Noilly Prattle: China - Winter 2016 (Yunnan Province)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

China - Winter 2016 (Yunnan Province)

     Yunnan Province lies in the southwestern part of China. Its name, Yunnan, literally mean "Southern Cloud" in English. Yunnan's western flanks meet the Eastern Himalaya Mountain foothills. We chose Yunnan for its winter climate. At a relatively low latitude and high elevation (Dali is 2000 meters above sea level--higher than Denver at 1610 meters) the winter has generally mild daytime temperatures averaging 16°C (62°F) in February and cold nights averaging 4°C (39°F) with dry sunny days and occasional rain. We were also interested in seeing a more rural China than we had previously experienced only briefly in Shanghai; and some of Yunnan's “ancient towns” have become popular tourist destinations especially among Chinese travelers: towns such as Dali, Shaxi, Li Jiang, Shuhe, Shangri-la. Furthermore, we learned that towns such as Dali were “Autonomous Prefectures” that contain more than 30% ethnic minorities, the Bai people being the largest minority in Dali. In the two other towns we stayed in, Shaxi and Shuhe (Li Jiang) the largest minority are the Naxi people many of whom have close ties with the people of neighboring Tibet.  

Map: Locations of Dali City (pink) and Dali Prefecture (yellow) within Yunnan and China

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