I have ended my trek in China, and I badly wanted to extend. But I had another upcoming trip to Vietnam and Cambodia in 4 days, so I had to force myself to get on a plane back to Shenzen where I would travel to HK for my flight back to Manila. But before that, I had one more day in Lijiang. So, I decided to spend the entire day relaxing and seeing more of Lijiang. I asked for tips from the receptionist at the International Youth Hostel Lijiang where I was staying. She told me to visit the Shuhe Old Town, which was around 15 minutes from Lijiang Old Town. So, I took a public bus and then a minibus to Shuhe.
Shuhe didn't impress me at first, as I entered its gates. I didn't pay an entrance fee, because the Chinese guys didn't know how to ask it from me. I acted ignorant. Shuhe Old Town was very different from Lijiang Old Town. It was breezy, more spacious and had bigger alleys. It was more like a garden town.
I was walking around, and saw nothing impressive. I soon realized that I was walking the wrong way. After following a big tour crowd, I found myself in an open space with a stage. I walked further on, and discovered a different place. There were restaurants and cafes by a pond. It really had a relaxing feel, something that reminded me of a place in Europe.
Shuhe turned out to be really charming. It was so different from Lijaing Old Town and had a chill out vibe. There were fruit and vegetable vendors on the alley ways.
Then, I stumbled upon the area of the Black Pond, where the gardens were amazing. What I like about Shuhe is that there were lots of trees and ponds. There was even a flower field, where some Chinese were actually harvesting the spring blossoms.
I took a lot of pictures, as I was so inspired by the scenery. I also saw a friend from my Tiger Leaping Gorge group, and we had lunch together. It was the perfect way to end my trip in Yunnan. I was relaxed and just chilling out in a cafe by the pond. The sun shone and it was breezy. I went back to Lijiang to watch a Naxi Orchestra, that used ancient and traditional instruments.
So that's it. I took a taxi to the airport the next day, looking back at the spectacular scenery that Lijiang was known for. I was feeling sentimental leaving a place that I have already fallen in love with. I just had so many unforgettable experiences in this trip and it has indeed changed the way I see things. It also sealed my passion for travel, and that traveling solo is something for me. I look back and remember cruising in the Li River, and riding a motorbike across the countryside of Yangshuo. I remember the amazing show at Sanjie Lu. I reminisce getting lost in Shilin Stone Forest and the narrow alley ways of Lijiang Old Town. I remember catching my breath while hiking up the mountains of the Tiger Leaping Gorge and witnessing the beauty of the Songzanlin Temple in snowy Shangrila. But above all, I remember the people who I have met in my entire trip, the people who have welcomed me and made my trip worthwhile.