The Bamboo Temple.
The four remaining Anglophone vans are now parked at the Bamboo
Temple (N25.06864 E102.62457) about 12km north west of Kunming. The temple is
rightly famous for its 500 surreal, life sized sculptures of arhats (noble
ones). They have to be seen to be believed. Recommended.
highlights between Guilin and here have been:
- Pat's birthday!
- The scenery, at last we are back in relatively
un-populated areas with a wide variety of spectacular scenery. We have climbed
above 250 metres for the first time(?) since Beijing. We have been able to wild
camp again with relative ease.
- Maling Gorge, with dramatic waterfalls and
white water rafting. Alas we only had time to stop for lunch and admire the
scenery from the road bridge. Recommended.
- The Stone Forest at Shi Lin. In spite of what
it says in Lonely Planet (2000) and two of our three maps the Stone Forest is
actually only 62km east of Kunming at N24.82622 E103.32356. The "forest" is in
fact a massive collection of grey limestone pillars eroded into wonderful
shapes. Recommended. We camped, with permission, in the official car park but
were still visited by the sleep police. Clive told them to go away, and they
The lowlights have been:
- The standard of driving of the trucks in the wet and fog.
- The behavior of our guide (Gong).
- The Fiat car that backed into K-Nine in a car park in
One surprising development has been an encouraging e-mail from
China Swan hinting that K-Nine, Womble and Kon-Tiki
may be allowed to use our escape route through Kazakstan (Mog is leaving with
the French via Nepal.)
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changed on 2002-09-21