2010年11月18日 星期四

Impression on Lijiang

On 20th of October 2011, I went to Lijiang, a picturesque old town located in Southwest China's Yunnan province. In addition to carrying a set of heavy DSLR, I put a BenQ P1410 into my photo backpack. Whenever I wanted to act as a tourist, instead of a photographer, I carried only BenQ P1410 with me and put it into my pocket, which enforced me to observe the world with my eyes instead of the viewfinder (of a DSLR). When the time and lighting were right, I quickly took out the compact DC and got snapshots of my impression on Lijiang.



The old town of Lijiang

Lijiang was established about 800 years ago. It preserves the culture and tradition of Naxi ethnic minority and the ancient architecture of Ming and Qing dynasties; therefore, it became an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.



The Lijiang city government describes the village on its website, “Lijiang may spoil you with its beauty. Snow-capped mountain vistas, ancient architecture and streets, canals and waterways, and the Naxi people and their distinct culture give Lijiang its universal value to mankind. The aged wooden buildings decked with hanging red lanterns and local musicians playing their centuries-old Naxi instruments in the time-worn streets, display a lifestyle and culture that seem lost in time.”









During my stay in Lijiang, I would like to stroll around the streets paved with colored stones or linger around the corners of old buildings, to immerse myself in the ancient atmosphere. When tired, I would sit on the corner of Sifang (Square) Street to enjoy watching dramas of life. The actors and actresses were tourists and local Naxi people. At round 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. old maidens of Naxi people would dance to their traditional music. Even though, they merely swung arms, twisted bodies and jiggled legs. It seemed that they were rather taking exercise than dancing. However, it's good for the old people aged between 70 and 80 years old.









No matter what they were doing, when the music thundered, the maidens and tourists got together, forming a circle and dancing to it. With smiling faces, they passed laughter and pleasure onto everyone, which created a mood of festival.



Sometimes, I loved to walk along a street by a waterway. On one side of the bank, willows were swinging to the wind, adding dainty and charming to the old town. On the other side, chrysanthemum with red, white and yellow colors, hanging down from the terraces of old buildings, making the warterfront become a hot spot for taking pictrues.

四方街最

Water seems to flow everywhere in the old town. “Crystal-clear streams wind around all the houses and flows through the courtyards.” One of the most interesting views is “Three-eye wells” that consist three ponds. The ponds lie in different levels to let water flow from high to low. The upper ponds supply drinking water, the middle ponds are for washing vegetables, and the lower ponds are for washing clothes.




Other old towns near Lijiang

 

Even though being a beautiful old town, Lijiang have become a typical sightseeing spot, full of hotels, restaurants, souvnoir shops and people. After 10 a.m., tourists begin to flock into the old town from all directions. At night, the old town becomes a night market. Especially, the streets of bars and food stalls are crammed with people. If you want to experience down-to-earth mood of an old town, please go to smaller ancient towns near Lijiang, such as Shuhe and White-sand, as shown on the following pictures.









































Black Dragon Pool


Established in 1737, Black Dragon Pool is one of the most attractive scenic spots in Lijiang. Besides being the outdoor museum of ancient architecture, it is the best place to observe the symbolic view of lijiang, the reflection of Jade dragon Mountains. The entrance fee costs 80 RMB (1 month expiration date), but it worthies. However, to pay the entrance fee will not ensure you to observe the view, you have to get up early in order to enter the pool before 8 a.m., for the snow-capped mountains will be covered with clouds at around 9:30 p.m..



I was so lucky. God gave me 2 consecutive days of fairy weather, allowing me to take nice pictures of Jade dragon Mountains reflected on the pool. I went into the pool at around 8 a.m. At that time, the mountain peaks had already been lightened up by the sun, but the pool hadn’t. I sit down by the pool and watched the sun, like a painting brush, gradually adding colors onto the trees, pavilions and a bridge in front of me.



At around 8 a.m., the sun lighted up the pool and the buildings. It was the right time to press shutter button and take decent pictures of Jade Dragon Mountains reflected on the pool, with yellow trees, a pavilion and a bridge as foreground. In shooting pictures of landscape, the priority skill is to get to the spot at the right time. If the time is right with beautiful lighting, it is easier for you to shoot magnificent pictures even with a compact DC like BenQ P1410.