Author Archive

thePULL: Lijiang’s new train station 丽江站 opens Today!   Leave a comment


Out with the old, and in with the new. Looks similar to the new airport.
Lijiang has a brand new passenger train station 丽江站, as the previous one will only receive cargo, opening TODAY.
This new station is stationed near Wenbi Mountain 文笔山 and is a lead towards Shangri-la (ETA 2014?) and will handle about 9 million passengers per year.

See images below for references!

Other notes:

Vehicle: About 18 minutes from Lijiang. About 25 minutes away from Pullman Lijiang. Blue or Green Taxi may charge extra RMB30-40 per person.
Bus: from/to Lijiang Station, take #4, #16 or #18.
See the map image below for the reference of your next departure, train hoppers!
It has room for a fast food area, a ‘supermarket’ and 16 windows to buy train tickets.





(Photos taken yesterday, the day before opening to the masses.)

Definitely a much better station to arrive to than the old station or at Dali or Kunming.

(UPDATE: Beat out other English-version news updates! Woohoo!)

thePULL: Intl Children’s Day (follow-up)   Leave a comment

Now I know it’s a little late, but everyday is essentially an “International Children’s Day” (annually June 1st)!
One of Pullman’s special little guests tastes the great desserts and became a personal mini-chef! Quite a determined little one, I’ll say.
See here for the offer we added on the day of.




Bon. Très bon.

thePULL: Promotions Deals and Bonuses   Leave a comment

(Shuhe and the Lijiang Valley Plains, off a horse-beaten hiking trail)

Every week will be an update on the offers at Pullman Lijiang Resort and Spa, and other deals around.

China Summer Promotion 2011

Book to stay until 14 August 2011 (few days left!)
Stay by August 31 2011 to have the offer.
10% off room rates.
Complimentary up to two breakfasts per bedroom
A|Club Advantage Plus member: additional 10% discount on room rate (19% off total)
Conditions: prepay 7 days before arrival, no refund, no modifications, no cancellations

30% off Room Rates

Book to stay until 18 August 2011 (few days left!)
Stay by September 04 2011 to have the offer.
30% off room rates.
A|Club Advantage Plus member: additional 10% discount on room rate (37% off total)
Conditions: prepay 14 days before arrival, no refund, no modifications, no cancellations

thePULL ‘Get Closer’ BONUS

1 / Book your stay.
2 / Subscribe to ‘thePULL’ on WordPress (on the left sidebar) or on Facebook. Stay up to date on some this destination’s adventures, events and possibilities!
3 / Email mentioning “thePULL” and receive a bonus RMB200 Mandara Spa spa treatment per person per stay (Treatments starting from RMB238). Other bonuses and updated promotions may be included in your stay!

Pullman, Sofitel and mGallery Official Brand Offers

Click here for Pullman Hotels
Click here for Sofitel Luxury Hotels
Click here for mGallery Hotels
Click here if interested in being a member of A|Club Advantage Plus


Pullman Lijiang Resort & Spa

thePULL: Shuhe and Shwowo   Leave a comment

【To 石莲寺 ShiLianSi Lamasery, west of Shuhe Ancient Town, in Lijiang, Yunnan, China / Darwin Ma】

Peter Goullart adventured to many places in his time in Lijiang for 8 years, from 1942 to 1949 ( fled by the time of the Cultural Revolution). One of his many photos was recorded and preserved in his vastly interesting outlook on the Nahki (Naxi 纳西族) people in the worthy read ‘The Forgotten Kingdom”. See the following:

A view of Likiang plain (Lijiang) and Shwowo village (Shuhe) from a lamasery by Peter Goullart

But that photo was taken over 60 years ago. This is a modern adaptation of his view, on a beautiful summer’s day 2011, from the ShiLianSi Lamasery that he had ventured to …

The town of Shuhe has extended it’s arms quite a bit, but much of the northern plains (North is leftwards) and the hills have not changed much. Peter’s picture is approximately in the middle of the second above image (based on the contours of the mountain range), and apologies for the distortion.

His love of Lijiang was unmatched to any other place in the Orient…

 The fields were green with winter wheat, and between them ran deep, crystal-clear streams of icy water. Dark water plants waved in them like strands of hair. The water from glaciers divided and subdivided into innumerable streams and canals, and made the Likiang plain one of the best irrigated areas in the world. The gurgling of these swift brooks, the singing of larks and other birds was like the music of gods. [The Forgotten Kingdom, Approx Page 21, 1957]

A great read indeed, if you are into culture and the problems of the Nahki people.

Send me an email if you want to find this small and hidden lamasery and the back hike of Shuhe, that few travelers find. (It’s definitely not a secret, but the route is well hidden!)

Shuhe Ancient Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a 7 minute walk adjacent to Pullman Lijiang Resort and Spa.
Read the Forgotten Kingdom via Pratyeka.
Read the Forgotten Kingdom review by Chris Horton @ Go Kunming.
A Pullman Lijiang review coming soon …

Darwin Ma at

thePULL – promotions to date, Chinese Valentines Day package   Leave a comment

Here are the current deals we have at Pullman Lijiang.


This post is of August 05th 2011. Promotion updates will occur once a week, here, at thePULL.

A|Club Promotion – Chinese Valentine’s Day

Book your stay by 31 Aug 2011
Stay period from now to 31 Aug 2011
3x A|Club Bonus Points
Complimentary dinner for 2 persons.
Minimum 2 night stay.
Offer valid on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Conditions: Book with best flexible rate. Not valid with any other offer.

Pullman Lijiang 30% off

Book your stay by 18 August 2011
Stay period from now to 4 September 2011
30% discount off room and villa rates (37% discount off for A|Club Advantage Plus members)
Conditions: Prepay your stay 14 days before check-in,  no refund, no modifications, no cancellations. Not valid with any other offer.

China Summer Promotion 2011 – 10% off and breakfast

Book your stay by 14 August 2011
Stay period from now to 31 August 2011
Complimentary two breakfast buffets per bedroom
10% discount off room and villa rates (19% discount off for A|Club Advantage Plus members)
Conditions: Prepay your stay 7 days before check-in, no refund, no modifications, no cancellations. Not valid with any other offer.

WordPress BONUS

Hey ! You found our blog !  Subscribe (optional), so when you feel like visiting Lijiang someday,  you got our number.
Email to receive a RMB200 Mandara Spa rebate per person with your stay at Pullman Lijiang by mentioning “WordPress’ thePULL”. It will also be a way to let you know what other promotions and bonuses we can offer. Offer and Rebate Expires December 31, 2011. Can combine with other offers but not cumulative with other spa offers.

Stay tuned next week for a new Autumn deal at Pullman Lijiang !

Success! – Yak Poutine!   Leave a comment

Success! I have done it. Yak Poutine.

With the first trial of the yak poutine, it was definitely something along the normal frites, gravy and cheesecurds of Montreal.

To introduce, la poutine originates in a small county town somewhere in Quebec Canada (specific location argued), and is a staple in many restaurants in eastern Canada.

The basic components of the poutine are french fries, cheese curds and a gravy or salty sauce. Available in many chains, the likes of KFC

and McDonald’s will never compare to St. Hubert’s or other small Quebec shops. It’s true that the platter is loaded with oils and fats, but if you have the right ingredients and the right chef, it’s an amazing mixture that ignores being scientific and enjoys the life of eating. I prefer my fries crunchy, not soft, with the cheese soft but supple, warm and aromatic, and the gravy spiced and salty and hot, not warm.  Some prefer an entire soft mass, like mashed potatoes with toppings. But that’s not poutine then.


Scroll to China.

It is by far a long stretch away to get anything remotely related to poutine, especially good cheese.

So I improvise.

In a quaint little hidden secret alley of  Lijiang is a grungy but homey Tibetan restaurant. I first came to have a great meal of Tibetan cuisine, and a large variety of dishes were all exceptional. I was served a dish with sweet, fried yak cheese, put some in my mouth and finished it, licking the plate clean and all.

A ‘Reminder Revelation’ occurs. Cravings, deep cravings for poutine emerge. Eyes open wide .O_O.  A soft, low, heavenly voice, whisper-to-the-ear chill came: …~ Poutine ~…  it chimed so sweet, tastebuds rejoicing in the memories of Montreal …~ Poutine ~
And I was determined to have some the next time I was here. I hope I am credited with bringing the style of poutine the mountain regions of China ..!

From the image at top, it was trial 1. Clearly something awkward and confusing to the chefs, waitresses and customers of the restaurant, but I persisted. A small crowd formed. I continued the request …

Details of the yak poutine:

1 / Fresh local potatoes sliced and deep-fried to a crisp, with a bit of chili for taste. No salt added.
Individual result: Absolutely amazing on it’s own, requiring no salt to taste. It had a natural potato aroma, sort of yam-like, and not the empty starch taste you get in your local fast food chain. Crunchy. The ‘nacho’ chips were one thing, but fries will be next.

2 / Fresh yak cheese fried cut to small chunks and sweetened.
Individual result: Again, another amazing thing to have. A light cheese aroma, a bit oily, but sweeten quite a bit. Great with bread, dry roast baba (a type of local cake), rice and crackers. Soft and delectable. Perhaps less sugar for the next platter. Great with the chips.

3 / The sauce. Made of a previous Tibetan beef stew and boiled with added corn starch to thicken.
Individual result: Was not warm enough, was watered-down (from the less content) and had too much starch. But individually, it had a slight hint of the stew and the peppers and light spices that made it a great stew. Again, the starch was a bit much, as it quickly cooled into a gelatin. Next time add more salts and chili powder, less starch, no added water.

Combination: High potential to be a great dish! A few modifications and it’ll be a huge culinary wave across China and the Himalayan countries! … at least with Canadians.

“Which restaurant is it? I want some!”  Said earlier, it’s a little hidden restaurant in Lijiang, off the main road of 七星街 (Literal translation: 7 Stars Road) and the following is their plaque… Care for a try? Drop me an email as you wish.

Zang Ba Bao Butter Tea Museum (Tibetan Restaurant) : 藏八宝酥油茶馆 (ZhanBaBaoSuYouChaGuan)


…~ Poutine ~
Darwin Ma
Pullman Lijiang Resort and Spa team 

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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