Spend ages exploring the Dongba Research Institute and a small museum that displays Dongba scrolls and artifacts. Dongba being the pictographic script that was developed by the Naxi people, and apparently really difficult to interpret. The language is verbally passed down to fultur generations by Dongba (Naxi scholar-priests). Unfortunately, the lack of interest from the younger generation is slowly leading to the extinction of the language.
Was trigger happy so took loads and loads of pics too. Skipped the Elephant Hill as incidents of muggings have been reported especially to women who'd hiked up alone.
Hop back onto my bike and cycle 7km to Bai Sha villag. Stop at Suhe village first thogh. Regret it instantly. Nothing but tourist shops line the streets and it's completely commercialised! Entry fee is 3o yuan but a guy approaches me saying he can get me in for 10 yuan via a back way. I agree. hehehe. Hang around for 2 hours then leave. One thing that struck me was the fact that the water flowing through what we would call road-side drains, were crystal clear!! People wash their clothes in there and I swear it looked clean enough to drink. Find out that the Dongba religion is "...based on the relationship between nature and man. In Dongba mythology, 'Nature' and 'Man' are half-brothers, having different mothers." WIKIPEDIA.ORG and hence respect nature and put alot of effort into protecting it.
Leave Suhe after 1.5 hours (was trying to take a short cut but got lost instead). Continue on to Bai Sha taking small dirt roads through villages and padi fields. Stop to ask a Naxi woman who was leading a little girl (tourist) on a horse. Turns out they're heading in the same direction and they invite me to join them. I've got company! Chat with the dad who was born in Kunming and talk about travel. I'm impressed by my Mandarin! We get to Bai Sha and it's nothing as I'd been expecting. Thought I'd be going to a proper village where I could chat with its inhabitants. Unfortunately, this was a walled area with pretty much the same artifacts I'd been seeing the entire time. I can't help but think that I should walk farther into the area but I am 'fresco-ed' up to my teeth and I am in no mood to do anymore. Toy with the idea of checking out a couple of temples and pagodas but am told that they are at least 2 hours away and I still have to think of my return trip to the city. BLEH! I decide not to go.
Back to the Old City. My skin starts to prickle and sting as I've forgotten my sun-screen. Fabulous! Silly billy. I'm going to regret this. We arrive back at Suhe (via the short cut I couldn't fine earlier :p). Dad is really nice and we exchange e-mail addresses before parting ways.