Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Yunnan

I've never traveled outside of Southeast Asia before so I never cared for visas... until I had to travel to China last week for work. I did not know that there is so much drama for us Third Worlders who want to go to China. Day after day new requirements were asked until finally I was seen as un-threatening to our big neighbor up there. *rolls eyes*

This trip is actually a continuation of the trip in Sangkhlaburi; it's a program for a Southeast Asian delegation that I organized. You bet it was exhausting as hell to cart around nearly 30 people from one bus to another, from one airplane to another.

In the China leg alone, we took one flight in each of the four days we were there, on top of hours traversing the jagged peaks of Yunnan province on a minibus.

From Bangkok we flew to Kunming, and then another flight to Lijiang (where we stopped by the World Heritage Site of Lijiang Old Town), drove to Jianchuan, and then visited a small school in the village of Shilong.


Many times we had to wake up as early as three or four in the morning just to catch our flights. And then I was checking in people to our flights, loading bags onto the minibus, unloading them when we reach the destinations, checking in the people at the hotel, and making sure nobody gets lost. I was pretty much a shepherd in China.

Obviously I hardly had time to enjoy China with the many logistical arrangements that I had to oversee. What are my memories of that four-day trip then?

Well, there's the beautiful landscape of the province, the golden fields of corn, the towering  mountains, the deep valleys... which I all saw while on the bus.


And then there was the charming architecture of Lijiang Old Town, its twisted and narrow streets, the doorways that open to cramped courtyards, the sea of tiled rooftops, the endless streams that run around the town, and the electric colors of the fabrics hanging from the shops.



I could not also forget the enthusiasm of the children at the school we visited in the remote village of Shilong. They welcomed us with a song and then they danced for us wearing their tribal costumes. We also observed how they learn in the classroom using their own native language.


It was a quick four days indeed but it was an interesting peek into such a vibrant and diverse country. I obviously saw a small parcel of the vastness that is China and I still dream to see Beijing, Guilin, and Tibet (if you count it as part of China).

5 comments:

Kannan said...

Your blog is very good

Boonie S said...

Great photos. Interesting account.
It sounds like it was hard work but fulfilling.

All the best, Boonie

Ms. Chuniverse said...

That rustic village part of China you visited is a photographer’s dream subject. Ingget aketch.

fuchsiaboy said...

tour operator ka na rin pala? ;)

Kiks said...

beautiful pictures, k.

and yes, a beautifully written prose that warms and excites the heart.

parang ang ganda ng kunming.

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