Let's stay humble, we have 14 days,... 14 days to "discover" China, including all the teaching days, so say its 9 days, ... we humbly hope to just about get a glimpse of a few cities or villages, and dearly hope to get to discuss with one or two families around... so there it goes, Yunnan glimpse of a few days!
We reached Jinghong from the border crossing point of Mohan, and it took us a minivan during 2 hours up to Mengla + a bus during 5hours to get there... I was terribly sick by the time we arrived, the bus driver had just forgotten he was not riding a Porche... and the roads, beautiful around us, were just mountain curves after mountain curves...
Jinghong is going to be our second "biggest" town within our Chinese experience, just 93000 inhabitants... we are just out of Lao and Cambodia, we need time to adapt:)) A tranquil city that has fairly little touristic feel. The beauty is outside: mountains, river, two great bridges. Quite similar natural environment as what we had been accustomed to in Northern Lao.
A few days teaching, which definetly means stuck-in-the-hotel-room, because our Lao days around with Mum and getting organised had not produced enough French&Math.
People are nice, helpful, happy to see a white cild around, but the smiles are already not the Lao ones, the attitudes more concentrated. What surprises us are the opening times: no where to find a proper coffee place open before 9 in the morning, and local breakfast places are full at 8... after our 6 to 7 in Cambodia, what a change. Of course night time opening hours for shops and markets surprise us the other way around... so we drop our usual wake-up time at the monks'prayers and rooster screams sounds - our habit from Cambodia - and sleep it off until... brave 6 and 7's!
We got lots of help from a café called the Forest Café. Great food, but also open and engaging staff who really want to help you discover their area, match local communities with our foreign I-Know-Nothing attitudes, and help out. Do go: they're worth a fortune for wanderers!
We dined at the Mekong Café, which seems to be loosig customers although they too have a good deal of good meals to offer.
Leaving Jinhong was quite easy because we chose the easy flying way out. And, surprisingly, although everybody told us we could not book a flight to international destinations from this city, we called the Chengdu International counter, and they booked us our flight for Kathmandu, we just had to deposit the money on their account at their bank... it took us 3 days to find that out and set it up, but knowing this, it can be done in a few hours... we had the feeling we were the first ones around to do that, considering the surprised looks on our helpful café hosts who lead the conversations for us! So no need to bus around Kunming to fly out of China...
The utmost touristic city around Yunnan... yes, surely, but so beautiful! We liked it on the spot and decided to stop a long while and rush on lessons while enjoying the scenery. So here we are since January 18th.
Jan 26th... still here, but the weather has turned badly as soon as the 5 days lessons were finished... so we're stuck here, but under the rain and will not see the beautiful glacier.. such a pity!
Until our departure, that is, until a few minutes before we departed, the weather remained clouded and we were not able to see any of the surroundings,... we'll just have to come back!
Our Li Jiang Best Of: homestyle guesthouse, warm welcome, silent at night, sunny rooms, and the luxury of a sunny terrace and charming fresh flowers... with day-round wifi access... this is certainly the best we've had, and we've seen some. It is the Green Ant Inn, above the market square, just under the radio mast... call Mrs Ding Hong and she will come and pick you up in the city center, it's the safest way: 15987934178, or email them a reservation at firstname.lastname@example.org