thePULL: 黎明 Liming and the Old Man’s Tale   Leave a comment

I was in Liming 黎明村 over this past weekend, a small little countryside of a population of what looks like a few hundred people at most. The valley stretches very far, but is a “protected” natural landscape zone by UNESCO, with some other things to note. First is that 黎明 is a country town! NOT the super hong kong actor/singer of the 1990s with the same name:

Click for larger image:

Liming 黎明村 is a countryside of approximately 750 people or 750 families (in Chinese), whatever the following plaque was trying to define (picture 3). Searching for information of this township is difficult. Google nor Baidu have good photography of the location. So it’s one of those places many would call remote and undefined.

We met a local LiSu minority 傈僳族 old man born in the 1940s. (According to a local friend, there are black, red and white versions of the tribe, and I had forgotten to ask.). He was a curious nut, but gave us a few insights on the local area and himself. He owns a small restaurant, but his dishes were not very appetizing…
(馬 = me (Darwin) and my friend who wishes to not be named.  李 = 李志坤 = Li3Zhi4Kun1 = LiSu old man.)

The following is a rough translation of our conversation:

馬:  In 1996, when the big earthquake hit Lijiang, did Liming feel anything?
李:  Of course Liming got shakes.  But I wasn’t scared. I will tell you a little secret.  Whenever an earthquake hits, I quickly put ash in my mouth.  And when the trembles end, I spit it out.  And look at me now! I am still alive and well and strong, while I watched my sons run away in fear.
[I and my friend laughed after he said this.  He gave a grin of missing top row teeth and yellowed, bottom row teeth, though it cannot be said they were related situations.]

馬:  Where did you get the yak hide from? And your bracelet is rather nice, is it made of bone?
李: This yak hide is something that I have had since I was young. Actually the Naxi (of Lijiang) copied the yak hide from us and took it for their own pride and show, claiming it to be their own style. We Lisu had it before they did, and I wear it with pride. This bracelet is made of yak bone, my son gave it to me as a gift from Zhongdian (Yunnan’s Shangri-La).

馬: Those trees on the mountainside, are they all new?
李: Yes, in the late 60s and the late 90s, the government and prospectors clear cut all of the trees around here. There are some imported trees such as pine, but the natural trees are making a comeback [from the seeds of the extremely high mountain tops]. Trees are currently about two fists thick, but it used to be about this big (as the old man rounds his arms into a large circle in front of him). It’s still a beautiful place to be as the landscape recovers.

Exploring the above for three days was amazing, especially during the rainy season. The last panarama, can you guess what mountain is that? // natural photos all by Darwin Ma / mooseandhorse

PS I met several American university students and a Kunming cardiologist research assisting in monitoring the heart conditions of the small country areas. What an exciting path and location to be in. Congrats to them!
[If you see this post, it was most excellent to have met you guys! Hope to meet you all again!]

My next post will be of the landscape and nature of the surroundings: ‘Thousand Turtle Mountain’ 千龟山. Summer Rain Mushrooms. And a cavernous climb only few have ventured (though not for long)…

Travel well my friends,
Darwin Ma

Travelled in mid July, rainy season, but got 2 of 3 days of sun. Yay! 

Originally posted here , my other blog.  Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa can help you get here! You can also stay and enjoy other Lijiang surroundings, just check out the ‘Travel In and Around Lijiang’ section. Or email me at  🙂

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