Culture Shock! China - A Survival Guide to Customs and Etiquette, 2nd Edition

(Kiana) #1
Enjoying the Culture 189

global view of the distance travelled by nomadic herdsman
from the West. An early dinner at Grape Valley provides
excellent food, entertainment and shopping.
Return to Urumqi and fly to Kashgar. Some of the best
things to do in Kashgar include visiting the ancient Bazaar,
which is still the most active shopping area in all of Kashgar.
You can visit the old Russian and British consulates, which
were central to the intrigue of the Great Game.
Take a day or two to drive up the Karakorum Highway
to near the Pakistan border, and you can see parts of the
original Silk Road threading across the cliff face above
the modern highway. Just recently, Shipton’s Arch, a huge
336-metre (1,200 feet) natural arch, has been rediscovered.
After Eric Shipton submitted an initial record of it to the
National Geographic Society, they were unable to locate it a
second time to substantiate it.

Yunnan: Dancing Tribes and Snowy Mountains

Yunnan really requires multiple trips. There are three main
areas to visit: Xishuangbanna on the Myanmar border, the
central region of Lijiang, Dali and Tiger Leaping Gorge, and
the northern Zhongdian, also referred to as Shangri-la.
Exploring Yunnan is really about experiencing a symphony
of the minority cultures of China. Northern Yunnan is ethnically
Tibetan. A number of towering sacred mountain peaks are
within the area and yearly treks are made by the devout.
Zhongdian is the home of the China Exploration and
Research Society run by retired National Geographic
journalist Wong How Man, who recently discovered a new
source of the Yangtze River. A number of his preservation
projects are in the area, including preservation of a Lisu
Hunting Tribe village and restoration of a Buddhist nunnery
by Italian fresco artists.
In central Yunnan, old Lijiang is a delightful stroll to a
simpler time in life. You can take day trips outside of the
city to visit the home of Joe Rock, How Man’s National
Geographic predecessor, who used to hitch rides with the
Flying Tigers. On evenings in Lijiang, you can join hands
and dance a local jig with Naxi minority women, while

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