Yunnan province has many different minority groups, and Lijiang is home to several, but primarily to the Naxi people. The Naxis are ethnically Tibetan, speak their own Naxi language and use a pictograph writing system- the oldest still in use, in fact. They are a matriarchal society, whereby the women inherit all property, can have multiple lovers, and are responsible for supporting their children, moreso than the fathers.

We’re at Mama Naxi’s guesthouse and have been lucky to experience Naxi hospitality and nurturing. Mama, who fills the main building (Bldg 3) with her loud voice and great food, has been awesome at scoring us the cheapest plane tickets ever, as well as arranging our transport to Shangri-la/Zhongdian today. She cooked a 7-course meal last night and we all sat around stuffing ourselves silly. And it only cost 10 yuan- that same meal would have cost over 100 at a restaurant! And it was so great. Picture!!

That was taken before the last dish came out. It was broccoli, wok-fried and flavorful.

Baba lives at the the building we’re staying in. He’s a much quieter, meeker, but just as hospitable, version of Mama. So, if you ever come to Lijiang, Mark and I absolutely recommend this guesthouse. But do try to get a private bathroom- the shared bathrooms aren’t very nice. That’s really my only complaint. Everything else has been wonderful here- great food, our laundry was done super-fast and cheap, all our travel arrangements were made in like 10 seconds and for a much cheaper price than I had budgeted, our room was even way cheaper than we had anticipated. It’s just been a great experience here!