June 3-4, 2009
After finishing our hike at Emei Shan we were looking to head south to Yunnan Province. We had a few options. Most tourists head straight south to Kunming, then head back west/north to the sights in upper Yunnan. It’s by far the quickest way to go, but it’s also the least interesting. On the other extreme it’s possible to head west to Litang and then turn south going along Sichuan’s wild western frontier. We heard this route is beautiful in a Tibetan sort of way – high mountain passes, cowboy villages, etc. But it also takes longer (4-5 days) and the travel here is less predictable. We also heard that this route might be blocked for western tourists (in the same way Xiahe was off-limits to us just recently) and we didn’t want to take that chance. So we opted for plan C, which is to go from Emei Shan to Lugu Hu, a lake on the border between Sichuan and Yunnan, and then to continue to Lijiang. This was a compromise both in terms of time (2 days) and in terms of sights – it was a pretty place, but probably not as exciting as western Sichuan.
Pnina with Liu Cheng Hai, a Chinese backpacker we met on the way to Lugu Hu. He was planning to stay for a while in some hotel and earn his keep by playing guitar in the hotel’s restaurant at night:
We reached Lugu Hu in the early afternoon and paid the 40 yuan entry fee. There are several villages around the lake with different accommodations. We had little information, so we randomly chose a spot in the southeastern corner of the lake, next to a thick marsh.
There was still enough time in the day so we set out for a short hike around the lake. Here’s what we saw along the way…
Wooden canoes in the marshy area next to our hotel:
The pier of our little village on the southeastern corner of Hugu Lu:
The water was very clear. Near the shore there was a large bright area formed by white flowers on underwater plants:
Some lucky dog got to build a house on this small private island:
We climbed up a hill full of pine trees with twisted trunks. When we descended on the other side we found another small village. The sun was about to set and the colors in the sky were fantastic:
There were a lot of other hiking options around Hugu Lu, but we had relatively little time left on our visa, so the next day we moved on. We took a tuk-tuk around the lake to the larger lake-side town of Luoshui, and from there we caught a bus to Lijiang.
In Luoshui many of the tourist shops sell animal pelts (illegally):
Add another one to our collection of interesting mannequins:
In the News
Air France flight 447 vanished off the coast of Brazil. There were 228 people on-board, all presumed dead – the biggest such disaster for Air France in many years. The search for survivors went on for several weeks, but none were found.
In the MTV Movie Awards, Sasha Baron Cohen (the comedian who does the Ali-G and Borratt characters) descended from above, dressed as an angel with exposed buttocks, and landed on Eminem while he was attempting to announce some award. Eminem’s crew tried to wrestle Sasha away, and Eminem stormed off the stage. The jury is out whether this whole thing was staged.