Xi Dan

3rd, 6th April 2004.

Xi Dan is home to the kindest family that we had the fortune to stay with for a long time. The scenery is beautiful, but this village was made for us by sunny weather, and the lovely people of the Karma Hotel.

Here you can see the suspension bridge complete with prayer flags that took us over the LanCang (Mekong) river.  From here its an hours walk up to Xi Dan village.

A close up of the Lancang river Gorge.

The farthest mountain pass is where we will be walking over the next day.

Once arriving at Xi Dan, we found this lovely family who could let us stay there the night. They have a brand new wooden house which is all hand carved in ornate decorations. We had a great time.  The grandmother and father look after a family of about 11. We had the pleasure of spending two nights with them.  They don't speak English, and we speak no Chinese or Tibetan, so we did alot of nodding and sign language. We had cracking family evenings with excellent food, Tibetan Karaoke, and some moonshine!

This is their son in law, he makes his own moonshine drink, they are very kind and generously family, we had our tea cups brimming with moonshine which was actually quite lethal. We were plastered by our 5th glass, stumbling to our room. Cracking headache the next day.

They also wouldn't let our cups of Yak butter tea be empty, this drink is made with three large tablespoons of Yak butter and flour. Claire managed to politely escape but Jason consumed a couple of very large pots on each sitting.  He was full for days after the trek despite burning through all that energy.

This is the grandaughter, she is one of the cheekiest kids we know.  She was constantly getting her sticky hands all over everything, eating sweets and thought nothing of randomly dropping rice all over everyone and showing her not very clean bottom to Jason.

The grandson was home the second time we stayed and he spoke some English, and took us out for a Saturday night of pool playing with the locals.

These locals are hand making a Tibetan house out of mud. They build a mould using wood, and then compact mud and rocks into the mould until it sets.

Tibetan houses are generally huge 2 storey affairs and the construction is fascinating.

These solar power water tanks are great, you get boiling water to put in the bowl and wash outside.  It's great to see.

They also had cable in the hotel but the family would still put the Tibetan Karaoke video on everyday after tea rather than watch cable????

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