On the way here we were stopped at a police checkpoint and I was asked for my passport. Apparently there has been some muslim extremist activity in Yunnan recently and they are monitoring foreigners movements. No problem, but I did think I was out of harm’s way as far as terrorism went!
The area around Yuanyang rises to 3000m and lies just 50km north of the Vietnam border. The steep sided mountains have been cultivated for hundreds of years by the Hani people, growing rice that is regarded as among the best in the world. Having had some for dinner I’d say it has a delicious nutty flavour, much more interesting than basmati, say. I also had a delicious dish with meat, garlic, scallions, ginger and chilli. Outrageously expensive meal at £2.50, but then it is a 4 star hotel. The other local minority are the Yi people, who wear gloriously colourful costumes. The rice terraces, now a world heritage site, look stunning at sunset and sunrise. I didn’t use filters or photoshop – these show exactly how it looked.
Sunrise at Daoyishu (a type of fruit tree)
We came back via a farmers market, where the locals can buy and sell vegetables, meat (on the hoof), herbs, household goods, fabric and agricultural equipment.