Damenglong Black Pagoda @ Xishuangbanna

After my Menghai tea experience I decided to shoot in a different direction today, the black and white pagoda's of the city of Damenglong. Instead of opting for a taxi like I had the day before I decided to ask the hotel travel desk for advice, who said it would be best to just catch the bus from the short distance bus station for 15 rmb. I took there advice and after picking up some random parts of a pig from the butcher down the street, I walked my way over. Unfortunately I learned here that you have to buy this ticket from the south station, and had to rush to find a cab across town. After a small scramble for about 30 minutes I finally got my ticket and made it on to the bus with a beer in my hand.

When I got off at Damenglong I managed to ask a girl at a local shop which direction the black and white things were, she was able to decipher that this meant the pagodas and pointed in there respective directions. There are no signs in English here and I'm unable to read Chinese, so my attempt to find my way was based on following my gut instinct and asking primitive Chinese questions to anyone who would listen.

View driving south
In the bus!

Eventually I found the trail at the corner of one of the main intersections, the hill was as large as I had feared. To my surprise when I reached the top there was not a single other tourist, with no none around watching I decided to put down my beer and lay on the ground next to the pagoda for a while to recharge myself from the walk. The Pagoda was nothing I haven't seen before, however it was completely tranquil there and the view around it was absolutely scenic. I imagine that when it was built there 1000 years ago there was no town nestled in between the mountains, however I don't feel like the town hurt the view, the alien looking blue rooftops somehow complimented the green jungle all around.

Center of Damenglong
Black Pagoda
Some scattered shrines around the Pagoda
Looking down the hill
Looking back toward town
After walking the premises and soaking in the silence for a while, I made my way back into town to hunt for a bite to eat. Lucky for me their was some sort of a farmers market thingy happening on the main street of town. After eyeing all the different options I zeroed in on this one lady's stall, who appeared to be then only one who wasn't serving soup or dumplings. Her assortment of food mostly consisted of pork, prepared in a variety of different ways. I grabbed myself some lemongrass wrapped stuffed pork, dry fried pork and some sort of salad thing for 15 rmb and I was blown away. What I ate from this cart on the side of the road 5 miles from Burma could rival the highest class restaurants in Beijing.

Farmers market

Lady preparing rice?
Cart I ate from
Plethora of pork
Lemongrass wrapped pork
Fried pork
After the food I was a bit exhausted from the hike and the heat, so for this trip I decided to skip the White Pagoda and hop on the bus back to Jinghong.

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