China: Yunnan

Nu Jiang; The Angry River

Bingzhongluo

Gongshan County

Nu Jiang Liuku Autonomous Prefecture

Yunnan Province

China

June 11, 2014

My Dear Fellow Travelers, and anyone who yearns for adventure,

In the early morning hours, from my hotel window in Bingzhongluo, I gaze in amazement at the cloud-covered valley of “The Angry River.” “The Furious River.”  “The River of Rage.”  The Nu Jiang.    怒江

Amazed?  Sure.  I am feeling so fortunate to be here.

Pianma: The Flying Tigers

Pianma

Yunnan Province

China

June 9, 2014 

At the height of the Japanese military power during World War II, their armed forces occupied large areas of China, blockaded the ports, and closed almost all of the roads.  “The Burma Road”  -the one open route that snaked through the mountains from India, through Burma to western China - was bombed by Japanese fighter planes.   Eventually, trucks ceased to transport goods to the Chinese Nationalist Army fighting the Japanese.

“The Hump” became the vital lifeline. 

Nuo Deng: The Salt Town and Confucius Temple

Nuo Deng

Yun Long County

Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture

Yunnan Province

China

June 8, 2014

Now here’s a quote to remember:

"Jan, I am impressed!"

So proclaims my guide Ilian as we reach the top of the mountain.

Ilian may be impressed.  But I am not sure whether to feel proud or to feel duped.  An hour ago, after breakfast, Illian casually suggests, "Let's take a stroll to see the Confucius Temple."   Was I impressed into this vigorous constitutional?

Shaxi: Shibaoshan Cave Temples

Shaxi

Yunnan Province

China

June 6, 2014

Dear Friends,

I should have known better.   I should have looked at my map.  I should have been more aware of my surroundings.  I should have taken my hiking stick!

My guide Ilian and I decided on an early morning drive to the remote Shibaoshan Cave Temples – a complex of grottoes just north of Shaxi.  We invited Nicole to join us. 

A grotto is a small cave or cavern or a man-made shelter that resembles a cave.  Did I assume that the grottoes are easily accessible?

Lijiang: Ethnic Minority Markets

On the Road

Yunnan Province

China

June 4, 2014

You ever see a pig on a leash?

You ever see a lady smoke a pipe?  Did she have tattoos on her forearm?

Somewhere between Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shaxi, we were lucky enough to pass through a large town with a colorful weekly market in progress.

The ethnic minorities were welcoming and friendly and pleased to pose for a photo.

Many, if not most of the women were dressed in their finest outfits.

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