Where to begin! We’ll start with the food…
…and the rice noodles, vegetables, raw eggs, and meats come on the side.
Slide everything into the broth and devour. This dish tastes similar to pho ga (the Vietnamese chicken noodle soup). No coincidence because Yunnan and Vietnam share a border. It’s neat to see (and eat!) all these geographical influences.
And of course, Naxi food. Think buttered tea in the mornings. Potatoes, yak, and mushrooms during lunch and dinner. Always with a big bowl of rice on the side. Nothing fancy, very satisfying.
…and right up my alley. The outside is a flaky lard-based pastry (similar to Wife Cakes). The inside is filled with rose petal jam and plenty of fresh rose petals. Buy cakes straight from the oven and eat them hot. Glorious!
…to meet with Dr. Ho. More about Dr. Ho here.
Hotels in Lijiang are a funny thing. I stayed at three different places, and though the big name brands were nice, I preferred the individual family-run hotels. There’s a bunch scattered throughout Lijiang, some with just four rooms, others up to dozen.
The first afternoon I went on my own, brewing and drinking (turns out I make very good company for myself)…the owner joined me an hour later bringing some of his tea to share. Good stuff, raw pu’erhs. And then we drank some “American tea” (aka black-tea based blends). He said it was horrible but very interesting to try. I agreed, and we went back to drinking more Chinese tea. We did this for three afternoons. And when we ran out of stuff to talk about, he took out his newspaper, and I took out my books. It was perfect. I wish I could do it all over again….
…but that’s the thing about travel! You can’t repeat/recreate experiences. And if you attempt to, you will be disappointed. I think it’s best to just love the moment and keep it as a memory (this is also why I never bring back mementos).
P.S. More Yunnan posts here.