The Lijiang Valley is a mostly pretty flat valley, running north and south, with mostly moderate mountains to either side, but snow-capped mountains to the northeast.
The north end of the Lijiang Valley is pretty desolate--dry, and with rocky soil.
Some sort of tourist attraction, based on Geba (an indigenous religion of the Naxi people).
The yellow-brown spot a bit to the right of center is the runway of an old airstrip, foreshortened because we are looking at it end-on. It was used by U.S. aircraft during the Second World War. Now it is a convenient place for novice automobile drivers to practice, away from traffic.
As we proceeded southward, we began to see cattle grazing.
Then there began to be patches of cultivated land.
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant some distance up the slope on the west side of the valley. The restaurant overlooked Rock Village, a Naxi village that is playing up, for tourism purposes, its connection with botanist-explorer Joseph Rock, who spent quite a bit of time there before 1949. The people of Rock village used to mine gold in the side of the valley, but this has been prohibited, because it caused pollution, and tourism now has priority.
Graves on the hillside above the village.
A house in Rock Village. The stylized wooden fish, dangling from the roof peak tail downward, is a common feature of homes in this area.
This variation--two fish kissing--is much less common.
This is a common alternative. I believe it is a stylized bird, but if so, it is so stylized I cannot tell for sure.
There was a festival going on in the village, celebrating its becoming an eco-tourism site. There was no effort to get us interested in this festival; it seemed to be primarily for the locals, and perhaps secondarily for Chinese tourists. Not for foreign tourists.
The male singer was singing in Naxi, not Chinese. He was very good. The style matched that of Chinese pop music, or for that matter American pop music (the two are very similar), but this guy clearly was comfortable in that idiom. He was very good, and very popular with his (presumably mostly Naxi) audience.
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Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised June 17, 2005.