A taste of southern china: lijiang and ringha

A Taste of Southern China: Lijiang and Ringha

Appropriately close to Shangri-La, Lijiang is described as “a fairyland beneath the colorful clouds of southern China. A place blessed with fresh air, clear streams, breathtaking snow mountains, and an undisturbed landscape inhabited by a friendly group of people”. You will find this unspoilt idyll where Tibet meets the Yunnan and Sichuan provinces, in southern of China. The local Dongba culture has influences from all these neighbors which include the famous Dongba hieroglyphs, a pictographic writing system used by the Bon priests of the Naxi people in this region for around a thousand years.

Blessed with a pleasant climate all year round, this seemingly remote area was part of the Ancient Tea-Horse Route. The Old Town of Lijiang is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, mercifully preserving the typical groups of houses and the original lifestyle found here.

Visitors will find there is plenty to see and do in and around the area of Lijiang. For those who like spectacular natural scenery, the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is an awe-inspiring backdrop to the Moon-Embracing Pavilion at Black Dragon Pond (aren’t these great names?) Although the town can be explored by bus, taxi or bicycle, the best way to see the local charm in intimate detail is on foot. Browse the local shops, taste the local snacks and stop at every curious sight for a photograph. The Naxi music and murals are not to be missed, and after dark you can enjoy some of the charming local bars in the Old Town.

The nearby valley of Ringha is more Tibetan than Chinese. Visitors will delight in this peaceful, unspoilt area with its delightful golden-roofed Buddhist monasteries, faded prayer flags and slow-moving yaks which frequently hold up the traffic. The area is well known for its luxury accommodation in lodges, built in local village style with a wooden pole structure, exposed ceiling rafters and beautiful natural wood floors littered with colorful handmade rugs. The local restaurants also serve Tibetan-style cuisine including stews of yak and other local meats (delicious, by the way!).

The area is at an altitude of well over 10,000 feet, almost as high as Macchu Piccu in Peru which is 11,150 feet above sea level. The altitude and low air pressure may leave you panting at the hilly inclines, but it is a small price to pay for the splendid views of the snow-capped Hengduan Shan Mountains nearby. Local trips into the mountains are usually in jeeps and 4x4s and include an exhilarating ride to the Songzanlin Temple with its 700 earnest monks.

Tiger Leaping Gorge, locally named Hutiao Xia, is a strenuous walk but trekkers will be rewarded with fabulous gorge, river and canyon views. The total route takes over 2 days to complete with accommodation in guest houses along the way, but shorter parts of this high trail can be enjoyed by those with stout walking shoes and strong legs! There are also coach tours which follow the lower road through remote villages with the same breathtaking scenery. Alternatively walkers can rent a horse to ride some stages, or even be carried up some of the steps in a Mandarin Chair! Truly a Chinese experience for those who want to see the area at its natural best, but you need to hurry as there are plans to dam the gorge.

Visit this website for more information.

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Опубликовано 09 May 2012 в 9:15 pm. Рубрика: A. Вы можете следить за ответами к этой записи через RSS.
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