…it would likely look like Lijiang.
In theory, Lijiang is charming. But then a lot of things are charming in theory–babies, meth, meth babies.
Lijiang is an ancient town full of winding alleyways intersecting corridors of canals. But it’s all fake. Fake I tell you. Soylent Green is made out of people.
Everything is and feels rebuilt. Too sterile even for China—a country where everything in the cities feels hospital sterile except for the air.
And here every building is either a restaurant, guesthouse, or gift shop.
It’s still cute, and in the hours just after sunrise the onslaught of Chinese tourists has yet to wake up, so you can snap some misleading photographs. My favorite.
And if you get turned around and aren’t sure how to get back into the heart of the old town? Just turn right after you pass the water wheel and just before the McDonald’s.