Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kunming Attraction - Yunnan Nationalities Village

There are 52 minorities in China, and out of that 51 are in Yunnan. It is almost impossible to visit all the tribes in a short stay, so the Yunnan Nationalities Village comes in handy.

It is a place that gathers the major tribes, displaying them in their most original form with performances. It is best to spend the whole day in it, coz it is very big and walking from a tribe to another takes time. Without watching the performance, it is also as good as not being there, so prepare to spend some time there. We were there after 3pm, so we missed quite many small villages and performances. :(

Here are some to share with you…

Wazu (瓦族)
Wazu is quite dark and seriously they look really like our Malay friends! Their men are one of the most macho type that we’ve seen so far, with long hair and muscular body… very attractive! :p

Here is part of their cultural performance:

Daizu (傣族)
This tribe is from Xishuangbanna (西双版纳), south of Yunnan. They are very similar to our Thailand friends. They practice the same religion and have the same believe. They also celebrate the same thing – the Water Festival.
daizu umbrellas

When we were there, it was just during the water festival, so we could see many people shooting water, and they even sell raincoats and water guns to tourists! My camera almost spoilt in this, as I wasn’t prepared when someone shot me water! LOL!

Miaozu (苗族)
There are actually two Miaozu villages here, at least from the map. The main one was out of our way, and we visited this smaller one. There are Miao girls doing some sewing in their hut, but no performance though. There was a church there, but people there was not that friendly.

Local Snacks
Along the street, you can find them selling local snacks. We bought 3 types to try:
local snacks

Top left: smelly toufu, which is actually spicy but not smelly at all!
Top right: French fries with spicy sauce – a better and more Asian alternatives to the western French fries. This is the most yummy of the three.
Bottom: pumpkin cake, a sweet snack, which is not my type.

Night Performance
After dinner, they had nigh performance at the square. There is a mix of Lisu tribe (傈僳族) famous performance of climbing knife ladders, songs from Wazu, dances from Yizu (彝族), walking on burnt coals, etc.

The night performance ended with group cultural dance, similar to the one we experienced in Shuhe told town in Lijiang.

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