A Travellerspoint blog

The things that is worth paying more for

There are a few things in the world, other than cakes, I don't mind spend extra money for, and one of them is hospitality of honest people.

On my way to a tourist attraction, the bus was caught in a 6 hour traffic jam (due to a major accident). There was no way for me return to my hostel and I had nothing with me except for a water bottle and some cash. With me was a local girl who was on her way back home to visit her parents in the village nearby the tourist attraction. We chatted for a bit and she offered me to stay with them for the night.

They quickly prepared the extra room on the farm, showed me around their village, and made me dinner and breakfast and yet they didn't expect anything in return. They were far from rich (they actually reluctantly let their younger daughter go out to work in another country by herself as they could barely support the entire family), but they were full of life and happy, most of the time.

I, of course, cannot on my good conscious leave without giving something in return. So I gave them what money I had, $32 (minus cake money for the day), which is a good amount for them (more than twice what their whole family makes per day) and considering normally it would have cost $7 for the same type of service in a hotel. They, of course, were very grateful.

They have turned a disappointing tourist experience into something I'll cherish for a long time.

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Posted by btang 00:51 Archived in China Tagged pay hospitality honesty Comments (0)

A bigger Lugu Lake

Erhai next to Dali, China is one of the popular tourist attractions in the area. Encompassing an area much bigger than Lugu lake, riding around the lake will take at least two days. During the ride, one is able to go through small villages and rice fields dotted along the lake shores.

However, given its size, it lack the serenity and intimacy of the Lugu lake.

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Posted by btang 00:47 Archived in China Tagged lake dali yunan erhai Comments (0)

The small village of Shaxi

Shaxi is a small town (pop 35,000) located in the middle of one of the world's most important trade routes, the tea horse trade route.

Sometimes referred as the southern silk road, the route was an important highway between China, Tibet and India. It was known as the tea horse route as pepper would trade tea from Yunnan for horses in Tibet. As a result from the trade, much of the early tea culture flourished from there and spread across rest of the world.

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Posted by btang 00:45 Archived in China Tagged tea horse route trade shaxi Comments (0)

Lugu Lake

Lugu lake, sitting more than 2600m near the border of Sichuan and Yunnan, is serene lake tucked inside a mountain valley.Reached only by a 6hr+ bus, it is rather remote and one can walk along the rocky shores in peace.

However, with a new road and an airport on the way, it may soon lose its charm to the crowds.

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Posted by btang 00:43 Archived in China Tagged lake lugu Comments (0)

A gorge where a tiger once lept

Tiger leaping gorge is a major tourist destination in northern Yunnan province. The 8 hours one way trek takes the hiker from small villages in open valleys to narrow ledges of straight drops of more than 500m.

Although in recent years, there has been an increase in mining activities. Many pipelines, power lines, and machinery can be seen along the trek.

During the trek, I met up with a local worker on his way to his night shift mining the mountains. He said they only get paid less than $300 per month for 10 hours of work, 7 days a week in hazardous environments.

He also mentioned about how hard to find a wife up in the mountains (he's 33 now, almost too old by village standards) as he can't save up enough money to attract the few who are in his area.

Needless to say, he want a career change.

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Posted by btang 00:42 Archived in China Tagged wife tiger gorge salary leaping Comments (0)

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