Yunnan Sheng Local Customs
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Once beyond Lijiang heading towards Tiger Leaping Gorge and Shangrila, you are basically entering the region of Tibetan culture. It is obvious on the signage of shops, architecture style, and stupas. Once you are in northern Yunnan, Tibet is just nearby.
Naxi Minority Group
The Naxi group concentrates mainly in Lijiang area. They have outstanding architectural knowledge and their own Dongba buddhism, language and music. Naxi women is the head of the family and do all the work. Signature of a Naxi female costume is the cloth at the back with 7 small white round patch representing the moon and stars. The moon and stars implies that the women carry the responsibilities on their shoulders.
Temples & Ancient Monuments (Part 1)
In Yunnan, you can see beautiful temples and ancient monuments all over the province. Attached are photographs of some of temples & ancient monuments which you can expect on a trip to Yunnan province.
Lower Your Glass When Toasting
In Chinese culture, when toasting beer or wine glasses together, it is polite to make sure that your glass is lower than the person's who you are toasting. I suppose this to show modesty. I have to say that I have not always noticed this way of toasting taking place in Beijing or Shanghai, and it probably does not occur among good friends. However, in Yunnan, I did notice this when drinking with my hosts. My British friend, unaware of this toasting practice, was nearly missing the glass of the host when they toasted (the Brit raised and the Chinese lowered, their cups only making contact by about 2cm!). After pointing out this out to my friend, we all adjusted, to the point that toasts were so low the bottoms of our glasses were almost hitting the table! This is a nice thing to remember when you are having dinner with Chinese hosts. It definitely applies in Yunnan!
You are going to China? I hope you like karaoke!!! The Chinese just love it! There are many karaoke bars in cities and towns, and each hotel has its own (karaoke by the way is singing popular tunes on accompanying music with the help of the text running on a screen in front of you). Young to middle aged people of all background flock these bars and sings to their heart's desire till late in the night. The result in the cheapest hotels is that you might not sleep very well because of all that (pretty bad) singing background...So when asked if they wanted to sing too during this Naxi traditional singing and dancing event in a Lijiang farm, our Chinese colleagues had absolutely no problem jumping in and obliging, thanks to their heavy karaoke training (picture)...!
Dragons are a recurrent theme in Chinese art, and Yunnan is no exception! They are decorating town squares (like this one in Yuanjiang), gates, temples and parks. They can be many centuries old or recently carved and painted.Dragons do not have the scarry and mean reputation they are given in Western tales. On the contrary, in China, they are peaceful and beloved beasts, associated with many festive events (like the Chinese New Year).
This picture shows typical Chinese tombs. I have not seen cemeteries like we have in the Western world (maybe there are some in cities?), but the tombs seem to be put randomly and in a spotted manner in the countryside. The location is probably dictated by Feng Shui rules. I have seen very often hill sides with a dozen tombs in the middle of crop fields. The ones in the picture were at a gold mine.
Men playing cards
A common scene in Yunnan is men playing cards, especially the evening in front of their shop or appartment complex. The picture shows men in the Stone Forest playing cards in the middle of the day. The women were busy making embroided cloths for the tourists.
No running water? Washing hair in the street...
I have seen people washing in the street quite often in the cities and town of Yunnan. I suppose it implies that they do not have running water. In cities, a lot of poor people seems to live in what I would call a garage (just one room with a metal door on the street) which serves as shop, living, dining and bed room.
This long bamboo pipe is seen often being smoked by men in Yunnan. I believe it is a water pipe. This is also a good exotic artifact to bring back as a souvenir! Every market sells them and some souvenir shops as well.
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Reviews and photos of Yunnan Sheng local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Yunnan Sheng sightseeing.