A short visit to Shigu is worth the travel over from Lijiang. The drive reveals some of the most outstanding scenery and accompanied with your read "forgotten Kingdom" by Peter Goullart the backdrop is perfect to imagine a bygone age in China. Shigu is worth a short stop off to see the famous first bend in the Yangtze and there are a couple of decent eateries, one particularly near the gate to the riverside (name has eluded me) a walk up the hill to the memorial statue provides a great viewing platform.
If driving over from Lijiang keep your eyes peeled for farmers who may be tending to their crops. We stopped by a watermelon grower and bought a couple of large ripe watermelons from him, which he duly harvested and cut up for us and we managed to buy forest mushrooms from a forager at the side of the road.
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