2 Must-See Spots in Yunnan

云南3This past June I travelled around Yunnan for eight days. Yunnan Province is in the south-west of China, next to Tibet. It can get pretty hot in in the summer (the highest temperature is around 30 degrees) but it’s still a great escape from the crowded cities, if you can manage it.

Dali

Dali is home for people of Bai ethnicity, which is the one of 56 minority groups in China. Bai women have a reputation for being diligent and working outside the home, while Bai men are responsible for domestic work.

Click here for more information on China’s ethnic minorities, and here for further reading on the Bai ethnicity. 

Erhai Lake is a famous spot in Dali. When you get there, you can rent a little boat and the sculler will take you to visit around the lake. Local delicacies include spicy rice noodles and a snack called Baba cake, which is made of milled rice powder.

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From Weixin.com-traditional Bai ethnicity costume

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Baba cake

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Artwork of Bai ethnicity

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From Yunnan.com-Yunnan rice noodles

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Fishermen are catching fish by cooperting with cormorants

Lijiang

Lijiang is the home of the Naxi ethnicity. In the Nanjing tradition, girls with darker skin are considered more beautiful. This is a contrast to the beauty traditions of than Han ethnicity, where fair skin is considered more attractive.

Click here for further reading on the Naxi ethnicity.

Yulong Snow Mountain and the old town of Lijiang are two spots visitors shouldn’t miss. The old town is fun to go to in the evening, and there are many stores with local decorations to buy as souvenirs.

The highest elevation that people can reach on Yulong Snow Mountain is 4680 meters. You may feel uncomfortable as you climb higher because of the lack of oxygen. The mountaintop offers great views, and Blue moon lake is a great place for taking wedding pictures. The locals believe that if you make a wish with your hands in the lake, then your wish will come true. However, you can only do this three times!

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The old town of Lijiang

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The Naxi handwriting

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The Dai ethnicity food

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Blue Moon Lake

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From China.com-traditional Naxi ethnicity costume

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From Nipic.com-Lugu lake

Other useful websites:

Xishuangbanna in Yunnan-Wellknownplaces.com

Lijiang old town-Chinadaily.com

Lugu Lake-TravelChinaGuide

Zhujiajiao- An Ancient Town

My name is Judy and I am from Qingpu, Shanghai. Currently, I am a student in the University of Nottingham, Ningbo, China.

Zhujiajiao is 45.2 kilometers from downtown Shanghai. Zhujiajiao (which is in Qingpu District) is an easy way to see an ancient town without traveling very far from the city. The town has an old school charm that is a stark contrast to the modernity Shanghai symbolizes, and reflects the simplicity and serenity of old Shanghai.

Zhujiajiao is made up of a series of bridges and rivers. The most famous is Fangsheng Bridge. In the past, monks would put living fish into the river on the first day of the Lunar New Year in order to express their respect for life, which is where the bridge get its name. Zhujiajiao is popular with photographers, and the black roofs, white walls, and rivers make for very recognizable shots. In Chinese, Shanghai is known as “the magic city,” or “the land of fish and water.”

*How to get there: Take metro line 2 to East Xujing Station + Zhu Xu Line bus

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The Dianshan Lake- a lake in Zhujiajiao Town

Zhujiajiao is also home to the Dianshan Lake, the origin of Huangpu River. It is the biggest natural freshwater lake in Shanghai region. Shrimp from the lake are called rice shrimp, and look very similar to steamed rice. We usually eat them in the summer, boiled until they are just barely cooked through.

The views of the lake is incredible. You can rent a fishing-boat and paddle around the lake, and the bulrush and lotus floating on the lake’s surface, have inspired Chinese poets for centuries.

*How to get there: Take metro line 2 to East Xujing Station + Shangzhu Line bus/ Zhuxu Line bus +walk

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Other useful websites:

Zhujiajiao.com-More information about Zhujiajiao.


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