In 2002 Lijiang had no airport and the only way there from Tiger Leaping Gorge was by road and a four hour journey across the mountains. The town was on the Southern Silk Road from Burma, across Tibet, Iran, the Fertile Crescent of the Tigris and Euphrates and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea.
The town’s narrow streets wind up and around the hillside that’s topped by the pagoda.
In places houses are built almost on top of each other and in recent years many new reproduction properties has meant the place extending across the surrounding plain.
And water from Jade Snow Dragon Mountain…
……flows through the streets in narrow canals to feed systems of pools.
Nearby is the ancient village of Baisha, home of the Naxi minority nationality……
it’s ancient orchestra, whose players play ancient instruments….
some amazing characters and …….
and the Baisha murals. Next stop Zhongdian – now renamed Shangri La.