Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yongping and the Bonan Trail

We came to Yongping to hike the Bonan Trail, one of the old caravan routes, but the logistics of getting to the various start/end points without staying overnight in a village had us stumped. So we decided to just walk from town and take our chances with transport back.

The plan: take a 3-wheeler to Qudong and check out the Old Street and mosques, then walk the Bonan Trail, or the Gu Dao (Ancient Path) to Hua Qiao Village. If there is no transport in Hua Qiao, then walk back to Qudong.

A great walk! We saw more horse carts in action today, than in the rest of our travels combined. The people of Yongping County are relaxed and friendly, quick to respond in kind to a smile and greeting, and eager to help with directions. We found this refreshing after the quiet, cautious, expressionless locals of the upper Nujiang Valley. For example, a Muslim shopkeeper in Hua Qiao filled our water bottles and brought out stools. She also wanted to feed us.

When the one minivan in Hua Qiao wanted 50 RMB each to take us to YongPing - the locals pay 7 or 8 RMB each - we walked backed the way we came to QuDong and caught a three-wheeler back to Yongping.

The New Mosque in Qudong dwarfs the town and is very visible as it perches on a hill.

The Old Mosque is now a school.

Fried dough is always good fuel for a walk.

A newly paved section of the Bonan Road.

Sun-Ling walks a fairly well preserved part of the old road about midway between Qudong and Hua Qiao.

All the fields are ploughed the old fashioned way.

This very nice man helped steer us back onto the old road as he managed his three water buffalo and one donkey.


Typical horse cart with handbrake and seat over the left wheel.

Pack Donkey.

The old road meanders through the valley towards Upper Hua Qiao, the green spot in the distance.

Tie Chang - The village below Hua Qiao.

Hua Qiao's old city gate.

The old road in Hua Qiao.

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