Hi Loungers, I just got back from a vacation in the Southern Chinese city of Lijiang. It is very close to the original "Shangri-La" and a nice place to go in order to get away from the hustle & bustle of city life. This region is the home of the Dongba minority (originally descended from nomadic Tibetans. Their religion is still based on a pre-Buddhist, Tibetan, religion). The Dongba people created their own paper in the 6th Century, independently from the paper invented in China, and is known as Dongba Paper. This paper can last over 1,000 years without any signs of deterioration and it was invented BEFORE the native, pictographic, written, language was created. It was invented in order to leave a history of the Dongba. (The Chinese invented paper well after the written language existed.)
We stayed in the "Old Village". There are no hotels here, just small Bed & Breakfast establishments (without the breakfast). We had a really nice room, with patio, on the second floor rooftop.
(with no ligh pollution, I could finally see the moon!)
The cobble stone streets of the "Old Village"
Some mountain lakes and a small waterfall
Jade Dragon Mountain is only 4,680 high, but still fun for a short climb.
Something I found interesting about the Dongba is their strong affinity toward cats and cat spirits. I noticed several houses had statues sitting on the center of the roofs. Close-up pictures revealed they were cats. I asked many people and got various explanations, but what I've gathered is these cats are protecting the homes. Most of the cats are originals that have been watching guard for hundreds of years, but a few are modern replacements. Most of the statues showed the same likeness, but there was some variety. I walked around the village to try and capture as many of the different statues I could find.
(A real cat decided to accompany the statue)
Sorry, but no VCs were taken on this trip (I'll do better in my next post, ):