19 January 2015

Ride to China ; The search for the Lost Horizon......Shangri-La : Part 2


                                                                               Day 4

                                                                             
                                                                    Early morning at Boten.

We went looking for food at the nearby restaurant.

It was more like a canteen for the local workers.

So it was our own cup noodles and coffee.

Cold- about 10 degrees.

Nice decor.

Soon we were on our way.

A quick pit stop here  :-)

In 2011 this was the highlight of our trip.

Now its the actual beginning of our adventure.

After 3 years  :-)

Sticker time  :-)

1 km down the road.....

...the gate to our adventure.

After all the effort , we're here   :-)

Time for border formalities.

Our Laos agent had arranged everything.

The official who was our contact person.

15 minutes later....we're through  :-)

Welcome to CHINA  :-)

The 10th country for my bike....

China's border post.


Memories  :-)


Time for more formalities.

Done, done and done

The last check....

Our guide. China requires foreign vehicles to have a local guide along.
Please disregard the spectator at the back  :-P

Curious locals.

Mr .Wang's driver and car. After Vietnam we refuse to carry a guide again.

Now the real adventure begins....

Riding in China  :-)  :-)

We last filled up in Thailand.

RON 93....

On the bike............

Bikes are not allowed on Chinese highways.
Except for this particular stretch.

This is how we both felt.

Smooth roads.

There were many ,many tunnels...

The longest tunnel was 4km .

25 tunnels in total.


Our first destination is Mengla.

To get our local driving licenses.


Superb views along the way.

More tunnels...


Riding in China  :-)

Nice huh.

The hills of China...

Also a lot of bridges.

Soon we reached Mengla. 

We joined up with our guide again here.

Now we wait....

and wait...

Mengla police station..

Finally....

Licences done  :-)

On the bike

Back on the freeway.


All the hills are cultivated.

More tunnels....

It was cloudy and cold.

Hey look........ .another tunnel  :-)

Everything you see is cultivated.

Miles and miles of cultivation.

We're headed to Jinghong.

Nice views huh

After years of waiting...

Not too far.


Endless bridges...

We came from there...


A stop at a rest area.

Our guide will go ahead ,or stay behind.....

and we'll ride on our own , and meet at the city .

Nice views ...

...of the valley and river.


Ha ha ha....

China's famed public toilets.

Dear god.....

Back on the road.


The sheer joy of riding......

...in new and.....

......exotic lands.

Tunnels and all.....

Lovely views.

Off the freeway..............

and into our first destination.

The mascot of Yunnan.

We met our guide again here.... 


Entering the city....its quite big .



Tongsi bridge over the Naban river.

Finally.....

From Laos to China ,.... no time to rest.

Ha ha

We made a list of places we want to see along the whole route in China.

Our guide was surprised at our list ha ha ha

Streets of Jinghong.


Our first stop...

The big buddha temple.

Its huge.

The main entrance.


Nice decor.

Awesome carvings.

This was just a short visit

No helmets anywhere.

Now for the second best attraction.

The Manting Foya temple


Awesome decor.


Lovely colours.

This is China .!!!!!



Such detail...



Memories  :-)

Really nice in the sun.


The inside of the temple.


The bell tower.


A last look.....

Now its time for dinner.

In all the cities it was quite easy to get Halal food.....if you speak the language that is.

Asking for directions at a local Mosque.

The shop looks small.....

...but the food was great.

We have no idea what it says  :-)

Surroundings.

Overloaded  ha ha ha

oooppppsssss   wrong pic  :-)

Now for the main attraction.

Keep in mind ,this morning we were in Laos.

The cultural village.

Traditional costumes.

Marriage fair style.....

Different tribes.


Funny how this dance is everywhere in south east asia.


:-)


So colourful.

Welcome dance.

Different costumes.

Nice :-)


More costumes.....

Zoom of the costume huh

One zoom enough la....


Malaysian spectators  :-)

There was a dinner provided but we already ate.


The cultural show and dance.



It was really nice.


Very well done.


Even though we didn't understand the language....


We still had an awesome time.



Zoom again  ha ha ha



The best part...


....so cool.


Awesome huh.....

its not just riding.....

Its to see ,.....

...learn...

...and explore other cultures.

Superb !!!


Then the skits....

and more dances...

Really great.

A short video of the great show.
Subsequently we went back and crashed.
What a day  :-)






                                                                                   Day 5

                                                                              Time to ride.                                                               

A short damp stretch...

Back on the road.

Our guide made a mistake. He took us on the freeway, when we specifically told him we want to follow all the laws.He asked us to fly through the toll gate.We refused.Then the cops came out and we had to turn back to the old road.

In a foreign country ,be smart.

U turn.....

Now we're on the correct road.

Lots of speed cameras.

The sheer joy we felt.



A short break here.

Cloudy.

Village scenes.


A very old building.

He asked how much :-)

On the bike.

From Laos to Lijiang and back we estimate there to be more than 17,000 corners !!! 

The freeway above us.

Village houses.


Even this view is a thrill for us.


Passing a man made lake.

2 thumbs up in biker speak means ''its freakin cold ''

Fuel...93 again.


A short break.

We'll meet up with our guide further along the way.


tuk tuk  :-)

Modified from a motorcycle.


On the bike.


Admiring the views.

A small town.

Idyllic.

...and rustic.

Shortly we came here.

Look at that.


And on the other side.


Awesome views.

Once in a lifetime.


ha ha ha :-P

We're going to those misty mountains.

Nice huh.

We reach the city of Puer.


I think he is looking at us.

Our GPS led us here.

The road seems bad, so a short discussion.

We decide to go for it.

Famous last words  ha ha ha

But awesome views.


The road was damaged in many places , but we were on the right road according to the road.number.

Then we have this. 
I used to see pics like this on ADVrider.
Never with a FJR.
Yamaha's famed dual purpose bike.
ha ha ha 

After 30km in 2 hours .....

We finally reach the right road.

A quick call to our guide.....

And we hit the right road this time.

Nice huh.


Getting to evening here.

We lost a bit of time on the freeway and the detour.

Another break.

For the scenery.


Typical Chinese roof.


On the bike.

Views.


More views.

Finally we reach Jinggu.

Dinner here. 

Even colder.....about 4 C


Nice huh.

Dinner, massage (finally)
then zzzzzzzzzzzzz





Day 6



See the towel infront of the chair.
Its to keep our feet on.
Coldddddddd.

Breakfast is infront of the tv.


Additional layers...

On the bike.

As we climb...

...it starts to get foggy.

Fog with windy mountainous roads...fun.

As we climb up and down the fog disappears...

...and reappears.

After miles we've climbed high enough.


oh wait  :-(


up and down....


Finally....

Face palm ha ha ha

Guess  :-)

Isolated surroundings.


Back on the road.


Next to the river...

In the hills earlier ...as we were riding.....

...we came to a single lane  part......

That was full of thick mud ,at least 6 inches deep..

..there were 2 lorries on the road.......

so we followed on their tyre tracks for about 100m.Thank god we didn't drop the bikes or get stuck in the mud. It was close a few times.Hell .

The views make up for it though.


Unfortunately we will have to come back the same way.....

That stretch was really bad. 

Anyway we'll worry later.....

Climbing.


A short stop to take pics......

...over the cliff..

Of this   :-)

Nice huh.


So cool.....and cold.


Road works everywhere.

Still , part of our memories.

As we climb again....

it gets foggy again.

Finally.

we're above the fog.

Nice huh.


Mud ,rain ,fog , hunger ,tiredness ,heat ,altitude.....nothing will stop us.....

EXCEPT   Black ice........more later.

Here the riding got fun again.

Especially with the views...

Looks a bit like Switzerland.

See............


We stopped just to appreciate the view.

happy , happy....

Then more of this.....
This is nothing compared to the earlier stretch.


At least we can look at something nice.

nice huh.


Soon the road got good.....

.....as we came to a small town.

A short break here.

Hills and valleys.

...all around.

The exposed engine is factory specs...we saw a lot of brand new trucks with the same design.

Kawasaki's finest...

This cute old granny was sunning herself with a hot cup of tea.

When she saw me take her pic she called me and pointed to the stool next to her. Cute.

Unfortunately we had to leave soon.....

But the sun and views made it great riding.


Nice cultivated lands.....

This is what i meant about views.

...and the reference to Switzerland.

Lovely.


Approaching another town...a large one.


Again speed cameras everywhere.


Taking a bypass here.

Pedestrians ,vehicles etc will suddenly come out of a street or cut across the road without even looking back...crazy !!

And straight out of town.


To the best road and nicest flora.

Flowers everywhere.

Our guide stopped for lunch at the earlier town.

A short break here.

its actually about 10C with the sun out.


The difference riding in the sun and shadow of the mountains can be up to  4 degrees difference.

Lovely views.


Everywhere we look.


A defunct toll gate.

ha ha ha.....   :-)

Valleys everywhere.


Again enjoying the views.

That !!!!!!!!!!!!!


....and that.

The altitude here was about 1600m.


Hence all the pretty valleys.

A long day riding...


Today we're headed to Dali.


The road is getting higher....

Till here where we descend...


Down to the town of Loudi Hecun

The sheer joy of riding.

...and joy of seeing new things.

After all the hard work and planning....


...here we are  :-)

Thataway...

Back on the bike...



...till we reach the bottom.

There was a nice viewing point.

Thinking there will be another on the other side we crossed the bridge...




There wasn't , so it was U turn and back.


A break ,photos and just take in the scenery

So cool...


rice terraces.....

So cool...

My baby brought me here.

Memories...




A last look..


Back on the road...

Climbing up again...


Dali lies at 2200m elevation

In this pic there is a clear difference in temperature between the shaded part and the exposed hill.


Getting to evening here.


And the temp was dropping fast as the sun set.

Not too far more...

In the plains surrounded by mountains


2 Malaysian bikers made it this far  :-)


Now we head into town...

As the sun sets...

...and temperature drops further.

A bit more climbing....

Look at those mountains in the sunset...

So cool..

Seeing the world with the eyes of a child...

More riding...


Finally we reach our hotel.
Bath ,change and now....
Time for dinner.

Han sharing the girls charcoal stove... Temp 3C....joy

Her features look more like Kazhak or Usbek 

Nope we can't read the menu  ha ha ha

Starving....

After a great meal ,its back to the hotel and crash....

Tomorrow we tour Dali    :-)


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