We had one last viewing of the rice terraces before heading back to Kunming. An enterprising old Hani man had taken up a seat guarding the entrance to a viewpoint on his land, and had settled in with his shuiyandou (water tobacco pipe) for the day, asking 20p a look, with a photo of himself thrown in.

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On the way to Kunming we stopped at a village populated by the descendants of Mongolian soldiers who overran the place centuries ago, in the days of Kublai Khan. We found a gaggle of old ladies gossiping, with wonderful faces.

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Lucy had to dash off after we arrived, as her son (9) had been knocked over at school and had been taken to hospital for stitches. Tomorrow morning I set off Northwards by train for Dali, about a 6 hour journey up into the mountains.


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