Category: Yunnan

  • Boar’s Wallow

    Boar’s Wallow.  Now that’s a poetic name!  It’s the Naxi name for a small mountain village in northwestern Yunnan Province, which name loses its bucolic flavor in China Post’s Mandarin designation Xinshang Xiacun, something like “New Respect Lower Village”.  Boar’s Wallow is less optimistic, but more to the point. The Naxi are a people of […]

  • Hāilìlùyà

    Nuremberg is a better choice than Kunming if you need to indulge your Christmas nostalgia.  But if you happen to be in Kunming, why not give it a try? I often bicycle past the apparently generic Protestant church on Peoples’ Avenue West, and when I saw the Christmas decorations go up, I was drawn to […]

  • Magical Valley

    There is something inherently voyeuristic in my desire for close encounters with rural Yunnan.  Chinese villages are a world apart from Chinese cities, and the old aphorism of being a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there applies. In the lumpy-bumpy karst mountain region a few hundred kilometers east of Kunming […]

  • The Train to Qujing

    Qujing is the second city of Yunnan Province, an hour and a half east of Kunming, unremarkable as far as I can judge, and a chosen destination only because of a friend there, of the Naxi minority, who is studying English at the teachers’ training college. The train-ride to Qujing is remarkable, in its cluttered, […]

  • Of Dragons and Bellybuttons

    It was the late Martin Gardner who introduced me to the interesting ecclesiastical debate over whether Adam and Eve had bellybuttons.  Given Moses’ (a pen name for God) account of their in- / con- ception, it is clear that they were not born viviparously to a mammalian mother, and so would not have the bumpy […]

  • Sculptured Earth

    Yunnan is a mountainous province and home to many of China’s ethnic minorities; not coincidentally, it is one of the poorest provinces in China.  Some 150 km north of the provincial capital of Kunming there lies a region known as “Red Earth”, with villages perched at 2,500 meters below peaks at 3,200 meters.  As with […]