Sunday, March 18, 2012

Huili plus a bus ride

The train ride to Panzhihua put us in Sichuan Province for the first time since 2004 and after a day in the ancient town of Huili, our route took us back across the Yangtze River into Yunnan.

In a few words, Huili is very cool. The town once had a city wall and moat, a bell tower in the center of the gridded streets, and a drum tower above the North Gate. Remnants remain today. There were also many academies, many of which survive as schools today.

We enjoyed walking the pedestrian friendly streets, checking out the turban sporting Yi men and women, and having a peek at Sichuan tea house culture.

We left Huili on a mid-morning bus and were pretty beat when we arrived in Qiao Jia, Yunnan 7 hours later, having changed buses twice, and suffered through 3 instances of gridlock. Qiao Jia is set in a beautiful valley, just south of the Yangtze River which forms the Sichuan-Yunnan border in these parts. However, a planned mega-dam will flood some of the town and fields of grapes, mulberry, fava beans, wheat, and pear trees.

There is not much of interest in Qiao Jia, so we hopped on an 8:30AM bus for the 3-hour trip southeast to Huize, Yunnan. I snagged a seat next to the driver and the first hour was smooth until we hit backup caused by landslide repairs and a disabled truck. To make a long story short, it took us 90 minutes to get by the disabled truck. More on Huize in the next post.

Stalemate. Our bus on the right.

Yi man in Huili.
Yi Man - Huili, Sichuan, China

Yi woman.
Huili, Sichuan, China

Kindergarten on the site of a shrine dedicated to Cangjie, the creator of Chinese characters.
School - Huili, Sichuan, China

Huili's North Gate and Drum Tower.
North Gate - Huili, Sichuan, China

View south from the North Gate towards the center Bell Tower. Check out the closed-circuit cameras.
Huili, Sichuan, China

Chinese Chess players at a one of the bigger tea houses in Huili.
Huili, Sichuan, China

Apse end of a church with Chinese architectural elements.
Church - Huili, Sichuan, China

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