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Thursday, 15 January 2015

YUNNAN CHINA ADV RIDE: DAY 3 - 5

3rd Dec 2014: CHUXIONG – DALI (211km)


I had a great shock in the morning when I didnt see my bike which I parked in front of the hotel last night. This bike didnt have a handle lock, nor did the owner equipped me with a pad lock to secure the bike. Meaning, anyone can steal the bike anytime. Thank god the receptionist showed me where they kept the bike when seeing me already panicking. To loose the bike meaning my USD1000 deposit will go down the drain. 

After checking out, I made my way to Dali via G320. I was still sick, voiceless and the navigation was no easier compared to yesterday. It was hard when I couldnt use the help from my GPS. I was lost few times and had to turn back. I had to ride on off road on and off and it was always climbing and winding. 





Fortunately again, the view saved the day. I passed lots of terraced vege fields. The veges were sooo fertile that I felt like plucking them. But I didnt do that of course even though theres no one around, bcos the veges belong to the farmer.






Chinese cabbage being dried
Abandon watermelons.....can I hv one?




As yesterday, I couldnt ride fast on this secondary road as the condition was bad. Lots of pot holes and fallen things from the lorries could be found on the road, such as gravels, dirt, rocks and even bricks. The lorries and trucks here didnt cover the things they were carrying with canvas. As a result, the things they carried fall down and scattered on the road. This was also another reason why speeding is unwise. You might not have the time to brake when suddenly theres a huge pile of gravels covering the entire road. I also noticed that the lorries here had such a mechanism that as they moved, the front rears will flow water to wet the road so as not to dirty the road with dirt which fall from their lorries. How smart, and dumb (excuse me) as well. Didnt it cross yr mind that canvas can save all the problems? By covering the things u carried with canvas will not only saved you from wasting water, but also minimized risk to other road users especially motorbikes when your fallen things flew down, and saved them from tripping over sands or gravels scattered on the road caused by u. It will also saved motorbikes from the danger of slippery wet road. Hmmmm.....itu pun nak kena ajar ke?

Layanzzzzz

Eventually I reached Dali and the vast Erhai blue lake welcomed me. I was hesitating, should or should not I camp for today. I had all my camping gadjets with me, but I was sick. Camping might worsen my health condition. Still, I rode at the southern part of the lake, trying to see if theres any suitable place to pitch my tent. I couldnt see any. The whole lake side was filled with buildings, something which Jah had told me much earlier. In the end I decided to find a GH at the old town.



I faced difficulties to find the old town as theres no sign board and I was unsure of my location at that time. To make matters worse, no one understand when I asked for "old town", as in their language, old town should be pronounced "gucheng". I was tired, hungry, sick and lost. I just rode on without knowing where the road would take me. Suddenly, I saw a sign board saying that Dali Old Town was another 20km away. How relieved I was. The road improved and as I’m nearing the old town, the sign board was more frequent. Finally, after riding for 6 hours and again, taking only one short break, I checked in at a guest house near the west gate of Dali Old Town.


Youyuan Inn
Theres a bike in the garden :)
Laling in front of my room
RMB60 (RM30)



As it was cold and I was sick, I didnt explore this place much. I only took a stroll nearby my GH during the night.



4th Dec 2014: DALI – LIJIANG (154km)


After checking out, I made my way to Lijiang via G214. The view of the magnificent Nu Shan and vege fields accompanied my ride as I exit Dali Old Town.



Fortunately G214 (at least for this part) is a two lanes paved road, and in a much better condition compared to the previous days. I happily told myself that if this continue until Lijiang, I can reach the latter in 3 hours time. 


I had no idea where the confusion took place, but suddenly I was no longer riding on G214. In fact there was no sign of the route number on the road that I’m riding. However, I knew that this road lead to Lijiang too. Learning from the past two days experience, I now had memorized my destination’s name in chinese character. It definitely made my life so much easier bcos I can now read the sign board a lil bit. I found out later that the road I’m riding to Lijiang was actually S221.

It was a very cold ride today as I climbed higher and higher. I didnt wear my thermal so I was shivering, especially when I passed the windmills area where the wind blew stronger. The view was very nice though with terraced vege and rice fields on both sides of the road.





Upon nearing Lijiang, I came across a toll plaza. I thought I had took the wrong way, so I turned back, but after searching, it seemed that there was no other road heading to Lijiang except this one.  I braved myself and rode through the toll plaza. No one tried to stop me. Then only I knew that this toll plaza was not for the expressway, and I can ride on this very good road which connected Lijiang airport and Lijiang town.

The good road to Lijiang Airport after the toll plaza
It says, "junction 200m ahead", agak2 aku lah... 


After leaving Dali 5 hours ago, I finally reached Lijiang Old Town. Motorbikes are not allowed in this old town so I circled the area and stopped to ask for room rate at the many guest houses scattered near the south gate. I settled at a very nice quiet place, October Inn. For RMB70 (RM35), I got a very comfy room, well equipped with hot shower, free wifi, coffee making facility, heater, electric blanket and LCD TV. 


Since I am still not feeling well, I just rest in my room and only took a short stroll at the old town during the night.


Nice traditional costume



5th Dec 2014: LIJIANG


Today is my rest day. After subuh prayer, I continued sleeping until late. I cooked my lunch and after that chatted with the receptionist who could speak reasonable English. Through her, I managed to learn some basic words in mandarin and find a place to buy a secure lock for Laling and some honey to heal my coughing as suggested by my FB friends.

Me and Xiang, the receptionist at October Inn

Then I went to the old town, this time exploring the narrow alleys and the souvenir shops thoroughly. This UNESCO World Heritage site has an 800 years history from as early as the late Song Dynasty. It was once a confluence for trade along the old tea horse road and was built where the Jade River divides into three. Its streams form the canals and waterways which flow along the old town streets. 

The canals @ waterways

Makcik rock :)


Herbs & ginseng
I first bought 3 lamb sticks from this Uighur guy.
It was soooo delicious that I had another 3. RMB2 per stick.

Walking is the only option in this cobble stone town. Its nice to just walk around, taking my own sweet time window shopping and watching the culture, colours and the faces of Lijiang.


Cross stitching while waiting for customer






There were many people streaming in and out endlessly and this place was very happening with souvenir shops, music shops, pubs and restaurants. Later, I walked to the square and the famed ancient water wheels.





Let me warn you, Lijiang girls are beautiful. Flawless and porcelain doll kinda face. So guys, kalau rasa tak kuat iman, dont come here :)





It was already dark when I walked back to my GH. Even though I had memorized the land mark at each and every turning that I took previously, I cant find them as everything look the same after it got dark. The shops, the alleys, the canals and bridges, I was confused...and before I knew it, I was lost. It was a nightmare to find the correct way. I asked the shopkeepers and also tour operators but no one could speak English. I showed them my GH card which had the GH location map printed on it, but I cant understand the direction which they tried to tell me. It was very frustrating. I was tired, still not 100% well and its getting chillier. I had to go round and round and round and all the while asking god to help me find my way. It was after 1 and a half hours going in circles that I managed to find my GH. Thank god. I was soooo exhausted. I had no idea how many km I had walked today.



2 comments:

  1. Is all the imported vege from China to Malaysia are growth here?

    ReplyDelete

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