To resist or succumb? How would you adapt to changes China is imposing?
In the long ignored southwest province of Yunnan, China’s expansion policies and tourist expectations are rapidly transforming lives and landscape for ethnic groups, while on the Tibetan Plateau swashbuckling horsemen and yak herders still adhere to their customs.
What contrasts! Yunnan is China’s most diverse province where their 2000 year-old terraced rice paddies are ethereal in the morning mist. More than 16 generations of Hani, Yi, and other ethnic groups have contributed ingenuity and hard work to carve out ladders of rice fields at elevations up to 9500 feet. The Confucius Temple (1325) in Jianshui and the Double Dragon Bridge cling to past glory, distinctly different from the vibrant capital of Kunming boasting steel and glass skyscrapers, and predominantly Han Chinese in western clothing.
Then travel where few tourists have visited. Ancient Tibetan Kham, now mostly located in China’s western Sichuan Province, has been home of Tibet’s famous fearless warriors since the days of Genghis and Kublai Khan. Daring horsemen perform exciting feats at the Litang Horse Festival cheered on by monks and townspeople. Admire 300 year old techniques used at the world’s largest manual print workshop in Derge. Stop at nomad camps to learn about their rigorous life and gasp at the grandeur of wide grassland expanses and magnificent mountainous landscapes.
A captivating glimpse of frontiers vacillating between tradition and modernization.