Over the next few days Iíll blog about my trip to Kunming, Dali and Lijiang Ėall in Yunnan Province. At the Kunming Airport on 12th May, I felt the strange sensation of the seats in the waiting room moving. Having awoken at 5.45 a.m., I put it down to the lack of sleep and the usual disorientation that goes with long-distance traveling. Only after arriving back in Bangkok, did I find out there had been a major earthquake (7.8) in Southwest China leaving (according to recent press reports) 8,500 dead.
Earthquakes were a topic of conversation in Dali and Lijiang with locals and the expats. Both had experienced major, destructive earthquakes in the past. The mud bricks held together with a bit of straw all baked under the sun were quick to collapse in a major quake in 1996, which destroyed most of Lijiang and surrounding Naxis (ethnic minority group) villages. Most of the old town had been rebuilt. Lijiang draws millions of Chinese domestic tourist. Snow Mountain is in the distance.