My friend and co-Ph.D. student, Kening Zhang, had lots to tell me about China. The Yunnan Province is very beautiful. Some of the photographs I saw left me breathless. Lijiang is a city in Yunnan, where there is the old city of Lijiang, also known as Dayan Town. There are a lot of foreigners here, he was telling me. They all come to Lijiang and never leave! They run bars and small shops or just laze around. It seems one can get around with a knowledge of English in this town, unlike other Chinese towns.
My friend Kening’s ultimate ambition is to settle down in Yunnan, and open a bar. He said he will serve drinks free to all his friends. This was very unexpected, I always thought he was a very professionally ambitious, pragmatic kind of person. I really am warming up to him a lot, these days.
In China, its not unusual for tourists to go on long walks. He tells me that the best way to see Yunnan, or for that matter, many places in China is to travel by bus to some scenic spot and then walk, for days on end. This is not too common in India, I guess.
Point of the matter is, now I have a new place I want to visit. (sigh!, if only I were really really rich or something.) He has told me that maybe we can go together. I hope we do, for sure, but somewhere deep inside I know that I will not. It is such a beautiful place…there is a place there that is said to be the Shangri-La, it seems.

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