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Nuo Deng: The Salt Town and Confucius Temple

Friday, August 22, 2014 - 14:03
Nuo Deng
Nuo Deng

Nuo Deng

Yun Long County

Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

Yunnan Province

China

June 8, 2014

Now here’s a quote to remember:

"Jan, I am impressed!"

So proclaims my guide Ilian as we reach the top of the mountain.

Ilian may be impressed.  But I am not sure whether to feel proud or to feel duped.  An hour ago, after breakfast, Illian casually suggests, "Let's take a stroll to see the Confucius Temple."   Was I impressed into this vigorous constitutional?


Shaxi: Shibaoshan Cave Temples

Saturday, June 7, 2014 - 07:00
Shibaoshan
Shibaoshan

Shaxi

Yunnan Province

China

June 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

I should have known better.   I should have looked at my map.  I should have been more aware of my surroundings.  I should have taken my hiking stick!

My guide Ilian and I decided on an early morning drive to the remote Shibaoshan Cave Temples – a complex of grottoes just north of Shaxi.  We invited Nicole to join us. 

A grotto is a small cave or cavern or a man-made shelter that resembles a cave.  Did I assume that the grottoes are easily accessible?


Shaxi: Ancient Tea Horse Road

Friday, June 6, 2014 - 15:00
Shaxi
Shaxi

Shaxi

Yunnan Province

China

June 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

During my brief visit to the livestock market in Shaxi, I recalled the ditty “Mules” that I learned at Boy Scout Camp.   As I trod the grounds among horses, cows, bulls and other assorted browsers, I paid strict attention to the lyric.*

Shaxi is an historic town along the Ancient Tea Horse Road that connects China to Burma to Tibet to India.  But Shaxi is unlike Lijiang, another caravan stop to the northth.  Lijiang boasts an airport that dismounts herds of visitors.  Shaxi retains an “ancient” atmosphere.


Lijiang: Ethnic Minority Markets

Friday, June 6, 2014 - 07:00
Ethnic Minorities
Ethnic Minorities

On the Road

Yunnan Province

China

June 4, 2014

You ever see a pig on a leash?

You ever see a lady smoke a pipe?  Did she have tattoos on her forearm?

Somewhere between Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shaxi, we were lucky enough to pass through a large town with a colorful weekly market in progress.

The ethnic minorities were welcoming and friendly and pleased to pose for a photo.


Lijiang Prefecture: On the Road

Thursday, June 5, 2014 - 07:00
Lijiang Mountains
Lijiang Mountains

Lijiang Prefecture

Yunnan Province

China

June 5, 2014

Hello,

Does anyone remember the insufferable strains of The Blue Danube Waltz from a movie released in 1969?

In his epic movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, the director Stanley Kubrick used that Johann Strauss tune as a backdrop to the flight of the space ship Discovery as it hurtled towards Jupiter.

That shot of the Discovery out in dark space lingered on the screen for what seemed like an endless light year.  Why use such a technique?  Would it alienate the moviegoer?  Didn’t we all squirm in our seats and feel impatient and uncomfortable?