When the travel is more important than the final destination.
I absolutely loved Zhongdian, but the trip to there was breathtaking.The road is not the best one and it gets worse and worse while going up, when finally, once a few kilometers from the town, everything becomes flat, green and red fields full of yaks and horses.
Fondest memory: The car that stops to let yaks cross the street.
Street scenes while walking around the town on early morning: this has been my favourite thing in Zhongdian.
People in local dresses ging to the temple, going to the market, washing clothes, it just appeared as a peaceful mountain town, not as a tourist spot, at least not yet.
Fondest memory: Women meeting together at the fountain near the temple to wash clothes it was so nice to see people living their town, I was even more impressed as in Italy some twon forbid even to eat in the squares or to drink a beer or even, for some events they forbid to dry clothes outside of the balcony because it ruins the image of the city, as if it's something to show to tourists instead of a place to live in.
As a tourist I prefer much more to be able to see how people live instead of an empty clean square where you are only allowed to take pictures.
Fondest memory: It was a bit of rain in the morning. I was the ONLY TOURIST walking on this moist meadow, everybody else was taking a horse ride, except me! This little girl was trying to sell me the horse ride earlier, I rejected her. Half way while I was walking towards the lake, she suddenly appear next to me (where did she walk from? I thought). She asked "Where are you going?" "I wanted to see the lake, and yaks" still concentrated on my footsteps. "There's no road here, over there!" She said, while still walks fast & relax, and she knows where to step to avoid the mud. And a contrast, my shoes was full of dirty mud. Now I noticed I was actually quite far from the horse path walking towards the other side... What a idiot I was!!!
Fondest memory: A few stalls down, I smell something really nice... Guess what? Deep Fried Spicy Potato. After I paid for my One Yuan stick of potato, these boy told me that they actually charge 0.5 Yuan for locals, tourist have to pay double, and if I want to buy drinks I can buy them at 50% off at local price... blablabla... They were actually local gansters, local Tibetan, their parents' food stalls were facing strong competition, that outsiders were opening new business here as number of tourists grown. This shop owner was from SiChuan, that's why they were here to disturb the business.
Fondest memory: Second day morning, 13Sep2003, I took bus #3 to this Tibetan Monestary. Located 5 km away, less than 30 mins by bus from ZhongDian city, this is the largest Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Yunnan province, as well as one of the 13 large lamaseries in the KangZang region (the joint area of Tibet, Sichuan and Yunnan).
Fondest memory: First thing upon arrival of ZhongDian was to find a place to sleep, was 5pm already. With only a name on hand, that a traveller I met in Kunming gave and recommended me, I asked around and found this Dragon Cloud Guest House. Very sactisfied. Details written in my Accomodation Tips
Road conditions in Yunnan always unexpected. On the way back from Bai Shui Tai, we had to pass through this running stone river. This van here got stuck, passengers all came down to remove rocks beneath the bus, others like me enjoy watching and taking photos. Luckily, our bus driver was very experience, we successfully drive through in one shot! Hurray!!!
Back to guesthouse, dinner & rest, I would be heading to Deqin tomorrow.
Finally, I am here!!! YooHoo...... This is SO BEAUTIFUL! 2,380 metres above sea level, mountains, clouds at the back of this yellow terrace, simply breathtaking. Most likely, we were the first group of tourist arriving here, only 4 of us, very quiet & peaceful! The water is cool and clear, there're tiny wires surrounding the terrace so that people cannot walk on it. Instead of white color, the stone was yellow. An old man told me that it will turn to pure white color in winter, while remains yellow in summer / autumn time.
Check out my Travelogue for more photos.
Fondest memory: OK. Here is the second security check on the way up to BaiShui Tai... These kids were playing in a corner. They ran to me immediately when they saw me, asking "Do you want to see Naxi dance?" "Do you want to hear Naxi song?" "I don't have money to go to school, I want to study" Begging for money. There's an American Chinese tourist beside me, he told these kids straightly in a teacher's tone, "Go home to study, do your homework, do not stay here to beg money. What do you think you can do begging money here? No use! You must study, contribute to your country, and give good life to your parents..." It lasted for more than 15 mins until these children could not stand & ran away. Not finished yet, when he walked down from the terrace, he spoke to the street vendors, "Who are these kids parents? Do not ask them to stay here, go home, study, you want them to beg money forever? Go study and serve the country in the future!" I was trying to ignore him as well, I started ask for my opinion, and he'll never finish this topic then.
Fondest memory: Finally, arrival in Bai Shui Tai. Before one can enter the attractions, you must as usual pass through the guard: which is group of street vendors. They're selling me fruits, sun flower seeds, corn, etc. Well... at least they are easier to handle than isurance agents network marketing salesman in Hong Kong.
Fondest memory: It took 3 hours by bus to Bai Shui Tai. On the way to, we drive through really rural mountain areas. These local people are so cute that whenever there's outsider passes by, they will stop their work curiously look at us, as we look at them in the same way. Some children even ran out from home, as if they miss to look at the bus and these people, they will miss a big party in the day! Many of them still wearing traditional minority outfits, not because they have to attract tourists nor they are paid for performance, simply because they love to!
Favorite thing: This is my 3rd day, woke up early 6am in the morning, took a shower while everybody still in bed, and I opened the guesthouse's main door to slip out. Why so early? Because there's only one bus to Bai Shui Tai every morning, departure 7:25am. I had a bowl of dumplings at this food stalls outside the bus terminal. Opposite me a local Tibetan sharing the table. Tibetans are all with very good face features and tan skin.
Fondest memory: Finally, I managed to get close to these yaks. So many here... I could not believe my eyes! I think there are almost 100 of them! No strings attached! I remembered I was very exicited when I saw the first yak in Lijiang, now, there are 100 of them walking free on a meadow!!! Well... I may look very stupid, I realized these yaks actually stopped eating and looked at me curiously (the same way I look at them). Seems like they are thinking... "Hey, look, human! First time I see such an idiot woman here, I can't believe my eyes!" As times pass, we were staring at each others for quite a time.
Fondest memory: These people (including my taxi driver) were trying hard to sell me the horse ride (more commission maybe) and forgot to sell me the entrance ticket. I don't like riding horse on a fixed path, I wanted to have a walk by myself to explore the place. I was hoping to see a lake surrounded with mountains and birds, surprisingly, all I could see are moist meadows, horses and tourists. I kept walking to the direction where I still believe I can see a lake... my shoes are covered with mud... ... and more mud... ... ...
Fondest memory: After lunch, I went to Napa Hai. Supposingly, I can take bus #2 outside my guesthouse to Napa Hai, but I waited for half an hour still nothing. So, I decided to call a taxi to this place. Cost me 30 Yuan to and forth (I found out later that it could be cheaper, I was ripped off...) However, I saved the entrance fee... ^0^