Wind Horse and Fish Sauce

traveling between the Himalayas and the Pacific

Month: July 2015

Jinghong 景洪 市 Tropical border town on the Mekong

If you pull out at night off the bus in Jinghong, schwallt the contrary hot and humid air. Welcome to the tropical region of Xishuangbanna, in south-western tip of China! The tropical temperatures are noted the city, not only in terms of temperature. She looks more colorful than other cities in China. Han Chinese, From- and other minorities live together. The building facades have a colored paint, in the streets palm trees and other flowering trees have been planted. Obststände, mobile food stalls and barbecue stalls line the sidewalks. The smell of grilled chicken is in the air, Dressing for papaya salad is mashed and served noodle soup. Our anticipation of Laos and Thailand grows. Between all the “tropical dream” then stand here and there, faceless, monotonous high-rise complexes, the flashing colorful night. We are simply still in China.

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Between Hani villages and rice terraces in Yuanyang 元阳县

Lush green rice fields as far as the eye can see. We ride in the hilly landscape of Yuanyang, 80 km southwest of Jianshui. Over the centuries, the Hani minority terraced rice fields created. It is not only about a valley, but an area of ​​ca. 12.500 ha with a distinctive topography. At the top of the mountain slopes, the villages have settled, while the rice terraces to extend deep into the valleys. A direct bus from Jianshui from there is not, so we or several times the bus. Must change Minivan. Our accommodation, das „Timeless Hostel Yuanyangʱ??, located in the village Pugaolao and offers a wonderful wide view down to the rice fields. From the rooftop terrace, we can see, go up as fog and clouds in the snail's pace of the Valley. Night dive the large moon behind the mountain ridge on. Even a few stars are visible. There seems to be no better place to relax..

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Jianshui 建水县, a bustling market town and touristy Swallow Caves

After the big city Kunming Jianshui is at first glance a boon. After brief 200 km southward and three and a half hour drive, we will be met at the bus station small town of Songtheaw similar vehicles. The driver sitting relaxed on her car in the afternoon sun and provide us with their services. As so often we go with a “bu schischié” (no thanks) past them, to give us space and air. we are lucky, on the other side of the road just keeps a city bus, the direction Altstadt drives. As simple as it may sometimes go. We pass old, partly rundown small wooden houses, whose color is faded on the facade has long. The car-free old town with its narrow lanes Jianshui looks comfortable at first glance and is not quite as highly polished as Lijiang and Shangri-La. We see tourists barely. But appearances are deceptive, because it is the middle of the week.

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Kunming 昆明 , A short stroll through the provincial capital of Yunnan

So far we have traveled five weeks through China, seen and have discovered much, by bus, Overcome several thousand meters of altitude train or on foot. The industrial city of Kunming is, after all, “just” yet on the 2000m high Yunnan level, so year-round mild temperatures prevail. It is very pleasant, not too hot, not too cold. Also, the long-term travelers need a break from time to time. We are mainly from the long bus rides “reisemüde” become and are longing for a relaxing place to stay. Although sounds a town of about seven million inhabitants less than ideal for, but the many parks in the city, we are optimistic. Can finally be with a book on the grass and the sun on the belly seem…

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Delicacies from Southwest China – Today is feasted!

Who would have thought it? The Middle Kingdom is vast and varied – as well as the food. We come in southwest China to the widespread Sichuan cuisine: sharp, intense and varied should they be. Dried Chilies, Chinese flowers pepper (also known as Sichuan pepper) and black pepper are essential components in every dish and are finely tuned. A special feature of the Sichuan pepper is its numbing effect – a strange sensation in the mouth. Anyone who has eaten him, loves him or sorted immediately peppercorns neatly with the chopsticks individually from the food.

Every beginning is notoriously difficult. Order takeaway is mainly due to our narrow knowledge of Chinese language is a recurring adventure. While we have so far purchased in other countries usually without problems in English courts, we sit in the first two weeks of our trip to China often baffled by the Chinese characters in the menu card. In the morning, at midday, evening eating only rice? there is another way, only courage.

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