China isn’t the red communist country of same-faced okay men and yessir women that the past presented. The nation formerly under Mao’s cultural servitude is now brimming with hip artists, free thinkers and incredibly fashionable people. This was especially true during the COART international artists festival in Shu He Ancient City during the start of this month. Folks of past traditions mixed with young artists from around the world in the historic town, creating a dichotomy of old and new that was visually appealing.
It’s not difficult to understand why Shu He Ancient City and Lijiang Old Town are filled with independent photo studios. The historic centers of this Chinese city are simply beautiful, making them prime choices for wedding photo shoots. Here’s a collection of shots from pretty couples finding love in Lijiang.
(Okay, maybe it’s a little stalkerish.)
One quality of Lijiang that quickly caught my eye was the local fashion sense. Bold sneakers, hip shirts and a perpetual strut seemed to fill the streets, at least in regards with the young. I never would’ve thought I’d have a photo collection of hip fashion in Lijiang, but here it is.
Health codes, shmelth codes! The dogs of Lijiang coexist harmoniously with the citizens of the city’s Shu He Ancient City and historic Old Town, popping in and out of both shops and restaurants. Whether they be scrappy strays or thoroughly outfitted homeowners, these dogs are some of the cutest I’ve seen wandering any city.
Here are some photos of the dogs of Lijiang, with a few shots of the kittens that were playing outside my hotel room too (because I like cats).
China’s Yunnan Province sits at the bottom center of the country, bordering Burma, Laos and Vietnam. It’s an area known for jade and silver production, Pu-erh tea and graduated terrace steps, a technique used by farmers to cultivate mountainous terrain. I recently took a bus journey from Kunming, its capital and largest city, to Dali and Lijiang, two cities known for their historic cultural centers. The trip took about eight hours by road, though we made some stops along the way.