From Vietnam To China

Day 18 - Friday, April 27, 2012 - Drive to the Yangtze Gorge; Visit Nishi to See Black Pottery; Travel to Gonjo for Wooden Bowls; Return to Gyalthang

The hotel was very quiet this morning. There were just a few people in the breakfast room and all of the dishes were filled. The temperature as we left the hotel was 49° and the humidity was 69%.

We drove northwest on the Yunnan-Tibet Highway (214) which runs all the way to Tibet. The road is very narrow with hairpin turns and the areas that are still under construction are very treacherous. As usual, Pang Ga did an excellent job driving although there were times when Gennie closed her eyes!

There were occasional glimpses of Shika Mountain, another sacred mountain in this area. The day was cloudy with a heavy mist hanging in the upper Yangtze Gorge. We overlooked the Napa Valley, a marshland where the graceful Black Neck Cranes migrate in the winter.

Climbing to an altitude of 11,689 feet and we continued down to the small village of Nishi, famous for their interesting black pottery. We saw several men working on the various designs of stoves with a fire is built under a vessel to heat hot water for tea.

We continued on and took several photos of our road twisting below us. At one time we crossed over into Sichuan Province and back to Yunnan as we were following the Yangtze River that divides the two provinces.

Our lunch stop today was in Benzira. We had 30 minutes to explore the town and the small market. People were exceptionally friendly and even the monks allowed us to take photos.

We saw men and women playing mahjong and checkers. There seems to be gambling involved in both games and people play quickly and very seriously!

After lunch we turned around and backtracked to Gonjo to visit a family that made very elaborate wooden bowls and goblets. The bowls are made from pine, walnut, or rhododendron woods. The Zang Kang Da Wooden Handicraft shop was very small, but they are now becoming more famous all over China.

There was time to walk around the village and we found a bridge that took us back into the Sichuan Province. On each side of the bridge were markers with large red stars designating places that the Red Army had passed during the Long March of 1934-35.

At 1:30 we left the wood crafters and then climbed from our 6,713 feet of altitude and warmer weather to Gyalthang where it was raining and cold again. At 3:15 we came back to the hotel to look at our photos and to start the log of our day.

Dinner was at 6:30, another Tibetan restaurant in Shangri-La. Tonight’s meal was a buffet with different varieties of Tibetan and Chinese selections. Duane and Vic tried a fruit schnapps – they can sleep well tonight.

Pang Ga brought us back to the hotel and we finished the journal and started to think about tomorrow, our last day in Shangri-La.

Accommodations: Gyalthang Dzong Hotel - - - Meal: B, L, D

Please see our Trip Evaluation -- Click Here -- A Complete Review of Myths and Mountains -- From Vietnam to China: Ethnic People of the Border -- China with Tashi Lamasang


Have enjoyed making the journey with you via your journa l. Thanks for sharing. Am I correact that the trip was personalized by you two. It did not seem that you were w ith a large group Might be interested in trying to join with tou in such a venture.

Huey Perry   April 28, 2012 - 4:04pm
Post a Comment!

City Market – Playing Mahjong

City Market – Playing Mahjong (0:58)

  Open Video Player

Shika Mountain

Shika Mountain

Napa Valley Marshland

Napa Valley Marshland

Nishi Black Pottery

Nishi Black Pottery

Upper Yangtze Gorge

Upper Yangtze Gorge

Buddhist Monk

Buddhist Monk

  Featured Journal

Day 13: Azores & Madeira: Portugal's Unspoiled Archipelagos

Day 13 - Saturday, April 22, 2022 - Depart for U.S.

The hotel prepared a box breakfast for us as we had to be in the lobby way before the breakfast room was open.

Last night we found out that our departure flight back to...

Continue Reading Day 13