Yunnan

Tiger Leaping Gorge | Gorge Hike | February 12, 2004
Getting to the gorge was hard enough. Bus stations in Lijiang were hard to deal with and there was just no easy way to do it. Finally we jumped in a taxi with two other girls after bargaining for a cheap price. The taxi guy let us off at a bridge just outside the gorge and took off. We left and realized we had no idea which side of the river to walk on. We started down the side we were on and got to a ticket booth. It looked ok but there was something strange about it. One thing was for sure.. we don’t dish out money very easily (especially 30 RMB (3 USD) yes I am cheap).Good thing it was so early in the morning and the ticket booth guy was asleep. We snuck past him and walked quite a distance before he popped up and saw us. He ran up to us and then we played dumb – pretending we didn’t know you had to pay for it. He stood there and blocked our path so we took a right into a small restaurant to have breakfast. He let us go in but we could see him waiting outside for us. We ate and just as we were finishing, we noticed that some people were at his booth wanting to pay. As he went back to deal with them, we took off down the path without him noticing (hearts racing). We walked for about half an hour and started to notice that we were on some stupid tourist pathway because old ladys were wizzing by us on man-powered carriages. Also the path was all pavement.

Just then our friend from the ticket booth caught up with us on a bike and… here we go again. After playing dumb for half an hour we finally coughed up the 30 RMB each (we were wasting time). We continued on our way and then it happened. We reached the end of the path only to realize we were walking on the wrong side of the stupid gorge. AHHHHH!! We finally walked back a little bit and payed some farmer to take us across the river on his raft. Fortunately when we got to the other side we were on the right side of the river and past the ticket booth of the real entrance to the gorge. From then it was all about conquering.

-steve

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Lijiang, Yunnan | Getting to Dali | February 14, 2002
Kevin and I are done hiking the gorge and since we only have a week in Yunnan we are eager to get to Dali tonight. Otherwise there is no way we are going to be able to visit Dali. We get to the bus station and everything is sold out for the whole evening. We kind of sat around and pouted (prayed lots). Then just as we were about to give up, some guy took pity on us and told us to walk down the street and turn the corner. We did it because we had no other options. 10 minutes later, he brought his private van around the corner and we jumped in with his family. Then we were off to Dali! We spent the whole trip teaching his kids english and I guess that pretty much paid for the trip because he let us off in Dali and that was that!

-steve

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Dali, Yunnan | Dali Guesthouse | February 14, 2002
Kevin and I arrive to Dali after our miraculous trip from Lijiang. Still caught up in the faith thing, we start looking for a place to stay just after dark. All the places we go to are just way too out of our range (more than 4 canadian dollars). Basically if it was more than that we slept in a park. After scouring the whole area for a hotel (and finding no good parks) we descided there was no finding a place. We decided to lean up against a building and sleep on the street (and praying lots). Some guy saw us as he was putting away his fruit stand. We told him we couldn’t find a cheap place to stay. He laughed at me the frugal little white boy. Actually I was probably more frugal than him. Anyway, he took us through some pretty disgusting, dark alleys and broght us to this pretty rundown place. We told him we weren’t really “into” these types of set-ups but he assured us that everything was ok. We walked in and it was actually pretty nice. And the best part of all – clean beds at $2 CAD a night!! SCORE!!!!!!!!!!! (and showers). So Kevin and Steve avoid the streets for another night.

-steve

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