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Trip to Jian Shui at Xmas - oranges

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

We have just come back from a short trip to Jian Shui.
This is a city in Honghe Prefecture about 3 hrs drive south and east from Kunming.

Really nice place. The old town is very much like Dali.
Parts of the old town have been renovated including the pedestrian street (Hanlin St). This includes a mixture of original, refurbished, and fake Qing Dynasty architecture. Other areas of the old town are original Qing.
Unlike Dali, the new town has grown around the old town. Also, unlike Dali, there are few tourists. Most tourists we saw were from other areas of China, and not tour groups.
The traffic there is not bad at all. There are fewer cars than many other cities of the same size that we have visited.

Culture
The local culture has been handed down from the cities founding fathers. Confucius influences are very strong. The people don't shout, and are generally friendly and not aggressive when selling things to you.
Lots of minority peoples here as well as Han. But most do not speak Mandarin, which can be interesting when buying things.
About 10km out of town is Tuanshan scenic area. Follow the old G323 (not the new G323 toll highway) to get there. It is a Qing Dynasty that has not been touched by modernisation. There is a lot of original architecture, including the original gold leaf, carved, and painted detailing. This is also a living place, people still live here, it is not a preserved time capsule.

Food
The food is better than Kunming, the fruit and veg are much better, and service in the restaurants, and hotels is (by Chinese standards) good. Restaurants abound, in the old town.

Accommodation
NB Prices are December 2012, not CNY
Not very expensive. Lots of small hotels in the old town. The cheapest seem to start at about 100 rmb for a two bed room, but that place was crumby. We found nice places from 120/d. There is also a new swish hotel, it is 4 star style but not really 4 star. The advertised price is 660, but the usual rate is 390. Our only complaint was that the bathroom was designed by a Chinese engineer (Chinese plumbing complete with smells). Other than that, most things were to an international standard.

Shopping
At this time of year (Xmas) all the oranges were coming into season. Lots for sale at the side of the road. If you like fruit it is worth the trip just for the oranges. But many other tropical fruits are available in the markets.
JianShui is famous for its pottery, and there are many shops selling this. Most of the other shops seem to sell shoes and fashion, perhaps an encouraging sign that the money in China is now flowing west.

Jian Shui is somewhere I would gladly visit again, unlike Lijiang.

Low season is July August and hotel prices are cheaper, expect rain.

peter7 (29 posts) • 0

tiger, we are visiting Jianshui in june, do you have a name and/or address for this swiss hotel? was it the Guotai hotel (don't sound very swiss but can not find anything what fits the description)

what do you recommend 2 days? or more?

HFCAMPO (3062 posts) • 0

The Lin An Hotel is on the main road that begins with Chao Yang Lou. Walk for 300 meters on the main road until you reach the next intersection and turn right and you will see the big hotel. However, with so many nice guesthouses and small hotels on the walking street there is no need to go looking for this big hotel. If you need 5 star quality there is big expensive 5 star hotel on the walking street also. If you are on a budget you can get room for as low as 60 RMB.

adaminkm (31 posts) • 0

@tigertiger

Thank you for such detailed information on what seems like a great trip away from Kunming. Someone like me who has recently arrived in the area it is nice to read about places other than Dali and Lijiang. Any other less touristy and out of the way places you would recommend? Thank you in advance.

Alien (3819 posts) • 0

I have been to Jianshui numerous times over the past 7 years or so, most recently about 5-6 weeks ago - nice place to visit, though it's not quite comparable to Dali. Not sure about the minority languages that may be spoken(?), but the local pronunciation of Mandarin throws me. I saw the 'Old Town' while it was being constructed just a very few years ago. The Zhu Family Mansion is very interesting, as is the Confucian Temple. Hotels for less than YRMB are not too difficult to find. Very nice Qing (or Ming?) Dynasty bridge not far out of town, worth a visit. Other things in the area I haven't visited, as I wasn't there as a tourist when I went. Historically a very important town in Yunnan, built up as, primarily, a Han center beginning in the Ming - also important during the Panthay Rebellion in the 19th century, though that very major historical event is very much downplayed, as it is in Dali and elsewhere in Yunnan. The town was called Linan until as late as 1950.

I had no problems with the food, but I don't know why it might be considered better than that of Kunming - perhaps the vegetables and fruit is fresher than that in Kunming, I don't know.

I would not go there during/just after the Lunar New Year - prices of hotels etc. will be inflated, & there will be too many tourists, like everywhere else.

tigertiger - moderator (5096 posts) • 0

Lots of people have been to Shaxi, not me yet, it is next on my list of places to visit before they gets too touristy. It seems to be rated highly.
Also do a search on here for Lincang county and Pu'er, another place I want to visit.

peter7 (29 posts) • 0

I have been to Shaxi in october 2009, one part of it was modified to become a other Dali, but hardly any tourist to be seen, very empty, the other part was more the traditional working village.
Not sure if I would go out of my way to visit it.
Weishan, I believe a hour drive from Dali, was very interesting, every one seems to move around still with horse carriages (october 2009) the local market was fabulous doctors, dentist working in the open on the market, it felt like stepping back in time.

A other place what we liked was Weixi, further away between Chizong and Shaxi when I remember well, lots of minorities visiting the local market in there sunday best, not a town for sightseeing but a great atmosphere and for some reason no westerners to be seen (or chinese tourist) we stayed in the Asia Pacific hotel liked the place!

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