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Kunming has many Chinese temples. It is quite common to see a huge pot filled with water, with (usually, but not necessary) some auspicious animal (carving of course) sitting on the bottom, and coins scattered around the animal.
The animal usually has a small mouth. People believe if they make a wish, and throw a coin right into the mouth of the animal, then their wish would come true.
The coins (RMB0.10 yuan) can be exchanged at a manned desk nearby.
Written Aug 1, 2004
I was somewhat surprised to see this. This is yet another proof how Yunnan must have been closely related to Malaysia.
Bamboo rice is a norm in the prefecture of Xishuang Banna.
It's glutinous rice cooked in the hollows of a bamboo.
Written Jun 27, 2004
The traditional "cigar" in Yunnan. About 1 meter long.
At first glance, I could never figure out what that was for.
This apparatus is one of the Yunnan's famous 18 strange things. (shi ba guai in Mandarin).
It's made of bamboo.
Written Jun 27, 2004
Bargaining is the culture, and the customer who is not aware of the "market price" loses.
It's also true the traders here are usually small businessmen who do not make much money. So if you feel sorry for them this way, perhaps you should just pay whatever the asking price is.
Don't be rude in the bargaining process though. Be pleasant, smile always, and offer a price lower than what you want to pay, this way you give yourself room to move up if the vendor thinks it is too low. Alternatively you can pretend to walk away, and the vendor will call you back if he/she thinks the price is still acceptable to him. If he/she doesn't, it does not really matter because you can usually find the exact same thing in the next couple of stalls.
Make sure you take it if they say ok. It's extremely rude to walk away when the vendor agrees to your price.
Written Jun 6, 2004
If you happen to take a bus, do notice, perhaps make a count of how many times the driver presses on the honk (it's a button right below the bulb of the clutch stick.)
They love it, even when the object blocking them is 600m away, and they are driving at a speed of 20km an hour. Sometimes they do it not because anything is blocking, but just to tell the pedestrians " give way".
They do it following some musical rhythm they have invented, but this must surely be a fast-paced song, for the frequency is akin to a drummer hitting furiously on his favourite drum.
They do it when they know it's pointless. It's a 5pm traffic jam, it's red light ahead, but they do it anyway.
Written Apr 11, 2004
When you are eating at the restaurants in Kunming, remember to check whether you are entitled to the lucky draw coupons shown in the photo. You need to rub the shiny area with a coin to see whether you have won any prices.
Written Mar 26, 2004
I think if was on the 1st of July, Canada Day. I was walking around Kunming, in a trance. This was only a month after my arrival after all and things sink in slowly.
I was drawn to Jinbi Square by the sound of Opera... not the Bel Canto kind... and found the whole place filled with folding chairs. Hundreds of people were watching a show on a stage that wasn't there the day before. People kept calling me, offering me their chair to sit and watch with them. The lady I sat with held my hand throughout the show... surprising, when you think how rare it is for Chinese people to touch in public. I still remember her smile. She was glad I chose *her* spare chair, I think :-)
anyway, the pic is a group of dancers from one of the 27 nationalities living in Kunming. They looked so young from my chair. When I went behind the scenes after their show, I saw that they were all quite mature. What make-up and costume can do! :-) Well, they were more agile than many teens I know! Go girls!
Written Oct 16, 2003
It means you love the girl and want to marry her. In that way, you have to stay there for three years and work for her. After three years, if she was satisfied with you, she would work for you; otherwise you would be jilted.
Written Dec 1, 2002
1) Yi: Largest group with a population of 4.16 million. It accounts for about 62.1% of total Yu population in China.
Language: 6 dialects.
Food: Love to drink.
2) Naxi: Meaning black. Outgoing & love to sing & dance. Population: 278,000. About 185,000 live in Lijiang. Idolise hawk, frog & snake.
Food: Herbal & mainly stewed.
Costumes: Only the singles can wear red. Married women wear black. 7-star sheepskin cape is part of their dowry; usually sewn by the mothers. Women are breadwinner in this group of minorities & men just relax & indulge themselves in music & caligraphy! Not bad, guys ;-).
3) Bai: With longest history & most advanced in their culture. Found mostly in Dali. Population: 1.39 million.
Language: With spoken language but no written form. Uses Chinese words instead.
Updated Nov 22, 2002
Monkeys dont like to be stared at. Its true. I don't like it when people stare at me. So, if you stare at monkeys, they might bite or at least lunge at you. This 'super' monkey in Lijiang's Black Dragon Park was a bit aloof though. Staring didnt even phase him.
Written Aug 26, 2002
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