China does nothing on a small scale. Between the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, you may have picked up on this. But their fascination with doing things big time stretches throughout the country, leading to some hefty decor for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites!
You’re probably thinking, “But I thought World Heritage Sites were supposed to be preserved ‘as is,’ not ‘improved?'” Well it’s not quite the World Heritage Sites themselves that they’re “improving” (though that’s debatable), but rather the areas around the World Heritage Sites! After all, you have to give your World Heritage Site a sort of grand entryway, right?
Much like at Emei Shan, which I had previously seen in my travels, Lijiang, undoubtedly the tourist hot spot of the Yunnan province, had an entryway that was nothing short of (fake) glamour. Its grandeur only further serves to remind you just how modern China is compared to what you find on the other side of the wall…
But as you explore this large plaza that greets visitors before giving way to the tiny (and jam packed) streets of old Lijiang, it’s hard to miss the signage that’s been scattered about, offering words of wisdom to would-be park goers. Some of them read like an old-style Chinese proverb. Take this one, for example:
For a strangely translated sign, this one actually makes quite a bit of sense… Pick up some trash and you’re telling the Earth you love it… Right?