Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Settling into Lijiang

Guilin --> Yangshuo --> Kunming --> Dali --> Lijiang

On the bus from Dali to Lijiang last night I knew I had an even chance of waking up in the morning with either a fever or a reprieve, thus were the signals my body -- my poor, battered, persevering body, willing to shut down and kill itself in order to kill the pathogens -- were sending. After showering that night I realized the cause of my sudden discomfort -- there was a distinct moment while biking along a Dali highway that I felt my spleen shutting down, and later my stomach grew warm as when with virus -- might have been due to a spider bite. Hiking Chanshan Grand Canyon yesterday I walked into a web and thought I felt something. Later I reconsidered: maybe it was a mosquito. I lay shivering under sheets with the fear that I'd wake with Japanese encephalitis and might have to go to the hospital.

Instead, I woke up happy, feeling a mild delirium that comes to those whose fevers have just passed or, I surmise, who smoke opium or other mild hallucinogens.

The hotel, I should mention, is awesome -- two beds, shower, Western-style toilet (that is to say, an actual toilet), towels. I could have easily bargained the price down to 30 kuai/night (a little more than $4) but I settled at 40 kuai because the receptionist was sleepy and nice (I'm too nice for haggling). Here's the best part: the room hasn't been used for so long that there are mosquitoes dried and withered on the walls, dead from starvation. Another one was alive but too weak to fly. I killed it with my bare foot.

POSTSCRIPT: If you ever make it out to Lijiang -- and you should, because it's beautiful -- make sure you try the Naxi (not to be confused with Nazi) bread pancake. And the sugary Lijiang cakes. Absolutely delectable.


Anonymous said...

Glad you survived the spider bite!

Hope you have a great time in Lijiang.

There's more info about the area at

Melodyma said...

There's more info about the area at
or you can contact
We can keep in touch