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Trip to Yunnan

The week-long Spring Festival holiday provided an excellent opportunity for some longer travel within China. The successful trip to Harbin the weekend had given us confidence that the already-spent investment on this organized tour with the China Culture Center would be good. We were not disappointed.

Briefly speaking our itinerary took us from Beijing into Kunming, onto Jianshui, a full day at Yuanyang, back to Kunming for a flight to Xishuangbanna and then back into Kunming for a day before flying home. Amy is doing a much more thorough job of telling the story in detail over here: Yunnan AdventuresRice Terraces, Xishuangbanna.

Kunming-Jianshui

We stayed in a courtyard hotel which felt like an overnight stay at the Summer Palace. During the day we spent time in the city as well as smaller villages and saw a side of Chinese life that seems entirely absent in the huge bustling capital.

Waiting for the day to begin

Row of birdcages

Hani rice terraces at Yuanyang

With a full day from before dawn to well after dusk there was plenty of time to take photos. Although the morning fog stayed well into the day it did lift in the middle of the afternoon to reveal some incredible feats of manual labor and engineering.

Man in the mist

Sun reflecting in water

Hani rice terraces

Fog brushing the village

Xishuangbanna

In Xishuangbanna we explored local markets, visited a much smaller traditional village and took a trip to a tea plantation by tractor.

Amy having her hair tied

Market scene

Local children

Tea plantation

Kunming

A bonus final day in Kunming gave us the opportunity to reconnect with the same local guide we'd had earlier in the week and visit the nearby 'Stone Forest'.

Amy and Andy at the Stone Forest

Viewing platform

Overall it was an excellent trip. I would happily recommend the CCC tour for its organization and efficiency, and particularly the efforts of our guide, Edwin, who made a deliberate and consistent effort to ensure a good time was had by all.

Yunnan trip slideshow

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Daily photo: Last day of fireworks

Last of this year's fireworks When the entire kitchen staff of the hotel next door take a mid-afternoon break to set of 10+ yards of firecrackers and a load of fireworks, it's a clear sign that the New Year festivities are coming to a close.

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