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

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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

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

A history trading post on the upper reaches of the Yangzi.

C. Patterson Giersch: Asian Borderlands

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Yunnan was not always China: indeed not so long ago large parts of Yunnan were only nominally part of the empire. To make Yunnan, outside the main Han cities, a Chinese province required significant effort. Here Giersch's study on Yunnan's hinterland makes an interesting if academic read.

A clan temple on the slopes of a burial hill near Xizhou.

A spectacularly narrow canyon high above the Jinsha River.

Markets this Friday

Kunming 昆明
Jinsuo 金所乡
Tuanjie 团结

Dali 大理
Duomei 朵美
Junhua 均化
Hecun 萂村
Nanxin 南新
Shaxi 沙溪
Wanqiao 湾桥
Jiancao 捡槽
Wuxing 五星
Gudi 古底
Pingchuan 平川
Liuhe 六合
Heqing 鹤庆县
Yousuo 右所镇
Yangbi 漾濞彝族自治县
Gunipen 沽泥盆
Baidangping 白荡坪
Caojian 漕间

Dehong 德宏
Husa 户撒乡
Nangsong 曩宋阿昌族乡

Honghe 红河
Shengcun 生村
Xinhua 新华乡
Lengdun 冷墩
Lengquan 冷泉镇
Dongshan 东山镇
Shitouzhai 石头寨
Mengping 勐坪

Wenshan 文山
Lida 里达镇
Zhujie 朱街镇
Zhulin 珠琳镇
Mugan 木杆
Shuanglongying 双龙营乡

Chuxiong 楚雄
Dalongkou 大龙口乡
Qianchang 前场镇
Mixing 弥兴镇
Jiuchang 九厂
Guihua 桂花乡

Baoshan 保山市
Manglong 芒龙

Lincang 临沧
Luodang 洛党
Cangyuan 沧源佤族自治县
Zhenkang 镇康县
Quannei 圈内
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
Chahe 岔河
Dalongtan 大龙潭

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

Puer 普洱
Jiangcheng 江城哈尼族彝族自治县
Fuyan 富岩

Diqing 迪庆
Zhonglu 中路