Yunnan – “The Southern Clouds” in China

By P Chong

23 Feb. 2011

 

Stone Forest, Kunming

Yunnan is endlessly a place of fascination

Surpassing many well-trodden places

To delight the hearts & souls

With hills & valleys away from shores

With rivers & streams gurglingly flow

Through its streets both new & old

Beneath its natural clear blue sky

From its distant snow-capped mountains

To the lakes & canals of its cities & towns.

 

Yunnan - Tourist Map

Though occupying only about 4.1% of China‘s landmass, it contains 25 different ethnic minorities reflecting the most culturally diverse province in China & the national realm of harmonious living in unity in diversities.

From the UNESCO listed Stone Forest of Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan, an unique karst topography, depicting the concrete jungle of modern metropolitan China to the age-old towns of Dali or Lijiang, the traveller can feel the pulse of China’s economic surge while being reminded of a land unsurpassed in history & culture.

Electric Tourist Cart for Rounding Stone Forest. Entrance: Seniors FREE.

This plateau land in the south-west corner of China beckons to you, one & all, though for the seniors, I would suggest that you’re fit to truly enjoy the many natural spots of interests, without having to worry about aching feet or weary & painful backs. The are certainly lots of cobble-stone roads to trudge, laborious steps & stairs to ascend or descend, jostling crowds to mingle with . . . ceaseless streets with surprising turns of fun & joy.

Dali Against Its Snow-Capped Moutain (Cangshan)
Erhai Lake, Dali
City Wall & Tourist Taxi Van

For the ‘shopperholics’, the narrow streets are lined with quaint little shops filled with leather goods of sorts, souvenirs both old & new, clothing, jade, silverware & porcelain ware. The atmosphere is one of festivities, colours everywhere with red as the dominant choice for prosperity & good fortune.

Street Scene

The crowd is predominantly young. I would say 99% of them with a sprinkle of senior members & foreigners. Thousands of these tourists are Chinese nationals. This is such a prominent feature everywhere you turn . . . young & vibrant, mobile, modern tech population group with time to spare & money to spend. Virtually everyone, male or female alike, is equipped with the mobile phone, the popular iPhone or other smart phones.

Both Dali & Lijiang have preserved their ancient enclosed or walled townships where visitors & tourists are encouraged to stay rather than in their developed new areas and experience of a life of an era gone by.

 

Local Snack Food Galore


 

 

 

 

 

Town Square - Cobble-Stone
Stone Forest, Kunming