Tag Archive: Kunming

Yangshuo 14.06.2011

Yangshuo county and the Li river are just utterly beautiful. Never have I been in such bizarre landscape. We checked in at the Riverside Buildings Hostel where the quirky manager Janis was just so personable and helpful. We sauntered the streets  and took a river rafting trip through scenery which was just out of this world.                                                                    Yangshuo County is located in ChinaAfter spending a few days “in town” so to speak, we had got wind of a place just out of town close to the Li river. This chap was endeavouring to build his business based on the house he had constructed. It had huge windows to take in the glorious view and provided all his own produce from the small-holding on the plot of land that the house occupied. He called it Eco-Farm and for simplicity, I guess asked us to call him Eco. Such a nice guy and eager to improve and hone his business skills.

We were now on the cusp of crossing over the border into Vietnam, however there was one other geographic feature in China that much interested us. The Rice Terraces are a man made wonder and we were keen to see them.

Flying down to Kunming we were somewhat delayed at the airport as a couple of Danish tourists were held up at immigration. It appears that they had booked to fly up to Lhasa in Tibet and were “crest fallen” to find out that the Chinese authorities had closed access to Tibet because of the 50 year anniversary of the communist party’s Tibetan takeover. They also expected some trouble by virtue of this and therefore curtailed any visits. For us and our impending flight down to Kunming, immigration/ customs officers were a little perplexed by the contents of one of our bags, which provided us with a little anxiety until an explanation and lots of hand waving provided a plausible explanation, and they allowed us to pass.  

We checked in at “The Hump” hostel which was downtown and fairly central. The Hump was a “hat tip” to the efforts of the “Flying Tigers” in 1941 to keep the supply route open from British bases in India for the allies fighting the Japanese and their  air assaults on the Burma road.

The 1933, James Hilton novel, “Lost Horizons” was instrumental in providing world wide notoriety to this area of Yunnan province. We arrived here flushed with success in the completion of Tiger Leaping Gorge and were eager to discover the evocative imagery conjured up by the name and the “zeitgeist”. 

Sadly, it was fairly disappointing. Culturally, all the elements were there but as often is the case, the conjured imagery lacks resonance in actuality. However, having said that, we had a good time. We went to an equestrian event, that was well attended in a purpose built stadium, meandered through the old part of the city full of “objets d’art” and bric-a-brac, and generally had a very relaxed and un-stressful time stopping at “Kevin’s Tracker Inn” until the 09.06.2011. From here we flew to Kunming.

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