yunnan, the travel diary

posts are going to be rather slow these two weeks – I am away on work without a laptop, and there’s only so much phone-squinting I can abide.

perhaps you’d like a look at some gorgeous (if I do say so myself) photos from my trip to yunnan in July?

xx
keep cool!

  1. kunming city, china
  2. kunming outskirts, china
  3. kunming to dali, china
  4. lijiang sights, china
  5. lijiang eats, china
  6. lijiang to shangri-la, china
  7. shangri-la, china
  8. kunming eats, china
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kunming eats, china

is that a little macabre? last post from the trip!

and to finish with possibly the best duck I’ve had in a while – and almost definitely the best thing I’ve eaten in yunnan – then well, it’s a good wrap-up.

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shangri-la, china

today’s photos will probably explain why shangri-la is so called. taken during our days out at the pudacuo/ potatso national park, as well as at the ganden sumtseling/ songzanlin monastery, the view makes for fantastic snapping.

I’ll leave you to it.

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lijiang to shangri-la, china

we traipse outward from lijiang towards shangri-la: and by which I don’t mean the hotel chain (if only), nor paradise.

but then again, this leg of the journey was perhaps the most difficult gastronomically – which made it the most difficult overall in the trip for me (food is a big deal, okay). so one man’s paradise – isn’t quite mine.

but beautiful, beautiful sights – mostly untouched (indigenous locals don’t count) – just bad food (and more biscuits than I ever wanted to eat).

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lijiang eats, china

lijiang had the best eating we did in this yunnanese trip – we arrived armed with low-to-no expectations and were met not only with interesting options, but good ones as well. there was a good mix of restaurants and small-store options that helped bridge the gap between meals, and that helped engender this town even more to our affections.

sometimes, it’s good to be a tourist in a touristy town.

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lijiang sights, china

lijiang is a picturesque, touristy town – but the best of its class. it is a well-preserved, historical town full of traditional chinese grandeur – but with all the modern amenities you could wish for, and the best food I had in the yunnan region.

we loved this town, and it’s probably the only best one worth returning to in the region (in my opinion of course, but whose else would it be?).

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kunming to dali, china

we’re still on the outskirts of kunming – on the way to dali. and we encounter slightly better food here – pretty delicious, but the best thing really is the view.

there’s a beautiful naturalness to everything – the water, the mountains – it’s enough to make a poet out of you. and if au naturel ain’t all it’s cut out to be, then here also I encountered possibly the most beautiful temple I’ve seen (like, we’re talking MOST BEAUTIFUL EVER SEEN).

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kunming outskirts, china

part deux of the journey – a rather typical sequence of stops in the yunnan province. if you’re planning a trip there, it’s convenient to fly into kunming, drive to dali and then lijiang, and then drive to shangri-la – before flying back to finish the trip off at kunming.


the drive out of kunming almost definitely takes you to the stone forest, 石林. think a large national park full of stone forests (literally) rising from the ground. it’s full of lakes and greens, and it’s a pretty gorgeous place.

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kunming city, china


this is the start of a photo-heavy series. I went on a trip in the yunnan province of china in july (how is it september now?!) – kunming, dali, lijiang and shangri-la – all picturesque cities indicative of the various stages of development happening in china now: all the way from rural to bustling city.

it was a trip full of colour, full of beautiful sights – but it turned out also to be pretty remiss in the gastronic department (not in variety, but in food I actually wanted to eat).

let’s begin the journey – I have no idea how many series are going to come out – but it’s going to be an adventure!

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notable: food of china

I don’t usually do this, but I just came across this amazing video about the wonderful food scene in china as made by the perennial plate.

china is remarkable for its sheer size, and an accompanying vast array of cuisine, all distinct in their various regions and styles. I had a great time when I went there last year, and I ate so well; I used to be rather disdainful when it came to going to china when younger – there is something about being a young asian exposed to american television and finding that cool that nurtures this sort of fallacy, but now I realize just how amazing the place is. and it doesn’t hurt that the food there is still of such great quality and diversity.

here’s the video, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. and if you’d like some recommendations on where to eat in china, here are my suggestions.

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