Night train (two-storey, comfortable sleeper) brings us to Lijiang – probably the most touristically desired town in China (for Chinese). Crowds flow through picturesque, beautifully renovated streets of the old town (there is the national holiday going on, extended by an extra weekend), not at all discouraged by the stubborn rain. The town is very photogenic, though one day stroll is enough to know it all – countless shops all offer the same authentic-fake craft and you can’t eat local delicacies (including dragonflies – crunchy, interesting) all the time, can you?

It is a good idea to visit Shuhe, old town located a couple of kilometres north, less populated with tourists, with mellow bars and hills that demand that you climb them. From the top there is a splendid view on the valley filled with the city of Lijiang and nearby villages. In Shuhe you can also check out the reconstructed Tibetan monastery. Inside, apart from not-so-impressive replica…