"Mountains and Minorities" Top 5 Page for this destination Yunnan Sheng by XenoHumph
Yunnan Sheng Travel Guide: 2,027 reviews and 5,720 photos
Yunnan is not very typical of China. This comes mainly from the fact that most of its population is made up by a mosaic of minorities, i.e. people of non "Han" Chinese origin. These minorities are related mainly to Tibetan populations in the North and West and to Vietnamese, Burmanese or Laotian in the South. Second, its history is different from that of China as Yunnan or part of it have been independant or semi-independant for several centuries in a row (for example the Nanzhao kingdom centered in Dali from the 8 to 13th century AD). So, although Yunnan seems now perfectly integrated into China as it does not seem to display the struggle of the Tibetans or the Uighurs for example, travelling through this province makes you encounter many customs, languages and art forms which are varied and not Chinese.
A typical sight in Yunnan: a woman carrying a wicker basket on her back dressed in a minority costume (in this case probably Yi).
Your wanderings in Yunnan will probably make you meet several minorities, from the Dai in the Southern Xishuangbanna region to the few Mosu in the North around lake Lugu. Here is a glimpse of a few among the hundreds!
The Naxi, of tibeto-burman origin, live around Lijiang and have a matriarchal society and their own ancient writing made of pictograms.
The Bai, a sino-tibetan people live around Dali with their white dominated costumes, their earthquake proof traditional buildings and their thousands of years of agriculture practice.
The Sani, part of the tibeto-burman Yi minority serve as guides in the Stone Forest and make pretty embroided cloths. The Yi make the biggest minority (more than 4 million people) and are now found in many parts of Yunnan.
Yunnan is located in the Southern part of China. It is bordered by Burma, Laos and Vietnam, therefore having heavy jungle, hot and humid climate on its Southern part. But it is also at the Eastern edge of the Himalayas, right next to Tibet, and therefore is mainly characterized by a very mountainous terrain and a nice mild and pleasant "spring like" climate.
- Pros:Beautiful mountains, pretty villages, colorful minority costumes, great weather, good food
- Cons:road construction, red dust, cigarette smoke, polluted lakes and rivers, earthquakes
- In a nutshell:Northwestern Yunnan, edge of the Himalayas, is my favorite
You do not need any special shots to go to Yunnan as far as I know. Maybe, just make sure your Hepatitis ones are up to... more travel advice
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