Lijiang, a town in the western part of Yunnan province, still looked like a traditional Chinese town when a pretty good TV documentary, "Beyond the Clouds," was made there in the early 1990s. It has changed beyond recognition since then, mostly because of a massive development of tourism, which we were told now accounts for 70% of the economy. A major earthquake in 1996 also had some influence. The tourists in Lijiang are overwhelmingly Chinese; we saw few westerers.
There was a lot of new construction on the edges of Lijiang.
A large plaza. On the far side was an area of several square blocks that seemed to consist enitirely of businesses catering to tourists.
Bookstore on a major avenue, about two blocks from our hotel. The books were in Chinese--I don't recall seeing any in English--but each section of the store was labelled in both Chinese and English.
Science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov (translated into Chinese) were prominently displayed in the section labelled "Classical Chinese Literature."
I believe these were Foundation and Foundation and Empire.
Return to Table of Contents
Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised July 19, 2005.