Yunnan Minority Groups of China

Hani Women, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: longqueta

There are approximately 25 different minority ethnic groups in Yunnan.  Whilst I was staying in Lijiang I hired a tour guide/driver for the day and emailed before I arrived outlining what I would like to see. The main one was to see different ethnic groups.

Unfortunately when he picked me up he informed me that all the villages near Lijiang he had contacted were away for festivals.  He did take me to a Naxi village but I had already seen Naxi Women in Lijiang Square.

He did take me to a Tibetan Monastery which I loved, it was the highlight of my trip.  I also watched minority groups at a show in Xizhou Village, you can read about it here. I also saw a Bai lady in Dali whilst I was sitting in a cafe. These photos are from Flickr and I have asked for permission to use them on my blog.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4089383529/

Flower Hani Woman, Xishguangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: lonqueta

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4052219684/

Source: lonqueta

https://www.flickr.com/photos/lonqueta/4086655787/

Hani Girls, Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province

Source: lonqueta

Young Dai girl on bridge carrying baby (which was falling out); NE of Mengla, Xishuangbanna Region, Yunnan, China

Young Dai girl on bridge carrying baby (which was falling out); NE of Mengla, Xishuangbanna Region, Yunnan, China

Source: lonqueta

Yi woman

Yi Woman, Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Source: Linda De Volder

 

 


My Admiration for Chinese Women

Bai Lady

Bai Lady

I was sitting in a cafe  in Dali, Yunnan Province, China.  Whilst I was sipping my coffee watching people walk past, I took these photo’s of some Chinese woman, I took these from behind as I thought it would be rude to run in front of them.

The photo above is a lady from the Bai Minority Ethnic Group which is one of the main groups in Yunnan.  Her large basket was laden with oranges which she was selling to buy some food.  I admired the intricate embroidery on her traditional clothing.

Bai Lady

Bai Lady

The streets of Dali lined with people selling food, clothing and souvenirs. The above photos show the different ways they transport their wares.  Chinese woman work hard and are able to carry heavy loads.

I walked past a house being renovated with piles of concrete and gravel in the driveway.  There were only women shoveling the building materials into wheel-barrows.

I stood there for a moment watching them and was completely awestruck.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Admiration

Related Posts:


Landscape of Karst Mountains, Yangshuo, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Provnice, China

Li River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Provnice, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

Yulong River, Yangshuo, Guangxi Province, China

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Landscape

I visited China in 2014, my four days in Yangshuo was very humid and overcast.  I was disappointed as my photos would have been much clearer if there had been blue skies.  However I still found the landscape of these huge limestone peaks spectacular.

Here is a link to a post on my stay in Yangshuo.

Related Posts:


Vibrant Colors of a Tibetan Monastery

Tibetan Temple Lijiang China

This Photo of a Zhiyun Tibetan Monastery was taken near Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China.  This temple is adorned with Vibrant Murals, Lanterns and colorful Prayer Flags.

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge Vibrant

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Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China


Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Xizhou a small village about 18 kilometres drive from Dali, a pleasant drive through the countryside of rice fields.  I hired a non-English speaking  driver who drove me to Xizhou in a air-conditioned car.

A thousand years ago, the Ancient Tea Route was a trade link from Sichun, Yunnan to Tibet. Xizhou was on the path of the caravans of the Tea and Horse Road also known as the Silk Road.

Many of the houses decorated are some of the best examples of traditional Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) architecture in China. They have a distinctive Bai touch of colorful pictures, gardens, use of marble decorations, upturned eaves, and bright colors.

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Yan’s Compound

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

Xizhou Bai Minority Village Yunnan Province China

The driver took me to the Xizhou Village where the highlight is a dance show with young people in various ethnic costumes. Yunnan Province has around twenty-five ethnic minority groups.  Three different kinds of tea was served whilst watching the show. “Sandaocha” is a traditional regional tea ceremony consisting of three unique tea flavors.

A bitter tea which stands for the hardships in life. A sweet tea of sesame and walnut symbolic of happiness in life. Finally, a bitter, sweet, and spicy tea symbolic of pondering life.

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Xizhou Bai Minority Village

Ladies of the Bai Minority Group

 Xizhou Bai Minority Village

 

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Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Famous Water Towns To Visit In China

These Ancient Chinese Water Towns are often referred to as the Venice of the East. Many of these villages are built around a canal system. that haven’t changed for hundreds of years.

You can easily visit some of these towns as a day’s excursion from Shanghai.

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Luzhi is located in the Wuzhong District, 18 km east of Suzhou in Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhouzhuang Water Town

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhouzhuang Water Town Located between Shanghai and Suzhou, Zhouzhuang is a famous ancient town of Kunshan City, Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Tongli Water Town – Divided into seven islands, intersected by 15 canals

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Suzhou, Jiangsu Province

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Zhujiajiao, Qingpu District of Shanghai – With a history of over 1,700 years, Zhujiajiao is one of the most well preserved ancient towns in the Shanghai area

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Wuzen, Zhejiang Province is a famous ancient water town with a history of two thousand years

Famous Water Towns to Visit in China

Suzhou Built in 514 BC, this is an ancient city with over 2,500 years of history


Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

 

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Admiring the ancient buildings from a traditional boat

Huangyao Ancient Town, Guangxi, China

With a history of a thousand years, built-in 927 B.C, reaching its prime during the reign of Emperor Qianlang of the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911).  The name Huangyao came from the family names of the townspeople mainly Huang and Yao ethnic groups.

Some scenes from the movie ‘The Painted Veil’ was filmed here.  This movie inspired me to visit China as I thought the scenery was so beautiful.

I hired a driver and English-speaking guide, from Yangshuo which took about two hours.  Drivers in China usually don’t speak English so you need hire an English speaking guide as well, this was the most expensive part of my trip.

Huangyao was the most authentic town I visited in China, the narrow cobbled lanes lined with tiny coffee shops, bars and restaurants.  It wasn’t crowded with tourists and only had a few souvenir shops.

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Stone Arch Bridge

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Banyan Tree

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

Quirky Cafe with hundreds of post-it's

Quirky Cafe with hundreds of post-it’s

Huangyao Ancient Town Guangxi China

This little lady is 96 years old, we lit incense before praying to a buddha in a small shrine

At the end of the day as were walking back to the car there were a group of school children on a trip.  They immediately surrounded me and they started practicing their English.  The main thing they said was ‘Pleased to Meet You’ and one girl asked me where was I from – my guide translated ‘New Zealand’.  I didn’t see any foreign people in this town so maybe they don’t often get the chance to talk to tourists.  As we drove away they were waving goodbye to me ‘They Were so Sweet’.

 

Related Posts

 


Yangshuo Karst Mountains Guangxi Province China

Yangshuo Karst Mountains Guangxi Province China

Yulong River

Yangshuo Karst Mountains, Guangxi Province, China

I stayed in a small village called Chao Long which was about four kilometres from Yangshuo.  The guest house I stayed in was within walking distance to the Yulong River.

One of the activities in this area is to cycle around the paddy fields, so I decided to hire a bicycle which was bit of a disaster. I hadn’t rode a bike since I was about 12 and was quite nervous of the traffic. You need to cycle on the road to get to the cycling paths.

My expensive walking sandals gave me blisters and although it was spring it was 28 degrees and very humid and I got lost.Yangshuo Karst Mountains Guangxi Province China

Yangshuo Karst Mountains Guangxi Province China

I stayed at the Outside Inn which was a 600 year old farmhouse converted into a guest house.  I had a huge room with a bathroom for a very reasonable price.  The walls were so thick you didn’t need air-conditioning.

The restaurant served breakfast, lunch and dinner and the food was good with big portions.  There was outdoor eating area set in lovely gardens surrounded by Karst Mountains.

Outside Inn Yangshuo China

Outside Inn Yangshuo China

Outside Inn Yangshuo China

Outside Inn Yangshuo China

Outdoor Dining Area, Outside Inn Yangshuo China

I decided to do a trip on the Li River on a motorized Bamboo Raft.  You can also do trips on the Yulong River, these Bamboo Rafts are not motorized.

Karst Mountains Li River Yangshuo China

Li River Yangshuo

Karst Mountains Li River Yangshuo China

Li River Yangshuo

Karst Mountains Li River Yanshuo China

Li River Yangshuo

 


Why I didnt visit the Great Wall of China

Why I didnt visit the Great Wall China

Why I didn’t visit the Great Wall in China

Most people who visit China would include The Great Wall on their itinerary.  I did consider this option which meant I would be staying in Beijing for a few days. Beijing’s population is 24 million people and polluted.

I was travelling to China on my own and I was nervous about visiting such a populated city.  I am quite claustrophobic and I don’t like large crowds of people.  I also had my heart set on Yangshuo and Lijiang which is a long way from Beijing.

The reason why I visited China

I inherited a small amount of money and decided to spend it on travel.  I had traveled before getting married and having children, but whilst bringing up three boys we could only afford trips around New Zealand.

A film called ‘The Painted Veil’ inspired me to visit China, based on the 1925 novel by  W. Somerset Maugham.  Set in the 1930’s and filmed in London, Shanghai and Huangyao Ancient Town, Guangxi Province. Edward Norton and Naomi Watts were the main stars.   One of the first scenes of the film featured an amazing landscape of Karst Mountains.

The-Painted-Veil-edward-norton-146727

The-painted-veil-the-painted-veil-3410802

 

painted veil book

 

Below is links to posts on Yangshuo and Huangyao Ancient town where the movie was filmed.

Yangshuo

Yulong River Yangshuo China

Huangyao Ancient Town

Huangyao Ancient Town, Guangxi Province

 

 


Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Zhiyun Tibetan Monastery China

Built in 1727, situated about 17km from Lijiang, Yunnan Province, China.  It differs from the traditional Tibetan architecture as the carvings and designs taken from Naxi Han and Bai people.

I visited this monastery  with a tour guide arriving early morning in time to watch the young monks chanting and playing traditional music. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take photographs inside . The ages of the monks were between six and seventeen, it is a great honor for a male member of a Tibetan family to become a monk.

Stupa’s may represent the five purified elements

  • The square base represents earth
  • The hemispherical dome/vase represents water
  • The conical spire represents fire
  • The upper lotus parasol and the crescent moon represents air
  • The sun and the dissolving point represents the element of space

This was the highlight of my China trip, it was a very spiritual and moving experience.

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Prayer Wheel – The concept of the prayer wheel is a physical manifestation of the phrase “turning the wheel of Dharma,” which describes the way in which the Buddha taught.

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery ChinaTibetan Zhiyun Monastery ChinaTibetan Zhiyun Monastery ChinaTibetan Zhiyun Monastery ChinaTibetan Zhiyun Monastery China

Tibetan Zhiyun Monastery China