Lugu Lake Panoramic [pic] and Other Shots of China

Lugu Lake in China, by Robert ThompsonView Large Panoramic Photo of Lugu Hu, Lugu Lake

The results are in for Lugu Lake. There is one thing that is stunning to see — the panoramic above. After you see that, and go on the 10 minute boat ride, there is absolutely nothing else to do there.

Another surprising factor is that it takes 14-16 hours to get there from Kunming. And not to mention that the road is dangerous! We saw five head-on collisions, and I counted 15 broken down cars on the total trip.

A four day trip, driving about 466 miles on a one-lane (but two-way) road with a series of sharp zigzags, and five head on collisions.

Here is a shot of what a one lane, two-way road looks like, with a huge dump truck lining the cliff, squeezing between a bunch of cars.

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I can’t count the number of times the Chinese drivers would pass on a blind turn, at double the speed limit.

On to more happy things…

Boat Ride Photos

Boat Ride on Lugu Lake in China

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via China Travel Guide on the local ethnic minorities, the Mosuo people:

Mosuo people who live there form a matriarchal society. There is no marriage. Children are brought up by women. Women operate production and management, and hold the principal position in the society, forming a modern day ‘woman’s kingdom’.

After this lady whipped out her brand new Sony Ericsson, I told her, “Wow, your cell phone is really nice!” She said she got two cell phones from two men in exchange for you-know-what. How personal, I thought. So it goes, the women are the rulers here.

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Photos of Sheraton in Sanya Hainan [pic]

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At one of the bars in the Sheraton, overlooking the South China Sea.

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An unedited picture of one of their many pools, with the annual Sanya Jazz Festival being set up in the background. That’s what the water really looks like, so I guess it really is “China’s Hawaii.”

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In other news, there was a small disaster in Oakland, CA about 24 hours ago (dubbed the “MacArther Maze Meltdown”, god), where a gas tanker exploded and collapsed a freeway overpass. Then Arnold announced free transportation for the day.

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Well, they have free transportation in China, too. This was taken on the Kun-An Expressway (the only freeway in Kunming) on the way back to Chuxiong, at 50 mph.

Old Lady in China [picture]

Old Lady in China It has been slow lately, so I went back and found another shot I took a few months ago in the mountains of Yunnan of an old family friend.

I’m now studying the Photoshop RAW mode in black and white. Perhaps if I knew anything about photography I could intelligently manipulate B/W photos, but as it stands, I’m just sliding knobs. We have lots of photos of Sanya, Hainan coming up soon. 

I’m testing this in Contribute to see how nice it works.

E Jia.

Traveling to Lijiang? Some tips and advice.

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Third time to Lijiang. As of March 2007,

Do:

– visit Afternoon Sun for the Lavazza coffee and espressos (while in China, I haven’t found Lavazza anywhere)

– visit the Prague Cafe for great ambience, a good mix of Western and Chinese food, good coffee (however, they recently removed their computer and internet)

– all the rest of that touristy stuff (horse back rides, go to Zhongdian/Shangri-La for a while, get lost in the Old Town)

– try to get a shot of the Snow Mountain without clouds, it’s rare

– visit the Snow Mountain and take the tram up the side of the mountain

– try some of the local food, either at the street kiosks (er kuai, dou fu, etc) or just outside of the Old Town. Most places have menus with pictures, if not, just say, “Sui bian ni!” (“Whatever is fine!”) and wait for the bees and intenstines and all that good stuff

– go shopping, but try to find things that are unique to Lijiang (hand made or hand crafted things), and not things you can find in every other city in Yunnan (like Mingzu clothing, fakey jade, fakey silver, Mingzu dolls, traditional “Chinese” clothing, etc)

– help others take photos so a brother can be with his women in the shot

Don’t:

– visit the “screaming bars”, they’re loud, service is bad, very gimmicky

– go to KFC, don’t be like the rest of the lao wai

– expect western food to compare to your home town, it’ll be “just okay” at best (except for the coffee at Afternoon Sun)

– expect the Chinese food to be great (Lijiang is very touristy, food quality is lower than average)

– book a trip with a Chinese tour company. I’ll blog about that later. They’re lame and you only get to see “surface-level” China

– openly complain about no soap in the bathrooms, or any other rant I overhear all the time, you’ll come off sounding crazed and paranoid (ie, get over it)

– buy any jade or silver in Lijiang, it’s overpriced, but worse, 95% of it is fake (doh!)

That’s all I can think of for now. Good luck. Photo above is a flower patch of the main strip in Lijiang.

Panoramic Photo of Dali, Yunnan (Old Town Entrance) – HI REZ!

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Photoshop CS3’s Photomerge feature is the best. No tripod needed. Auto-stretch option. Just set your camera to Manual mode, shoot RAW, get a reading of the sky and set shutter and f-stop accordingly, pan across the area you want to shoot, shoot 1 or 2 stops under 0, stitch it together in PS3, flatten layers, in Levels (RGB screen) move the top right slider over to the left to the “end” of the histogram, crop the shot, don’t fret if there are white spaces in the shot, once it’s cropped use the Transform tool and click the “warp” feature to move those white spots out of the shot and BOOOOOOOOOM, you got a panoramic like no one else.