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Yunnan, at the heart of Chinese tourism

05/07/2019 426 Views

Yunnan, au cœur du tourisme chinois

A land of flora and fauna, Yunnan is a place of cultural and ethnic diversity. World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Yunnan hosts 24 different ethnic groups in a rugged and mountainous area.

Yunnan terraces

Southwest Province of China, Yunnan is located at the gates of Tibet, and is bordering with Vietnam, Burma (Myanmar) and Laos.
 
Many advances have been made in this province, both economically and culturally. But the landscape and culture remain the main reasons for the attraction of tourists for this province.
 
It is said of Yunnan that it is "south of the clouds", it has several surnames, such as "Kingdom of Botany", "Kingdom of Animals", "Kingdom of Non-Ferrous Metals" and "Native Country of Medicinal Plants" ".
 
The region is the most popular of foreign and Chinese tourists, including the presence of the famous Chinese Pandas. Its capital, Kunming is called the "city in eternal spring," while Lijiang, the second largest city in the province, is considered the "little Chinese Venice."
 
Representing a traditional and Buddhist China, tourists have the opportunity to see the reclining Buddha in Baoshan, to go to ancient pagodas, to contemplate the arid plateaus near nearby Tibet, or to visit tropical forests at Xishuangbanna, in the extreme south.

Between spirituality and modernity

Chongsheng Temple

The region has kept its traditional architecture with its pagodas, temples and typical villages, but it has managed to adapt to the economic evolution of the country, hence the presence of modern cities like Kunming, which has become in a few years a vibrant city with markets, shops, cinemas and karaoke bars.
 
The city in the eternal spring is not as developed as Shanghai, Shenzhen or Macao, despite the economic and demographic potential. This is due to its isolation, and its geographical position preventing it from being as competitive as Hong Kong or Shanghai.
 
In contrast to the bustling city of Kunming, Lijiang City offers a landscape of cobbled streets and diverse and varied markets. The picturesque and ancient landscape around the Black Dragon Basin imbues the tourist with myth and legend, with its five-arched marble bridge over a lake, and its mountainous outlines.
 
Facing this lush landscape, the province is home to 48 prisons, and is still a central hub for drug trafficking.

A world heritage of humanity

The fauna and flora give spring flowers and real autumns. The province has the densest vegetation in the country thanks to the rivers that cross it, such as the Mekong (lán cāng jiāng), the Red River (hong he) and the Salouen (nù jiāng). The latter has the most floral species of tropical, sub-tropical, temperate or cold origin, coming from others in China and other parts of the world.
 
In the south, the vegetation is more tropical, with important bamboo, palm and plantain crops, especially in the Xishuangbanna forests. More than half of China's superior plant species are present in the province.
 
On a spiritual level, the city of Baoshan bordering Burma, allows Buddhists to contemplate Buddha in the supine position, or to go to the Songzanlin Monastery, where monks pray and live from day to day.
 
A rural economy and recognized gastronomy
 
Despite the explosion of tourism, Yunnan is an agricultural province, whose land is fertile, so they are called the "red land" of Yunnan. The province has a market gardening, and tobacco processing is quite developed, allowing the province to sell the famous "Hongmei", cigarettes sold throughout China.
 

Yunnan Qi Zi Bing Cha

Yunnan exports a very large variety of fruits and vegetables. The province is also home to livestock, dairy and horticulture, which had its international horticultural exhibition held in Kunming in 1999.
 
The main products in the region and exported throughout the empire are Pu'er cha tea, spirulina and truffle. Pu'er cha tea belonged to the emperors of the Ming Dynasty, it is a black tea that has different forms, this tea can have several leaves or a more compressed aspect, such as brick, slab or nest (tuocha) .
 
The most requested is the Qi Zi Bing Cha, the pack of 7. Spirulina is the oldest food in the world, it is a blue algae that is packaged in a green color. The truffle of Yunnan is different varieties such as Tuber sinensis, it is white and is grown in summer, the Tuber Himalayensis produced in the Zhongdian region, it looks like the black truffle of Perigord.

A linguistic and cultural plurality

Yunnan Arts Theater 2013

The history of Yunnan explains the cultural mix of the province. Dominated by the Han (206 BC-220 AD), Yunnan became the center of the Nanzhao Kingdom in the 8th century, and was later annexed to China by the Mongols in the 13th century. Despite these dominations, it is the local officials and warlords who administer the province.
 
Each of these dominions brought ethnicities, lifestyles, customs, and different cultures, explaining the multilingualism and cultural diversity of the province.
 
Mandarin is of course the official language, but other languages ​​are spoken, from several dialects such as the Austro-Asian languages ​​such as blang, u, wa; the Hmong-mine languages ​​with mine; the Tai-kadai languages, the lü and the Tibetan-Burmese languages ​​such as bai, bisu, biyo, choni, drung (or trong), honi, jinghpo, naxi, pumi and tibetan.
 
These languages ​​come from the 24 minority ethnic groups of the province: Yi, Bai, Hani, Zhuang, Dai, Miao, Lisu, Hui, Lahu, Va, Naxi, Yao, Tibetan, the Jingpo, Bulang, Pumi, Nu, Achang, Jino, Mongol, Derung, Manchu, Sui and Buyei and the majority ethnic group in China, the Han.
 
Each ethnic group lives to the rhythms of these customs and traditions. Some have privileges, notably in Lijiang, where the Unseco ordered the conservation of tiled houses and paved streets but also the use of Naxi for their traditional costumes.
 
Posted by China Magazine

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