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Old 07-25-2012, 12:10 AM   #1
franki OP
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China - during the rainy season

I have no intention to visit Tibet in 2012, especially not during the rainy season But I need to get my bike to Sichuan from Yunnan for a bikers meeting in August and I have 12 days holiday in July........So out comes the map, a quick plot and off I fly to Kunming, Yunnan.





It is the season of the plenty and in Yunnan, mushrooms are plenty. Some you can eat, some are not but the locals still eat them regardless of seeing little dancing people afterwards.



The waitress in the restaurant made sure the mushrooms are well cooked before we start eating them.




Benelli's 600 street bike are made in China now available in China




Out riding with the boyz





Night scene in Chuxiong




The gate of the Yi tribe




Musium of Yi history




The Gods of Yi tribe




Pretty costumes of Yi girl

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Old 07-25-2012, 12:15 AM   #2
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Thanks for the pics

Thanks for posting, it's always interesting to see ride reports from China and especially interesting to see how the bike scene is expanding into the bigger bikes. Keep them coming please.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:17 AM   #3
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Dali was my next stop but since I have been there many times, I chose not to stay put too long.


The dragon fly of Dali




The water lily of Dali




The South Gate of Dali




Farm land outside of Dali




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Old 07-25-2012, 12:25 AM   #4
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As I approach the city of Lijiang, I stop by to check out my favorite vista point to see how the crops are growing this year.



Irrigation canal




Typical Yunnan village




Someone is cooking dinner early




Lotus pond




Soaking it all in
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:35 AM   #5
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Instead of looking for a hotel in Lijiang, I rode into Baisha village for an late lunch and then go check out Suhe old town which is less touristic than Lijiang.




Peace and quiet in Baisha's restaurant




The blossom of the summer




If you have heard of the old Tea Horse Trail, well, these are the horses that made history for over a thousand years.




A shop in Suhe old town



The melted snow running down from Yulong Mt. is the main water supply to Suhe old town and also Lijiang.



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Old 07-25-2012, 07:17 AM   #6
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YEA !!! Another installment of life from Franki's eyes... . I'm in... .
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Old 07-25-2012, 08:52 AM   #7
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:12 PM   #9
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Amazing scenery!!
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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Great stuff!!!

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Old 07-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #11
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Please meet my family -




Lijiang old town by night




Candles for wishful thinkers




The reason I don't like Lijiang is the crowd

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Old 07-25-2012, 09:16 PM   #12
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Had enough of Lijiang, I started off to Zhongdian of which better known as the Shangri-la. It is less commercial and there are a lot to explore around the town of Zhongdian (to you, if it is easier, Shangri-la). I believe everyone has a Shangri-la in their own world, so I refused to force you to call this place that name. I leave it up to you to find your own Shangri-la.



Yes, I am a poser. Got to show off myself or you guys will not remember this old fart Photo taken on the old G214 over the Lanchangjiang (better known as the Maikong River after leaving China).




The only traffic I met on this section of the road




The elevation climbs as I get close to Zhongdian and scenery changed to more Alps like




Hill tribes are mixed here, the higher the elevation, the more Tibetans live.

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Old 07-25-2012, 09:39 PM   #13
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As I came into the valley, the elevation climb slow down to average about 3600m (+11,808 feet) and the farm land looks good to me.















As I stood by the roadside taking photos, a bunch of kids ran towards me and wanted to sell me some Yak yogurt. Having had my experience of maggots in yogurt back in 2010, I suppressed my desire and turned down their offer. One thing about taking photos of the natives, make friend with them first and ask for permission to shoot or do it from a long distance away while they are not aware of. No one likes to have a lens shuffled in front of their face without prior needed protocol. Tibetans are simple and straight forward folks, if they consider you a friend, they'll share everything with you, on the other hand, if things get ugly, they don't like to have fist fights.

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Old 07-25-2012, 10:01 PM   #14
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Old 07-25-2012, 10:15 PM   #15
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I rode into Zhongdian and head towards the Dukezhong old town. I always stayed in Dragon Cloud Hostel as they have became a friend. The retired couple owns the hostel and helped by their English speaking son. 70% of the guest staying there are foreigners. I can park my bike right in the centre of the courtyard and my usual room has a direct view of my bike. Their dog name Tiger, always rest underneath my bike.

Here is a bit of background of Dukezong Old Town, a 1300-year-old Tibetan town located in Shangri-La, which it has experienced both the flames of war and prosperity of frontier trade. Dukezong Old Town's authentic Tibetan dwellings, majestic prayer halls and pagodas, winding lanes offer sanctuary to all those seeking refuge from the bustle city.

It is the largest and best-preserved Tibetan city among China's Tibetan counties. Dukezong Old Town was a key stop on the Ancient Tea-horse Road and a focal point for Han-Tibetan exchanges. As one of the oldest towns in the region, it is also known as the 'footstep of Shangri-La'. According to Tibetan Buddhist scriptures, there is a lost city called Shambhala in the Snow Mountains, shaped like an eight-petal lotus flower. The 1.6-square-kilometer Dukezong Old Town Town is also laid out in this design. All 1,084 of its houses radiate out from Turtle Hill at the center, arranged in conformity with Tibetan Buddhist geomantic theory.

Tibetans regard the shade of white as a sign of respect for their forefathers, the ancient Qiang people, who worshipped white stones. Shortly after the town was established, craftsmen found white clay in the region that could be ground down and used as paint. All dwellings were accordingly painted white. This is why Dukezong Old Town was named white stone city. On a clear night, the ancient town reflects a silver sheen. This has engendered to another epithet: moonlight city.

The old Tibetan way of life, as well as dwellings, are well-preserved in Dukezong Old Town, as each redolent barley wine lane testifies. Tibetan chess is played in local households as it has been for the past 1,000 years, and horse bells still tinkle along the ancient caravan path. Bonfires that are lit in the town square every night illuminate local musicians as they sing to and play traditional stringed instruments.


This wooden rack is for drying out the crop so it can be used for animal feed during winter.




The village doesn't look poor, so I guess life here is good.




Very tempting smell from these BBQ stalls in the Dukezhong old town.



Dark clouds and strong wind signal the rainy season's presence.




First time I can see motorbike for rent. But when I tried to find out more, the owner of that hostel said all the bikes are out of order. Judging from the 2 bikes parked there, they were not in rental conditions anyway.






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