Odyssey to South of the Clouds ... (p17) - the Timeless Lijiang ... (cont.)

Night at Lijiang Old Town
Yunnan, China
May 2015

it was passed 4pm and it had been a while since we got back from the exhausting trip exploring the Lion Hill and Black Dragon Pool. TI already woke up, if not mistaken and went to the pc to check his facebook. i went down and had a quick chat with River's wife who was doing some errant at the common area. 

later then, i went down to the reception with TI and met River to further confirm on our plan to visit Yu Long Snow Mountain on the day after. he had few suggestion and gave us some price estimation, but advised us to scout around with the travel agents around the old town for comparison before any decision being made.

while discussing, we talked about the place and River's told us how much the place has changed since the day he arrived and opened the hotel. despite our euphoria to be there at the old town, his perspective somehow validating our feeling on the commercialization of the place, that led to the overflow of tourists. he just chuckled when telling us if we could notice at every few blocks of the shop lots apart, you'll see the same kind of shops - with the same setting and selling the same stuff.

'the locals who owned the houses/shop lots, no longer stayed here and rented the place. the place is no longer the same and authentic. this streets for example, used to be where the poets and artisans living their life etc. '

even her wife, which i forgot her name, admitted the same and told us that if you want to get away from the hectic streets, but still want the authentic old-town feeling - go to Dali.

we left River and decided to wander to the South Gate of the old town while there was still daylight and promised to get back to him at night to confirm on the plan.using the map that i bought for RMB15 from the hostel, we started our walked to the South Gate. 
enjoy the pics.

the street that led to the south gate apparently full of big cafes and restaurants and all got lighten up with the lantern-style lights. it was pretty nice to see how the street glowing. as we walked towards the gate, we heard a guy from one of the restaurants broke the calmness of the evening with his voice - shouting to attract customers to his restaurant - and he spotted us

'hello guys, come here. have a meal at our restaurant. you guys are from singapore? no? malaysia? must be kuala lumpur? '

well..the dialogue which was more or less, as far as i could remember.

anyway...of course we were not in mood for fancy dinner, and continued to walk towards the south gate.
i could see glimpse of halal eateries along the main road next to the south gate of the town. a glimpse? yeap..as i am telling from the colour of the signboard and i think i saw few writings in 'jawi' etc. but if you googled, the halal eateries are actually within the main town of Lijiang, and the main road that i saw is one of that leads to the main town.

after enough memographing the place, despite it was getting darker, we left the south gate and walked back and met again the guy. he tried again to convince us to eat at his restaurant, but there was no luck for him - mahal weyyy. 

i made a stop at Mumu coffee kiosk and bought a glass of salted mocha if not mistaken. we both sat near the kiosk and had it sipped while watching the crowd started to fill the calm street of the old town as the night fall.
we left the kiosk and walked back towards where had came before, while making a few stops at the shops along the streets.

ah. Lijiang girl drummers was a common sight within the old town. it was like every few shop lots apart you would encounter them. they will play the drum to accompany the catchy 'summer song' track which being played continuously, hence attracting the visitors to stop by - to listen, to buy the drum, or even the music CD. few days in Lijiang...i must admit that this catchy tune of the 'summer song' (not the drum) played in my head and made me hummed to same tune.
we walked further, strolling the streets to the main square and as closer got there, the street became jam-packed. it was a long weekend in China, hence explained the huge crowd, mainly local tourists flocking the place.
i took another peek at the stalls around the food court of the old town, and saw such exotic snacks - fried insect.

once reached the main square, we made a turn to Wu Yi street and walked back to our hotel. we still owed River on our decision about tomorrow's plan.
the churros shop. we saw the shop as we walked towards the south gate and been planning to try it since then. we made a slight detour from the Wu Yi street, and then arrived at the shop. it was still opened, and each of us bought a pack of 5 with chocolate dip and then sat at the bench in front of the shop to eat. 

a guy, one of the staff there went out and greeted us. he could speak english well, and had brief chat with us - from asking where we were from, and then sharing some fun facts about Lijiang being a city of love etc. it was a while, and then we bid farewell to him and the cute ladies of the churros shop.
we met River as we got back and then finalized our plan for the next day. we bid early farewell to the night as we were going to leave for Yu Long Snow Mountain early tomorrow.



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