Lijiang is another of those cities that has grown and expanded enormously over the last few years, yet it is the old town that draws people here. I arrived in the late afternoon and headed for the old town and Mama Naxis' restaurant to meet a French woman who I had met through the couchsurfing website and had agreed to host me for my stay while I was in town. Heading for the old town was easy enough as it was signposted from just about every road junction that I passed. It was another thing entirely pushing my bike through the old town trying to find the restaurant. The old town is made up of stream lined streets lined with restaurants and tourist oriented shops with alleyways, courtyards and side streets, each worthy of a photograph or even a whole photo album of their own.
Anne had sent me a text with the name of the restaurant in Chinese for me to show to people in order to find my way. Showing them the phone and following their pointed directions finally led me to Mama Naxis where I met Anne as well as another French couple and an Israeli couple, all brought together via couchsurfers. We ate a traditional Naxi meal of about 6 dishes together before heading off to a bar to finish off the evening. I was to spend the next two days with Alex and Mika, the French couple as we chilled out first in Lijiang and then in Bai Sha, a small town about 8km north.
My first impressions of Lijiang were of picturesque streets scenes that would do Disney proud. Stone streets lined with willow trees weeping over streams, small arched bridges linking streets and alleys that twisted and turned as well as climbed all over the place. About thirty minutes later I had to put away the camera as I was just fed up of taking photographs. Every street and every building is a prime candidate for a picture.
There's not must else to say about my time in Lijiang. I shall just leave you with some more pictures.