Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Southwestern China

Following our China Teachers Conference we left Hong Kong in the afternoon and flew to Guilin. In the morning we went on a cruise down the Li river from Guilin to Yangshuo.  The air was not the cleanest so everything looks pretty hazy.  This is one place that we had been before (2008) on a day when the air was clearer so I did not publish many pictures. Even with all the "mist" it still was very picturesque.


When we arrived at the dock in Yangshuo this fellow was posing for pictures so I took one.  Only 5 RMB (80 cents).

Later that evening I went on a cormorant fishing demonstration and our host posed for pictures with his birds.  Yangshou was alive with people in the evening and it was fun to walk and shop in the bustling crowds.

 The next morning we rode back to Guilin via Reed Flute Cave which is an interesting place we had also previously visited in 2008.  It had not changed. The colored lights in a cave really change the atmosphere.

 That afternoon we flew from Guilin to Lijiang (altitude 7,900 ft), in the far Southwest of China near the  boarder with Tibet.  The next the morning we visited Black Dragon Pool Park.  It had a beautiful spring fed lake with great views of the snow covered mountain in the distance.  It was really nice to come to a place with clean air and blue skies.

The weather was a little cool but we really enjoyed walking around the lake and enjoying the scenery.  I asked how about the mountain in the background and was told it is 17,000 feet high.

We next visited  a sleepy little town with not many tourists.  Our guide walked us around the streets and we got to peek into some of the courtyards and see what some of the homes were like.


This woman was cooking some street food that looked like it could be some type of tofu burgers with fried vegetables that were not potatoes.  Later we went to the ancient village of Shuhe and in the afternoon we went to the main city of Lijiang.  It was a bustling tourist town that had lots of interesting shops and things to see.

These wooden plaques are examples of the Naxi minority pictogram writing.
  I bet you can guess the meaning of this one.

Potato chips on a stick!

This is a traditional three tiered spring.  First pool for drinking water, 
second for dish washing, and the third for clothes washing.  Then the
 water flows on to water the vegetable garden.

Naxi minority dress.

The rooftops of Lijiang.

 Which would you pick for lunch?  This...

Or this?

All options were available ... and everything in between.

Libby bought one of these tie-dyed tablecloths, and then we checked in to 
our hotel in Dali just in time for the New Year celebration.  We
 had a great view from our room .

 While in Dali we visited the Three Pagodas and had the rest of the
 day to explore the city.


Yes, one of the pagodas is leaning.  There was an earthquake in this
 region and one of the pagodas now has a significant list.  The
 remainder of the huge complex was destroyed but then
 was rebuilt about 10 years ago.

There were at least six Bhudist temples similar to this one. 
 Plus some interesting prayer wheels.


 The larger the wheel... the better the prayer?

 There were lots of people and great street scenes in Dali.

Dali was a real treat, day or night.

 This leg of our trip then came to a close at the Stone Forest near Kunming.

The next day we would leave to go for one
 more week in Vietnam and Cambodia

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