Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Road to Muli, stage 2: Yongning

yongning first, originally uploaded by mutikonka1.

To continue my description of the road to Muli from Lugu Lake, the second stop is at the village of Yongning. This is about 20km north of the lake, round the back of Lion Mountain. It's possible to get bus drivers to take you on if they come from Lijiang - for a fee. Otherwise, nobody much comes to Yongning, it's the end of the line - there is no road on from here, except for a very rough 4WD/tractor track that winds over the 4500 m mountains to Muli. But there is no traffic on that.

You can spend a nice couple of days around Yongning, exploring the Zhamei Si monastery [see below] and enjoying a dip at the hot springs about 5km out of town to the east.

Joseph Rock spent a lot of time here between 1923 and 1933, mainly because he liked the company of the local chief or tsungkuan called A Yung Shan.

He preferred him for his relative;y benign and paternalistic rule over the Yongning people [compared to the despotism of Muli] and live and let live" attitude. Yongning had a yellow hat monastery but its isolation also encouraged a rather relaxed atmosphere, where monks took wives and rarely visited the monstery except for special festivities!

Rock spent a lot of his time at A Yung Shan's private retreat on the island of Nyorophu in the middle of Lugu Lake [see below]. The chief died in 1933, and Yongning fell under the Chinese influence of Yunnan warlord Lung Yun. When Rock paid a visit in 1942 many of the local fields had been turned over to growing opium.

1 comment:

Colette Fu said...

my great grandfather was Lung Yun. I looked up your blog when i was looking for info on traveling to Yongning... very interesting blog! thanks for visiting mine as well.