Yunnan Adventure

Shanghai Eye offers a beautiful post on his trip to Yunnan, including some fine pictures. Such great writing, and some real wisdom, too.

….[D]espite the pontifications of our fellow travellers, we wonder how much anyone can really know about China. All kinds of foreigners produce all kinds of theories to explain the vastness of China’s territory, and the variety of its peoples. Worst still, their habits, their errors and faux pas, are sometimes reduced to little more than a consequence of the evils of the government. Wandering around some of the markets in Kunming and Dali, one sees what one sees everywhere, from the bazaars of Baghdad to the prairies of Mongolia – the ordinary activities of communities trying to function, and the chaos of individuals trying somehow to get ahead in a changing, challenging world. The changes and challenges in China have been more perilous than most.

There’s definitely talent here.

Travelling to Yunnan was the one thing I wanted to do before I moved away that I never got around to. SARS stopped me last year, lack of time stopped me this year. Thanks to a good friend of mine from a farming village outside of Kunming, I feel that I know it better than anyplace else in China; he loves Yunnan and always talks about it, the land of perpetual springtime. After reading Shanghai Eye’s post, I feel I know it even better.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Dali is beautiful and inspiring. For photos of our vacation there last summer, see

No insights, ponderous thoughts, put -downs of other tourists, just an amazing journey.

May 8, 2004 @ 2:29 pm | Comment

Ellen, those are gorgeous photos. I’m totally jealous.

You don’t enjoy ShangHai Eye’s cynical and somewhat elitist commentary? I do, at least in limited doses, mainly because he’s such a good stylist and his knowledge of China is immense.

May 8, 2004 @ 2:49 pm | Comment

ha ha, thanks for that. BTW- SHE is several people not one. A ‘co-operative’ you might say. Collective pronouns please. The colonialist diatribes are meant to be tongue in cheek, perhaps it doesn’t come across. Oh well…hmm, private eye anyone?

May 8, 2004 @ 9:00 pm | Comment

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