Yunnan - China's most beautiful province


古镇: Death-knell for Yunnan's Historic Towns

In China even the 'old towns' are new. Under the 古镇, or ancient town, moniker old towns are razed and their population driven out to make space for sanitized versions of Chinese history that drive the tourist dollar.


马健雄 (Ma Jianxiong): The Lahu Minority in Southwest China: A Response to Ethnic Marginalization on the Frontier

Cover Image
The Lahu, with a population of around 470,000, inhabit the mountainous country in Yunnan Province bordering on Burma, Laos and northern Thailand. Buddhists, with a long history of resistance to the Chinese Han majority, the Lahu are currently facing a serious collapse of their traditional social system, with the highest suicide rate in the world, large scale human trafficking of their women, alcoholism and poverty. This book, based on extensive original research including long-term anthropological research among the Lahu, provides an overview of the traditional way of life of the Lahu, their social system, culture and beliefs, and discusses the ways in which these are changing. It shows how the Lahu are especially vulnerable because of their lack of political representatives and a state educated elite which can engage with, and be part of, the government administrative system. The Lahu are one of many relatively small ethnic minorities in China – overall the book provides an example of how the Chinese government approaches these relatively small ethnic minorities.

Yunnan Tours

We can put you in contact with personally vetted, experienced tour guides, speaking Chinese, English, Dutch and German, for southwestern China. They can help you plan a trip matching your personal interests and requirements and accompany you on your trip. We just provide the introduction, we do not charge any commission or fees.
For enquiries email tours@yunnanexplorer.com.


Followers of Jianchuan Azhali Buddhism perform a candle dance in Shaxi.


Hometown of many Bai merchants, Xizhou boast some impressive architecture.


Jim Goodman: Living in Shangrila: Tibetans and Mosuo in Northwest Yunnan

Cover Image
Abstract: When Diqing Prefecture, opened its doors to foreign visitors in 1992, tourist agencies and government officials promoted Zhongdian County as the Shangrila of James Hilton’s novel Lost Horizon. In 2001 the city officially changed its name to Shangrila. On a high plateau of over 3200 meters, surrounded by snow covered mountain peaks, inhabited mainly by relatively prosperous, friendly and contented Tibetans, with beautiful monasteries, lakes, forests and summer flowers, the county’s scenery and lifestyle certainly bore a strong resemblance to that in the novel. Living in Shangrila describes the life and environment of the Tibetan people throughout Diqing Prefecture. It also examines their neighbors the Mosuo, a branch of the Naxi nationality, who adopted Tibetan Buddhism as their religion, but are still mainly a matrilineal society, unique to Yunnan, living around Lugu Lake, the most picturesque body of water in the province. The book includes over 200 photographs.


A pretty lake area south of Eryuan.

Markets this Friday

Kunming 昆明
Jinsuo 金所乡
Banqiao 板桥乡

Dali 大理
Hecun 萂村
Huangping 黄平镇
Shaxi 沙溪
Gunipen 沽泥盆
Nanxin 南新
Jiancao 捡槽
Wuxing 五星
Niujie 牛街
Pingchuan 平川
Gudi 古底
Qinghua 清华
Zhongjiang 中江
Dali 大理
Caicun 才村
Yousuo 右所镇
Yangbi 漾濞彝族自治县
Baidangping 白荡坪
Caojian 漕间

Lijiang 丽江
Shunzhou 顺州

Dehong 德宏
Lianghe 梁河县
Kachang 卡场镇

Honghe 红河
Xinhua 新华乡
Nafa 那发
Lengquan 冷泉镇
Lengdun 冷墩
Dongshan 东山镇
Wuwan 乌弯
Shitouzhai 石头寨
Daheigong 大黑公
Longwu 龙武镇
Zhongzhai 中寨
Jiache 架车

Wenshan 文山
Puyang 普阳
Shupi 树皮彝族乡
Funing 富宁县
Xichou 西畴县

Chuxiong 楚雄
Dalongkou 大龙口乡
Qianchang 前场镇
Shizhong 适中乡
Jiuchang 九厂
Guihua 桂花乡

Baoshan 保山市
Wafang 瓦房彝族白族乡
Mangbang 芒棒

Lincang 临沧
Yongde 永德县
Danjia 单甲乡
Fuhe 复合
Mengdui 孟堆乡

Zhaotong 昭通
Linfeng 麟风
Shuitian 水田

Yuxi 玉溪
Nanuo 那诺乡
Yuanjiang 元江哈尼族彝族傣族自治县
Yani 亚尼

Nujiang 怒江
Chenggan 称杆
Daxingdi 大兴地乡
Zilijia 子里甲乡

Puer 普洱
Mangxin 芒信镇
Qiannuo 千糯