Asia | China | Yunnan Province | Lijiang – Black Dragon Pool Park
It poured all night and all morning. It was slippery enough walking on the cobble stone streets of Lijiang, I could only imagine what it would be like walking in the gorge. The sky cleared up just as the last bus to Qiaotou left, and remained ok for the rest of the day. My bitterness abated only when I met a Brit in the afternoon who was forced back from Walnut Grove by the washed out road. It was fate that our plans repeatedly got soiled and I had to admit my defeat.
As if God was making fun of all my planning, Mom’s back started aching. It became so bad in the afternoon that we had to cancel the alternative, a trip to Lugu Lake, too. All the sudden we had an extra day in Lijiang.
We went to the Dongba Culture Museum in town. Although I’ve never been a huge museum fan, the visit was a pleasant surprise. Black and white pictures from the 60s and 70s showed that Lijiang indeed was a simple and wholesome town without the souvenir shops by its pristine creeks.
A few rocks in the creek between the museum and the Black Dragon Pool Park, one of the most popular photo-op places in Lijiang, served us just fine for sneaking into the park, forgoing the ridiculous 20 yuan entrance fee.
Our landlord had told us that the locals used to drink the water from springs in the park. We still saw quite a few old men carrying huge water jugs on the back of their bicycles. One of them told us that he never drank tap or bottled water. Every spring’s water had a different taste, and each person has a favorite spring. Even today, he stilled used spring water to wash veggies, cook, make tea, or just drink straight out of the jug. I filled up my water bottle, and it did have a faintly sweet taste.
I spent the afternoon doing what everyone must do while in Lijiang–laze. Mrs. Jiang, our inn owner was doing her knitting, her husband reading a newspaper, and their grandaugher doing her homework on a big chair. I almost fell into a trance counting the rhythm of the rain tapping on the roof tiles while sipping tea from the balcony.