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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yang ming shan national park, a summary


the last of the taiwan posts – and really, this place on its own is all the reason you need to visit this country in the spring. taiwan has an intriguing mix of metropolitan cities and the great green wilderness – rolling hills and mountains and green, green grass so far as the eye can see (so much that you forget just (sorta-)round-the-corner is a bustling cosmopolitan city like taipei).

when we were here in february, the weather was chilly, windy, and very good for long walks. there’s something very surprising about this place – it reminds me of the lake district and all those scenes you read in literature about the great british outdoors – certainly not something you anticipate being in this part of the world.

anyway, enough preamble. I hope you enjoy the photos!

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the taroko gorge, a summary


no, no, you’re not in the wrong place. it’s a bit more like andmoretravel here at the moment, but bear with me – for there are lovely photos to share!

the taroko gorge is a national park that often serves as a stopover or day-trip from hualien – and it was certainly a neat bit of scenery to see while in the area.

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