Odyssey to South of the Clouds ... (p14) - the Timeless Lijiang ... (cont.)
Black Dragon Pool
as we'd be only going back to Kunming a day later, we had to change our plan. first thing to do, to confirm with River and Allen that we'd be staying for one more night at the hostel. and then changed our itinerary - Kunming in one half-day, and Lijiang in four days now!
we went down again, and spent time chatting with River about our next few days plan. we talked about the plan to visit the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and places around the old town. he made few suggestions and helped to check on the tour agents that could entertain our plan etc. he was really helpful. we didn't decide straightaway, as River told us we still have plenty time to decide. i mean the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain trip would be on the day after tomorrow.
i bought the old-town map from River, as thought it'd be helpful for us to mazing around the place later. at 15 yuan, it was pretty nice, and meant to be kept as memento.
we waited for the night - settle our jama' pray first, and the went out again. our first destination was actually to taste the Yunnan coffee, as suggested by TI. mind you, a cup of black coffee, relatively pricey for us, a budget traveler. we saw most of the cafes was selling it around 20 -30 yuan per cup, but i swear, we both saw a shop that selling it at 15 yuan per cup, and it was somewhere along the road that we walked daytime earlier, while hunting for the train tickets.
we walked towards the north gate and exited the old town, and then started to walk along the main road while keeping our eyes to each shop that we passed. and after walking for quite a while, we reached the other gate entrance of the old town. we were totally clueless as knowing that both of us were wrong about the exact location of the cute little cafe with 15 yuan per cup yunnan coffee that we saw earlier. we gave up, and decided to abandon our mission as we knew that there'd be few more days for us to wander around.it was a busy night in the old town, and i forgot it was a long weekend. people was like everywhere, wandering every corner of the street within the old town. it was fun to be in the moment for a while, enjoying the old town glowing with the light etc. we decided to wander, while keeping our strolling along the street/s that would bring us back to Wu Yi street where our hostel was. that should be enough for the night.
we walked for a while, and with the map bought earlier, i was quite confident with my sense of direction, until we reached at one of the small square, that made a junction between few streets of the old town. i got confused and started to look for any significant landmark that we could relate and it took for a while.
just before we decided to walk back to the main square, we were greeted by a chinese guy asking us in soundly perfect english whether we were in need for any help. we told him that we were actually looking for the street, and guess what, he became our saviour for the night!
meet Mike (as he told us to call him), our saviour. he took out his smartphone and then quickly searching for the street using the map apps, and then navigated us towards the street. well...it took three of us to few back-alleys, passing few streets too before we reached Wu Yi street. we felt guilty for spoiling his night actually, but apparently he was ok. Mike was a local tourist actually, and he was with his travel group wandering around the old town before decided to part himself from the group doing his own stuff and then met us.
and just as we were about to thank him while strolling along the Wu Yi street, we saw the cute little cafe with the 15yuan per cup yunnan coffee sign, just in front of us. we both we delighted, and told Mike that we'd been looking for the cafe and decided to give a try. we asked him to join us, as a courtesy for helping us out earlier.
we talked and shared stories. Mike apparently a software engineer with ArcSoft and based in Hangzhou. he was travelling with his group of friends, perhaps from his office for the long weekend. if i've not mistaken, he did visit Shangri-la, few days earlier. we shared our plan to visit the mountain with him, and he gave us some useful tips - especially on the oxygen canister to combat the altitute sickness, as he went there the day before.the session went for a while, until Mike had to excuse himself as he'd be joining his group back to the hotel.
'don't forget to come and visit me in Hangzhou! i'll drive you guys around'
we walked back to Timeless Hostel. at 10pm, the night around the old time, and Wu Yi street felt still early. we decided to stop by the diner - Robin's Diner, next to the Timeless Hostel, craving for some light snack for the night. yeap, our last meal was our late lunch before.
#more about the diner later.
another long day ended with quite an experience - the journey from tiger leaping gorge to lijiang, dealing with the train tickets thing, mazing around the old time, meeting new friend etc.