Day 2 - Lijiang by night

they had a little xmas tree up in the hostel. there isnt a differnce between a hostel and hotel here. they call them the same thing and they are all courtyard structures.

another thing to add to the charming factor of this town and all the restuarnats, hotels, etc.. are that there are lanterns everywhere. paper lanterns, cloth lanterns, rice paper lanterns, ect....

its basically restaurants, store/stalls for shopping, and accomodations that are in this town.

we had drinks with 2 of the girls from the dongba cultural insititute. Jody, and amy. jody is han chinese and amy is naxi. they both spoke english and mandarin. they were super super nice. chinese people are too nice. they even brought us to scripts on the good dongba paper as gifts. they told us how the naxi culture is becoming influenced by regular chinese han culture. how the girls wear miniskirts now, etc... Amy was saying that she has to help her family out with the farm so she can't go anywhere else. Her english is very good and she is very smart so it makes me sad that even if we could help her out she still can't go anywhere else because her family needs her on the farm. when we were going our separate ways Amy told us that she will remember this night forever and it was so nice to meet us. cry.

i drew them on the backs of my postcards. i did a bad job. i am sorry

a lot of the old town is lit up like epcot center.

there are tons of these woman who make scarves and shawls and shawl like things. i bought a scarf for $2.20. the shawl things are $10. so cheap

a few of the weavers had awesome color schemes.

look at these shoes. they have some kind of woven hemp like heel and lace up in the back with this dual tounge type thing. girls get to wear the best stuff. i made lily buy these the next day. they were $40. i will post better product shots of them later so you can see how dope they are.

the bathroom at the hostel. no heat in the place. freezing. here is something for everyone and especially bob to laugh at. I had to take a shiet and have not yet perfected the useage of these squatter toilets. I tried and tried but was so paranoid that i was going to sheit on the only pants i had for the whole trip that i just had to take everything off and do it naked. sorry if its TMI but i thought it was funny. i was laughing in the bathroom.
various disposable slippers from the hotels we stayed at so far.

Xmas Day in Lijiang - Part 2 - Black Dragon Pool

the courtyard of the hostel we stayed in. open to the air, they leave the front gate open as well. there is no heating. they say just use an electric blanket, it was like this at every hostel/hotel. it was $7 a night and had wireless internet.

these are from the 5 minute walk to the black dragon pool. it is the lake that feeds the canals in the town via underground springs.

warning signs carved into rocks and painted

bam the black dragon pool! with the jade dragon snow mountain in the background

these guys were so gay. we saw them before. then we come across them again later. just sitting on this bench one in the middle is blowing his nose and throwing tissues on the ground. it also looks like he ate a bunch of those little orange things and threw them on the ground while his gay buddies are sleeping and listening to their ipods. it cost 10$ to get into this thing which is a lot of money in china so i dont know what they are doing or why they are so gay or why he was wearing all purple. they all looked deppressed and sleepy. and when we saw them before they definitley didn't look like they were on drugs.

"refuses to climb up"

many kinds of fish in the lake.

there was a sloosh gate or watever to keep these young fishes in this part of the lake

steps leading up that hill or mountain or wathave you on one side of the lake. it turned into a multi-hour hike rather than a brief climb which i thought it would be. there were stairs the whole way over many hills.

it doesn't look too precarious here but it was at some points. i would have loved to see bob on these steps.

at the bottom we found this "Dongba culture institute" Dongba is the religion of the Naxi people. It is based around Tibetan Bon religion so they use tibetan prayer flags and stuff

the cool thing about the Naxi people is that they have a heiroglyphic writing system, on one piece of literature it says that they are the last group of people to use hieroglphics. only the men are allowed to write it. there are 1400 glyphs. these are made with a caligraphy brush and inkstone. they also make their own paper which is more expensive and they use thin "rice paper" as well that is cheaer. I just think it's so amazing that for the word tiger, they will draw a tiger and for the word family they will have a house with a man and woman inside and so on and so on. as an artist i find these simplified "drawings" amazing. i bought 5 sayings on paper. bob, mom, and dad, i got you one but i guess you won't get it till you come to china to get it.

the guy is making the ones we wanted to buy

they were all super friendly and all naxi except the girl to my right who is han chinese (han are make up the majority of chinese people). the girl next to her looked really exotic and was like the Naxi Chinese Letitia Casta. she had eyes like that. Later I saw the guy Louis at the bottom of the hill and was walking on and then it hit me. hey these guys aren't just people that work there they are like normal people and stuff why don't we ask them to have a drink with us later?, it would be cool to hang out with the locals. The guy louis talked like Brad Pitt in most of the movies he's in where he acts goofy. We hung out with two of these girls that night and the other two couldnt come.

down the hill was this scam place that invited you in and you lit incence had your fortune read then they wanted you to "donate" money to them. they had this book showing that people from all these countries donated 800 or 1,400 rmb to them. these numbers were probaly written there because all those people just walked out like we should have done and then they just wrote whatever number they wanted. i wrote 20 rmb. we got a little wooden bracelet out of it. and got sprinkled with water with this little leafy twig.

these kids called me out that i was not being very convincing that i was trying to take a pic of the building behind them.

this kid was pretty gangster. i asked him how old he was and he said 9. liar!

all kinds of yummy tofu products here.