Not Enough Days in Dali

D is for Delicious, Delightful Dali – a premier ancient town in Yunnan.  I spent only 3 days in and around Dali – just enough to see the highlights and not enough to dally in Dali.  This is what greeted me after a day of travel by train from Kunming! And it just got better and better. This Chongsheng Temple, with three iconic pagodas, is … Continue reading Not Enough Days in Dali

Chilling on Ciqikou Chili

Ciqikou (Porcelain Port) is an ancient village inside Chongqing – built on the steep bank of the Jialing River just before it joins with the mighty Yangtze.  It is a maze of old wooden buildings with an amazing food street winding down down down the middle to a ledge high above the river. It’s pronounced “She chee koo” if you’re wondering, and it’s where a tourist … Continue reading Chilling on Ciqikou Chili

The Allure of Lijiang

Words are inadequate to describe Lijiang in remote Yunnan, so just a bit of context before my photo blast.  Lijiang Ancient Town is perched on a sidehill, with a serious of streams and canals cascading down through lanes and shops, guesthouses and restaurants, huge squares and tiny alleys.  At the top of the village is the Waterwheel, emblematic of Lijiang, next to a large parking … Continue reading The Allure of Lijiang

Shuhe on the Tea Horse Road

Tucked into the mountains just beyond bustling Lijiang city is Shuhe Ancient Town – notable as the start of the mountain horse paths carrying tea out from Yunnan to the world.  For a moment, I thought I was in Banff in my Canadian home of Alberta, until the traffic on the road reminded me I was in very remote China. Like Xizhou and it’s bigger … Continue reading Shuhe on the Tea Horse Road

Xizhou Village on the Edge

I suppose most villages in China –  if they have survived wars, earthquakes and the relentless passage of time – could be considered Ancient Towns.  Some have achieved status as World Heritage sites – Lijiang and Pingyao – or as AAAAA Tourist Attractions – Zhouzhuang and Dali.  But some are just there… like Xizhou Village, on the edge of famous Dali Ancient Town and on … Continue reading Xizhou Village on the Edge

Wuzhen Water Town Before

Wuzhen is a water town located on the Grand Canal near Hangzhou.  It has a really great PR campaign and I had been saving its Facebook posts for over a year – compelling images and dreamy ideals.  When I finally had a chance to visit, I was so disappointed.  It did not live up to my expectations, but maybe the hype had been just too … Continue reading Wuzhen Water Town Before

Charming Qibao Hidden in Shanghai

Ancient Qiboa Zhen – Seven Treasures Town seems hidden inside ultra-modern Shanghai.  I’ve seen a lot of the city of Shanghai, but not this little gem. Like other ancient towns, it is a square centered over a canal, with iconic bridges and weeping willows, striking doors and specialty shops. A long and busy shopping street runs down the middle. Near the end, I find a … Continue reading Charming Qibao Hidden in Shanghai

Xi’an Inside and Outside the Wall

Central to the mega-city of Xi’an is a mammoth and ancient city wall.  There is so much to explore, one way to set a program in the city is the delineate between what is inside and outside the great wall of Xi’an. Outside the wall – on the outskirts of the city – is the stunning Terracotta Warrior exhibit that is almost synonymous with Xi’an … Continue reading Xi’an Inside and Outside the Wall

The Wonders of the Wild Goose Pagodas

They are actually mis-named, according to my Xi’an guide who was fastidious about English. “It was a poor translation! It should be Wild Swan Pagodas”  he said, and I agree. Goose is not nearly as elegant a word as swan, and this temple complex in Xi’an is certainly elegant, and more!  Both the Big and the Small Wild Goose Pavilions are in the center of … Continue reading The Wonders of the Wild Goose Pagodas