Thursday 12 May Kunming to Lijiang

This morning we said goodbye to Kunming and boarded our bus along with our suitcases for a pleasant 40 minutes drive to the airport for our domestic flight to Lijiang. Check In and Security were straight forward and fairly soon, we found ourselves on our reasonably long walk to gate 45. Our China Eastern Airlines flight on an Airbus A319 was only an hour long and we were even served a snack and water.
It was sunny in Kunming when we left and although we flew through some clouds, the weather in Lijiang was quite warm with only a few clouds.

Lijiang is a World Heritage-listed town located within the beautiful valley at the foot of the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. As we flew into Lijiang we noticed how rugged the countryside was below us.
We were met at the airport by our lovely local guide, Cindy, who gave us some information about Lijiang and also the Naxi People, as we headed into Lijiang. As we drove along, we saw some nice farming areas with the mountains in the background. We were taken to a lovely Chinese Restaurant for lunch and we had another, but different, Chinese meal.

We were then taken to our hotel, the Grand Hyatt Lijiang, which is a little way out of the main town of Lijiang. It is a lovely hotel with several separate buildings – the main lobby and restaurants are all set around a lake overlooking the Jade Mountain. After settling into our spacious room overlooking an enclosed garden courtyard, we went exploring the complex, stopping for a cup of coffee/tea at the Lakeside Restaurant where we sat outside on the deck overlooking the lake and the Jade Mountain. There were clouds swirling around the top of the mountain and part of it was hidden – we heard thunder in the distance – we think there may be rain on the way.

As the Hotel Complex is quite big, we decided to call for a cart to come and pick us up from our building, (which is a fair distance from the lobby), as it had started to rain. By the time we all gathered in the lobby, it was pouring, so our bus driver got as close as he could to the front entrance to the lobby so that we wouldn’t get wet as we boarded the bus. We were taken to a restaurant in the town and once again had a traditional local Chinese meal, which was quite different from any of the other meals that we have had so far. Richard has now eaten 4 complete meals with chopsticks and Sandy ate some of both her lunch and dinner with chopsticks too. We enjoyed the meal and the friendly chatter, before boarding the bus and being taken back to our hotel, which was lit up like a fairyland. By this time it had stopped raining so we strolled back to our building and said goodnight to the others. We are looking forward to exploring Lijiang tomorrow.

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