Explore Ethnic Minority Yunnan Province (one week extraordinary trip)
Participants: SCIC Study Group (Language & Wushu Group)
Trip Number: 16
Date: 7th April 2009
Written By: Liz Zhang
This month we spent a whole week visiting Yunnan Province, which is one of China's well-known tourist highlights. The whole group had an amazing time exploring the beautiful countryside and seeing the many different ethnic traditions here - Yunnan has 26!
Mainly we spent time in Lijiang, which is an relaxed, very beautiful town in the north-west of the province. It's also very close to Tibet and the town itself is at the foot of Yulong Snow Mountain. We were surprised and pleased to find that Lijiang is famous for it's artistic community and flavour - there are many different art and handicraft shops here, like the carved ivory sculptures that some of us brought as souvenirs. The shopping is good here and everything is very cheap, so if you like haggling you can get some beautiful things here, all of which are part of the local culture. I brought lots of things like a shawl (which Lijiang is very famous for) as well as lots of pieces of silver jewellery. The cooking is wonderful too, and we had the experience of eating yak meat! That was something we had never tried before and although some of the group were a little unsure at first it was a delicious meal. Lijiang has it's own cultural identity and the town is very well-preserved, with lots of wooden houses and narrow streets lined with cobbles.
The town is a great place to relax and take it easy. Drinking coffee in one of the quiet streets is a great pleasure. The nightlife is also good so in a way, there's something for everyone to do. It was a very rewarding experience for us to travel to Lijiang and discover the culture there.