We are following the old Tea-Horse Route, otherwise known as the South Silk Road. It stretches from the tea producing area in Pu'er county, Yunnan Province way up to Lhasa on the Tibetan plateau and beyond through Burma and India. Many of the places we have visited have been staging posts along the route and Shaxi, where we stayed yesterday, and Lijiang where we are today are particularly well preserved examples. We are actually staying in the charming (and quieter) town of Shuhe. Li-Jang itself is a bit manic but this is an oasis of calm in comparison.
During our tour of LiJang this afternoon we experienced a tea ceremony. Jane hates tea but she very graciously agreed to go along with it as I wanted to do it. It was most interesting and the woman who served us was extremely graceful. The tea was delicious and I bought some to take home. There are several pieces of equipment needed which we will probably try to source in the Chinese quarter in Birmingham due to the practicalities of transport. Particularly intriguing is the frog on the right of the picture. You pour any unused liquids over him for him to drink - and of course, bring you good fortune.