Rainy days in Yunnan

After a train ride that took more than 18 hours I got to Kunming, where I met up with a fellow students after we found the youth hostel there (it had moved about one block, but the sign was still at the old address). Unfortunately after it had started to rain when I visited the Longji Rice Terraces, it never really stopped again. Even the train ride brought me about 1000 km west of Guilin, the weather situation did not change much, so I was welcomed by a lot of clouds when I got to the “spring city” as Yunan’s capital Kunming is nicknamed. Actually the first syllable of Yunnan stands for cloud (云)… When I left the Kunming train station I was also welcomed by several people shouting “Dali, Dali, Lijiang” – offering bus tickets to the two major tourist destinations in Yunnan.

Over the bridge noodles

However, we first spend one and a half day in Kunming, and then took the sleeper bus to Dali. On the first day in Kunming we still had hope, that the weather might get better the second day and took a slow start. So we first bought plane tickets back to Beijing – well, they first spelled my name wrong on the ticket and it took them some time to fix this error. After that we went to the city center, saw the two pagodas and had “Across-the-bridge-noodles” (过桥米线) for dinner. I had these noodles before when I was in Chongqing, the noodles and some meat and vegetables are cut in small stripes and is then put into a hot soup and a delicious meal is ready to eat just after a little moment.

On the second day in Kunming we wanted to got to the Grand View Park first and take a ferry from there to the Xishan mountain area. To get into the Grand View Park and go to the Grand View Tower was no problem, although the title of the park made us expect a somewhat better view on the Dian Chi lake south of Kunming. It was not possible to take the ferry, it had suspended a service, and as the weather was not that good, so we also did not want to go there by taxi, since the view was possible not worth the expenses for the daxi drive. Instead we went to Yuantong Temple, just mentioned in a side notice in my travel guide, but it was definitely worth a visit. For a Yuan 4 entrace fee I did not expect such an extraordinary temple: There was one hall surrounded by water, and the big hall was neatly decorated and featured two large dragon statues – I had never seen this in any other temple in China that I have been to.

Yuantong temple in Kunming
Yuantong temple in Kunming.

In the evening we took a sleeper bus to Dali, however I did not sleep all that much… After breakfast in Dali, it started to rain again, butwe still decided to rent bicycles and to go to Erhu Lake. Anyway, we did not find the way there, so we just toured some villages while getting wet. When we stopped in front of a farm house to put our rain coats on, the farmer’s dog started barking at us, and we ended up being invited for a cup of hot tea – Chinese hospitality is still very important for those people who invited us.


3 Responses to “Rainy days in Yunnan”

  1. Sam, a girl who just visited to Kassel and met Dr. Ortrud Weitzel Says:

    Hi Matthias,

    My name is Sam, a chinese girl from HK and also just be back from Kassel where I met Dr. Ortrud Lind-Weitzel. From her I got your contact of this blog. Ich freue mich, kennen zu leneren!

    I just know from your blog that you are going to hike in Tiger Leaping Gorge. I went there last year. It was a very nice hiking route. I wish you have good weather so you can enjoy the beautiful view up in the mountains. Some people skip this part when they travel to Yunnan, however It was the most impressive part in my journey last year. So you should go!!!

    If you would pass by HK another time, you are very welcome to contact me. Your lovely mother has my contact!!

    All the best to your journey and safe flight back home!

    Viele Grusse!!!
    Sam Man

  2. beijing07 Says:

    Hi Sam,

    thanks for the nice comment! Next time I am in Hongkong I will contact you – however I don’t know when I get a chance to go there…

    We wanted to take the Tiger Leaping Gorge, but it is closed down due to heavy rain in the past days and it seems that three hikers have died just a week ago, so there is no way for me to tour this area 😦

  3. Cloudy days in Yunnan « Beijing 2007 Says:

    […] Beijing 2007 « Rainy days in Yunnan […]

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