Sunday, February 15, 2009
Photo special: Lost in a forest in Yunnan
When you are living in cities like Suzhou or Shanghai you easily forget that there is more to China than 24-7 consumption/entertainment and commercial streets like Nanjing and Huaihai Lu. Fortunately, China is far from a 'block of concrete and skyscrapers.' In 2006 i travelled to some poor and undeveloped areas of Yunnan and I am so happy that I got a chance to experience that side of China too. I spent some nights at farmer's villages where the annual income was around 500 rmb. Even though the village people were poor they were extremely friendly and generous, cooking me dinners and making sure I was having a good time. In the village where I stayed there was only one household that had a TV so every night the whole village came over to watch Chinese TV shows that they didn't even understand. (These village people belongs to the Shansu minority group and speak a language called 'yi' and most of the grown ups don't understand any Mandarin).
During my time in Yunnan, I also got a chance to see some nature, and I spent half a day trekking a gorgeous forest (that I unfortunately have forgotten the name of...) Well, actually, it was supposed to be a 2-hour trek, but as usual when I am around, we got lost -big time! We had thought that it would be a good idea to do this trek before breakfast so it was on empty stomachs we walked around the muddy forest, slipping and sliding, bumping into women picking mushrooms and men taking care of the forest, and we didn't make it back to our car until 5 hours later! During the 30 min drive from the forest to the city no one uttered a word, we were all so hungry. And the lunch we had in the city is probably one of the best lunches I have ever had in my entire life.
Anyway, it was a great experience and what a beautiful forest. So green and full of life.