They say the bus broke down, but maybe they just didn’t have enough passengers to warrant going to the next town. At any rate, we’re hanging out here, waitng for the next bus in about an hour and a half. This gives me an unexpected opportunity to post some more pictures and write an update.
We’ve been slowly going around the minority areas of southern Yunnan. There are dozens of minority peoples here. I get them confused. This young woman above in Lahu. Those of you who have known me for a while, and might have a very excellent memory, might remember I stayed in a Lahu village next to Maung Na while I was in that clinic in Northern Thailand in 1999. This woman works in a tea store in Pu Er. The tea around here is called Pu Er. Myung is into learning about tea these days, so we’re stopping in many tea stores and looking at tea exhibits at the factories. We ended up hanging out with her and a Lisu woman, and going to lunch with them and their friends at a Lahu restaurant. In this picture, the Lisu woman is on the right, dressed similarly to the Lahu.
We took a couple of bad bus rides to the extreme south, just a few km from the Myanmar border, to look at villages and colorful people. It turns out, some of the most colorful people are in the cities. One place we went to had a Dai village that was like a theme park. They even charge admission, though we walked around the gate. This place, Menghun, is just southeast of Jinghong. For sure, some of these people in traditional dress are dressed to the nines for the tourists.
But these peoeple were just regular.
Most of the temples in China are in pretty bad repair, but at least the tourist money has enabled this village to keep theirs up. Note, it’s very Southeast Asian around here because it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
We saw plenty of normal villages, too. In this first one, you see how poor this area really is and, in this forst one, a typical village temple.
All the rest of these pictures are of people in towns and villages where we went. I get a kick out of the first one. In a couple of towns we went to, there were pediatric clinics. Outside of them, you usually see a mother and her kid walking along with the mother holding a pole from which is hanging an IV. I wish I had a picture of one mother and child I saw. She had a tree branch for an IV pole. She and the kid were both crying. In this one, the IV pole is one of those plastic poles short shop keepers use to take down clothes displayed on high rails. Her son wasn’t too happy, so she’s getting him a banana to comfort him.
This was just an hour ago. We are in a town called Jiangcheng. These women are Hani.
So, that’s the story up till now. In about 45 minutes, we hope, we’ll be on a bus for the Yuanyang rice terraces. It’s going to taske a couple more days to get there. Groan. You could search that if you want decent pictures before I have an opportunity to post another entry. After that, I think we’ll go to Kunming for my Myanmar visa. Myung may not need one. Lonely Planet says citizens of ASEAN member countries don’t need one. Then we’ll head for Myanmar, perhaps stopping in the Baoshan region of Western Yunnan. I’ll blog again when I can.
Be well, all of you.