Dai Girl Cyclists in Xishuangbanna, China

Dai Girl Cyclists in Xishuangbanna, China

White projects purity, cleanliness, and neutrality.

‘Six hours after we left Simao, the muddy Lancangjiang river appeared like a shadow at a lighted window. Another couple of bends and the curtains were flung wide open: Jinghong, the naked lady, lay there on her bed of green’.

That’s pretty much how I introduce the reader to Xishuangbanna, in Nomadic Gatherings.

This area in the deep south of Yunan province, bordering Burma and Laos, is inhabited by a dozen of the minority tribes; namely the Dai, Han, Hanni, Bulang, Lagu, Wa, Yao, Jinuo, Zhuang, Yi, Hui, and Miao. Affected by the monsoon from the Indian Ocean, the region has a climate of high temperature and high rainfall and is mild throughout the year. There are no season distinctions; only wet and dry.

The rich forest is said to be roamed by herds of wild elephants, buffaloes, rhinoceroses, tigers, and gibbons. I only had time for a stroll to Chuan Huan Park and the surrounding Dai minority villages. Chickens and pigs roamed freely around the bamboo fenced territories of the raised wooden cottages.

The Dai are a colourful and friendly people and the region is celebrated for its annual water-splashing festival in April. I had a tourist meal of shredded pork, fried bananas, and sauteed rice at one of the minority guest house restaurants all for 7 Yuan (60p); and that included the Pi Jiu (beer).

https://photos.travelnotes.org/

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Breakfast in China

Breakfast in China

Walk around the streets in China early in the morning and you can find almost anything ready to be chopped up for breakfast.

This lady was getting ready for hungry customers in Chengdu, Sichuan province; the home of spicy, Chinese food.

Forbidden City, Beijing

Forbidden City, Beijing

The Forbidden City (Imperial Palace) was home to fourteen emperors of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and ten emperors of the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).

Listed by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1987, the Palace Museum is located in the centre of Beijing, on the northern side of Tiananmen Square.

Probably photographed by every tourist visiting the Chinese capital, but few will get down on their hands and knees to find an angle like this; then wait for people walking through the frame to create a balance.

Guilin Limestone Peaks

Guilin Limestone Peaks

Guilin is flat enough to cycle around and then these magnificent limestone peaks rise up in front of you.

A cruise down the river, from Guilin to Yangshuo, passes through some of China’s most magnificent scenery.

Nature has spent 70 million years perfecting the sculptures around this part of the Li River; revealing a landscape that is truly awesome.

Suzhou, China

Suzhou Canals

Located about 100km west of Shanghai, Suzhou is famous for its canals, bridges and classical gardens; collectively an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

With the Yangtze River Delta to the north-east and surrounded by lakes, it’s not surprising Suzhou is often called ‘Venice of the East’.

There’s even a Grand Canal running through Suzhou, north to south, connecting Beijing with Hangzhou.

While many tourists might choose the easy option and take a boat tour on the Weichang River, it’s easy enough to walk around on foot and discoverthe quiet backwaters of this 2,500 year-old city; founded in 514 BC as Helü, in the Kingdom of Wu.

An old Chinese proverb says, “In heaven there is paradise, on earth there are Hangzhou and Suzhou.”