It was really funny when a man took our picture and presented us with a 5x7" photo that he wanted us to buy. We were, of course, getting our own photo with our own camera, but we bought his photo because he had "blue screened" us into a photo with the mountains covered in snow and more water in the pond!!
The pool is called Heilongtan (or Black Dragon Pool), part of a natural spring which in recent years has dried up. The hill behind is Elephant Hill. Our guide told us of the happiest day of her life when she had a picnic with her family at this park, and how sad it is now that the spring is dried up. There was still enough water in the pond to be impressive and beautiful.
|It was lovely to hear this native musician play in such a beautiful spot.|
|The cherry blossoms are already out!|
|Longshen (Dragon God) Temple, built by the Naxi in 1737, to the god of rain.|
|I'm not sure this is him, but the temple was built during the reign of Emperor Qianlong. Quite an impressive-looking guy!|
|Mahjong game--the people in caps are women.|
|Me and the woman who embroidered this tablecloth--I love it (and bought it)!|
|Native Naxi costume--a woman going to market.|
|Courtyard homes with wooden front doors.|
|Narrow alleyways--lots of grey and white coloring|
|Working woman digging sand|
|Piglets in a courtyard home|
|Beautiful woodwork--two stories in the homes.|
|The red banners are for good fortune, of course|
|This courtyard reminded me of my Italian ancestors' homes.|
|We came across a wedding party!! The groom hands out cigarettes and the bridge peanuts and sweets. Mother looks proud.|
|Isn't this home pretty?|
|Plucking a chicken--put it in hot water to make it easier.|
|These women are working construction, carrying baskets of dirt out.|
|Isn't she a Grande Dame?|
|Beautifully-embroidered baby carrier!|
|Student of embroidery design. How do you like her working conditions?|
After lunch, we went to another UNESCO heritage site, the village of Shu He (Leather River) which is much more touristy than where we just went. There were modern restaurants and shops galore, but the older part of the village was beautiful. Kirk bought a leather belt, since that's the traditional trade, and it has the 1200-year-old written language characters on it which are quite unique. The town has a clear, clean, pure stream running through the middle which is quite rare in China!
|Some of the wood carvings on the doorways are magnificent!|
|Can I hold your cute baby?|
|Yes, that's a hookah pipe on the table at a cafe. We didn't eat here.|
This bridge is 400 years old and looks toward a mountain shaped like the ancient Chinese money, yuan bao. It also leads to Llasa, Tibet, along the Silk Road, where the leatherworkers sold their goods. So the tradition is, that if you stand on this bridge and have your photo taken with the mountain in the back, you will have wealth. Oh boy!
|Local native costume and pipe.|
|Fresh vegetables are kept in cool, clear water for display until purchased. They look so beautiful!|
|The stream runs right next to the building.|
|The whole world loves Legos!! (Even the knock-offs!)|
|Too bad the malls in America don't warn shoppers like this.|
|Garden in front; wash day in back.|
|I wish this bell was for sale.|
|This is my "National Geographic, Pulitzer-Prize" photograph. Love it!|
|Young girls in town in native costume. Working at a restaurant.|
|There's definitely more money in this town. Beautiful place!|
|The "3-wells system" of the Naxi--the first is for drinking, second for washing, third for scouring. Smart!!|
|"The Fat Sister's Yak Meat"|
The Yu River is at the top edge of Square
Here are the ladies who sold us our jerky.
|You can pay this man for a ride on his donkey and a picture.|
|Narrow alleyways filled with shops in old buildings.|
Take a close look at the open ditch only a step away from the front of this shop. It's where the water flows into after washing the square. But if you weren't watching, you could easily fall into it and break your leg! China does not have an OSHA standard!
However, the tasty fruit crepes made fresh while you wait (and filled with ice cream, too!) are worth the risk of falling in.
|Even though the shop is called the "Octopus Pill", it's delicious!!|
|This man will let you hold his bird for a price.|
|Another tasty snack (a fresh strawberry!) by the town creek.|
|Da Shui Che (Big Water Wheel) Square|
|A wedding!! They use fresh flowers to decorate the cars.|
|A plumbing truck--Kirk thought his brother would get a kick out of this!|
|Anything look tasty?|
|How about this one?|
|Outdoor hair wash for the little boy. She, too, is wearing her coat while she cleans him up.|
There is also a drum tower next to the bell tower, and an elaborate entry gate.
|More cherry blossoms!|
|Looking up through all 4 stories.|
The views were beautiful from here, looking down on the old town, across to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and into the Emperor Mu's Palace.
|Jade Dragon Snow Mountain|
|The cypress trees on this hill are 400 years old! It's a lovely park.|
|Emperor Mu Family Residence|
We walked back down for a last look at the old town and were in time to see the women exercising on the Square Market.
Naxi Square Market Dancers
|Costume on a model--beautiful silver!|
|Lots of the Naxi homes had this "gargoyle" on them of an open-mouthed beast (dragon?).|
|Interesting wood work.|
This is providing the proper "feng shui" for the business. You must have water in front and mountains in back, so they supply their own water (plus a few discontented koi).
|Delivery truck? (This bed is NOT Chinese--looks much too soft!)|
|Amazing Lijiang--thanks for the memories!|