Monday, April 22, 2013

云南 // Yunnan Days 1 and 2

I spent the last week in 云南 Yunnan, one of the most beautiful, captivating regions of the world I have had the fortune of visiting.  We visited several locations on the 茶马古道 Ancient Tea Horse Route, which allowed us to experience our own intersections of adventure.  The food was delicious, the people so kind and welcoming, and even bus rides were worthwhile because of the awe-inspiring landscapes.  I can’t accentuate how happy I was to be able to see the stars again, vibrant blue skies, sit in the silence and breathe deeply.  Everyone points out how clean the air is in Yunnan!  I also prefer being towered by mountains rather than metal buildings, but I admit that the return to western toilets beats ceramic troughs.
I mean, where to begin?  This trip truly was a visual splendor.  We visited a lot of UNESCO World Heritage sites, which is exciting because there are certain standards to be qualified as such.  I just hope I can justify the magic of southern China!

 The Stone Forest was a labyrinth of monolithic stones – a natural playground!  It shocked me to consider what the world once looked like; a reminder of our own finite existence upon the grander scale of the world.  Can you believe that the stones were all once under water?!  We spent the night in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan.  It was a balmy evening and we hopped around a few clubs, which weren’t as crazy as Shanghai of course but as foreigners we always manage to attract our own fun.

Here’s the first set of photos, leading up to nearly the end of day two while our bus from Kunming to Tiger Leaping Gorge broke down no less than 3 times.  But us being the awesome group of people we were didn’t complain, and had a blast taking in the breathtaking sunsets (colorful skies in China DO exist), tossing frisbees and footballs, and playing double dutch!
 Some of our classmates decided to pay 10 RMB and dress up in the traditional clothing of the local minority!  They looked ready to pillage a village.

 Some of my main ladies and myself!

 Being that there were 25 students, the teachers divided us into 5 groups to micro-manage.  I was a group leader for these guys and we named ourselves 云南鳯凰 - Yunnan Phoenix!  More than anything, it was to keep track of people efficiently.  I can't tell guys who are two years older than I what to do.. :B   

I miss it all so much.  Being back in Shanghai and doing Chinese work and being reminded of the summer and that this all comes to an end in a few weeks is  (no good).

Listening: the morning sounds of the city.

1 comment:

A Normandy kitchen said...

Hi Nicole,
Good to see you are still enjoying your adventure - stunning place and wonderful pictures, thank you!