijiang, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, stands as the main attraction. In 2011, Lijiang received 11 million tourists. Over the years, the influx of tourists has turned the Continue Reading »