Our bus ride from Dali to Lijiang was yet another adventure. We had pre-reserved a seat with the help of our hostel at 9am. The bus driver apparently was pissed off at the hostel for always sending their guests late to the meet up point and even though we arrived early, he decided to not pick us up instead. We had to wait for the next available bus at 1230pm… So by the time we actually reached Lijiang the Visa office had closed.
Anyways, we got to Lijiang and stayed in Mama Naxi hostel, the rooms were ok but the atmosphere is good. But they have a fabulous Chinese dinner every day for 25 Yuan that make an amazing variety of 8-10 dishes with lots of meat, vegetables and even fish! Given the high price of food in Lijiang old town, I would stay at Mama Naxi just for the food alone!
Lijiang old town is very pretty, probably the prettiest old town in China. However, it is extremely touristy and every building is either a guesthouse, a bongo store or a tacky souvenir store. Every 20m was a bongo store that played the exact same bongo cd, we were going crazy. The food prices was also quite high and every one served basically the same mediocre food. We stepped outside the old town and instantly the food prices fell by 50% and quality went up 100%!
Streets of Lijiang Old Town:
We also went on a day trip to Baisha 白沙 which was a 10km ride away from Lijiang. The town is famous for a really old herbalist living there. They also have really cool artisans doing some tye dye art, we bought a piece.
M’s visa extension was processed quite efficiently at the PSB office, it only took 2 days! The man doing the extension was very nice and spoke decent English. He also couldn’t understand what was wrong with the Dali PSB office.
We were originally planning on hiking the Tiger Leaping Gorge, but it was pissing rain all day prior and morning of our planned departure. We called the hostel at Tiger Leaping Gorge and the owner said there was, “Big rain” so we decided not to go as it is pretty dangerous to hike in the rain. This turned out to be an excellent decision because the people that did go got turned around 3 hours after a long bus ride due to landslides blocking the road and the fact that the Gorge was closed.
So we decided to forgo the Gorge this time and went to Kunming.