Wednesday, April 30, 2008

China Lijiang Trip Itinerary

Here is our itinerary for our Kuala Lumpur – Shanghai – Kunming – Lijiang – Dali – Kunming – Shenghai – Kuala Lumpur trip. You can buy Kuala Lumpur – Kunming- Kuala Lumpur flight ticket from MAS and reduce the trip by 2 days.

Day 1 Kuala Lumpur-Shanghai
We (SM & I) flew MAS to Shanghai, arrived around 2pm. Went to TM’s house to refresh, then out for dinner near XinTianDi. Slept in TM’s house.

Day 2 Shanghai-Kunming
The 3 of us (SM, TM & I) flew Southern Airline to Kunming, arrived around 3pm. Signed up local tour package in the airport, purchased ticket for YangLiPing (杨丽萍) show. Headed to check in Hotel YunLiang (云粮大酒店), left to KunMing Hall (昆明礼堂) for YangLiPing’s show at 7pm. Dinner nearby the hall before show starts.

Day 3 Kunming-Lijiang
Flew first flight to Lijiang, arrived around 9am. Went straight to Naxi tribe’s DongBa Cultural Village, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain (玉龙雪山), and a few other Naxi’s interests. Had our lunch at one of the attractions. At night checked in Motel TianYuanMuGe (田园牧歌) inside Shuhe historical village (束河古镇). Dinner in the motel. Joined local to dance in the dance square after dinner.

Day 4 Lijiang-Tiger Leaping Gorge-Lijiang
Departed from motel at 8:30am to Tiger Leaping Gorge, which was 3 hours driving distance from Lijiang town. Lunch nearby the gorge. Dinner in Lijiang historical village (丽江古城), in a Naxi restaurant - Amayi (阿妈意).

Day 5 Lijiang-Dali-Kunming
Morning returned to Lijiang historical village, visited House of Mu (木府). Had lunch nearby, then depart to Dali in a car. After dinner in Dali, took a train back to Kunming (arrived 6:30am next day).

Day 6 Kunming
Checked in hotel in the morning, refreshed and out for lunch in town. Visited DaGuanYuan garden (大观园) after lunch, adjoined to Yunnan Cultural Village (云南民族村) by boat. Dinner in cultural village.

Day 7 Kunming-Stone Forest-Kunming
Departed from hotel at 8:30am to the famous Stone Forest (石林), which was around 3-4 hours drive from the city. On the way back, visited Seven Colour Yunnan (七彩云南) – a commercial place set up by government to ensure quality of Yunnan’s specialties. Dinner in Kunming city center.

Day 8 Kunming-Shanghai
Checked out after breakfast, free & easy in Kunming city. Flight back to Shanghai at 4pm.

Day 9 Shanghai-Kuala Lumpur
Morning flight back to KL.

My Recommended Itinerary
I would recommend the following itinerary, especially if you have time. We didn’t really research well, and due to the detour to Shanghai we wasted some time. A few attractions were missed out as we were short of time. Shangri-la was missed too due to the recent Tibetan issues.

Flights from Kunming to Lijiang can be obtained from this website:

Day 1 Kuala Lumpur-Kunming-Lijiang
KUL-KMG 0935-1310.
KMG-LJG 1630-1720. (Costs from RMB 200 to 600)
I would recommend staying in one of the motels (客栈) in the historical villages, good experience! Enjoy the night activities in those villages.

Day 2 Lijiang Sightseeing
Visit Jade Dragon Snow Mountain, and a few other attractions like DongBaGu (东巴谷). Seriously, I feel that only the snow mountain and dongbagu worth visiting, though we went to quite a few others (which we can’t remember them!).

Day 3 Lijiang Sightseeing
Spend a full day strolling the historical villages - both Lijiang Old City and the Shuhe Old Village are worth visiting.

Day 4-5 Lijiang – Tiger Leaping Gorge – Shangri la
Depart to Shangri la in the morning. On the way, visit Tiger Leaping Gorge. There are 3 spots to be visited. To save time, can visit the most famous spot – the Upper Tiger Leap (上虎跳).
Shangri la is best visited in May, June and July. In May they have lots of activities. June and July are the most beautiful period.
Spend 2 nights in Shangri-la.

* Day 4-5 Alternative: Lijiang – Luku Lake
Luku Lake is very beautiful and worth visit due to its special tribe – the Mosuo People (摩梭人). Mosuo tribe is also regarded as the Women Kingdom (女儿国), the famous kingdom in Journey to the West (西游记).
Spend 2 nights in Luku Lake.

Day 6 Shangri la/ Luku Lake – Lijiang
Return to Lijiang

Day 7 Lijiang-Kunming
LJG-KMG 0840-0930.
Rent a car to the Stone Forest.

Day 8 Kunming Cultural Village
Take a cab to the cultural village, worth spending a full day and should start in the early morning (8am), as every tribe has their own cultural dance, scheduled at different timing.

Day 9 Kunming-Kuala Lumpur
KMG-KUL 1420-1750

Related Topics
Overview of My Lijiang Trip
Lijiang Scenes & Activities - Dongbagu

Overview of My Lijiang Trip

As my Enrich points going to expire last year, I redeemed return tickets to Shanghai, intended to visit its surrounding areas (Suzhou, Hangzhou, etc) since two of my friends are living there. After further discussion with my friends, we ended up going to Lijiang from Shanghai, and it was decided very late – almost near our departing date. :)

So, the route that I take is definitely not a recommended one to anyone intend to visit Lijiang, as you would end up spending too much on flights! I went to Shanghai, then flew China Southern Airline to Kunming, then flew over to Lijiang. The total trip was 9 days 8 nights, with actual time spent in Kunming-Lijiang only 7 days 6 nights.

The recommended route would be to fly directly to Kunming with MAS. This will save you time and cost. For me, I don’t mind this as I also intended to meet my friends who are currently staying in Shanghai. :)

I will split my Lijiang trip into a few posts, starting with the next one on our itinerary and my recommended one!

Related Topics
China Lijiang Trip Itinerary – useful for people planning to visit
Lijiang Scenes & Activities - Dongbagu

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hotel Drinking Glasses - Are they safe?

This is one of the few things I would like to share this week.

Below is a video taken from hidden camera, showing us how hotel staff cleans our drinking glasses. It is a shocking fact, but why I'm not surprised? There are just too many things done behind us nowadays... :(

Maybe we should just bring along our own glass, plate, bowl, fork and spoon, etc, whenever we travel? :p