Yunnan - China's most beautiful province

Learning Bai

Learning Bai
Bai 白族话 is the language spoken by the Bai people 白族 in the Dali area. While Chinese has become the lingua franca, Bai is still actively spoken by many, particularly older people, but it does not have a native written form and comes in many dialects. Here we list the available resources for learning this difficult language.

Jim Goodman: Xishuangbanna

Cover Image
For most of its history Xishuangbanna existed as an autonomous state on the remote southern periphery of China, run by the same Dai family since the 12th century. Lying in the tropical zone, on the northern rim of Southeast Asia, with flora and fauna not only unlike the rest of China, but even unique in Yunnan province, it has had close ethnic and cultural relations with its neighbors in Myanmar, Thailand and Laos. The valleys are home to the Dai nationality, while several ethnic minorities inhabit the hills. Xishuangbanna: the Tropics of Yunnan narrates the history and development of the Dai people, their culture, society and religion, from ancient times through the period of incorporation into the Chinese state. It also covers the characteristics of the lifestyle, culture and celebrations of the peoples of the mountains, as well as the economic and political changes of recent times and their effects on both hill and plain.

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

Jim Goodman: Living in Shangrila

Cover Image
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.

Fog swirling on a cold winter morning over endless rice-terraces, the red of the early morning sun reflected in the flooded paddies: this is the classic view of the Hani Rice Terraces of Yuanyang, now of UNESCO World Heritage status.

Markets this Monday

Kunming 昆明
Jijie 鸡街乡

Dali 大理
Junhua 均化
Duomei 朵美
Haidong 海东
Tuanjie 团结
Waxi 瓦溪
Jizushan 鸡足山
Misha 弥沙
Liuhe 六合
Baishi 白石
Heqing 鹤庆县
Shaping 沙平村

Lijiang 丽江
Shunzhou 顺州

Dehong 德宏
Nangsong 曩宋阿昌族乡
Husa 户撒乡

Honghe 红河
Shalatuo 沙拉托
Zhemi 者米拉祜族乡
Panzihua 攀枝花
Baihe 白河乡
Chemalong 车玛龙
Laozhai 老寨苗族乡
Tongchang 铜厂
Puxiong 普雄
Longwu 龙武镇

Wenshan 文山
Tiechang 铁厂镇
Babu 八布乡
Jiumo 旧莫乡
Zhuanjiao 篆角乡
Banlun 板仑乡
Mulun 睦伦乡
Funing 富宁县

Chuxiong 楚雄
Qianchang 前场镇
Chadian 插甸乡
Mixing 弥兴镇

Baoshan 保山市
Manglong 芒龙

Lincang 临沧
Cangyuan 沧源佤族自治县
Quannei 圈内
Zhenkang 镇康县
Wumulong 乌木龙乡
Junsai 军赛乡
Shuangjiang 双江拉祜族佤族布朗族傣族自治县

Zhaotong 昭通
Shuanghe 双河

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

Diqing 迪庆
Zili 梓里
Kaifaqu 开发区

Nujiang 怒江
Pengdang 捧当
Maji 马吉乡

Puer 普洱
Fuyan 富岩