Yunnan province (Kunming, Dali, and Lijiang) is a lot like Disney World – overpriced and overrated, but I still managed to have a decent time by avoiding the crowds and ditching the tourist sites. With that said, please enjoy my top 10 photos of the land of scams, shams, and scallywags.
Anyone who has ever been to Kunming has probably visited the city’s most famous park – Stone Forest or Shilin. In addition to a two-hour bus ride to the site, I had the pleasure of spending another hour taking an electric trolley from the bus station to the ticket office and then to the main gate. So, after several hours in transit, I spent 20 minutes at the park, snapped a few photos, and then rushed back to catch the last bus of the day.
After getting vexed with aggressive touts and pricey tours, I decided to go on my own excursion by renting a rickety 10 RMB bike and riding / pushing it up a mountain.
This picture was not altered in Photoshop. The skies overlooking Baisha are indeed that baby blue while the nearby mountains are reminiscent of a Coors Light commercial. While the town didn’t have much in the way of entertainment, it did provide just enough serenity for me to keep my sanity.
I couldn’t quite understand what this girl was saying as she was speaking in the local Lijiang dialect, but I like to think she’s shouting, “Come at me, bro!” (In case you were wondering, yes, she does have another arm.)
While scrambling to pick up some souvenirs, I came across this old lady sewing wallets and other embroideries. As a fan of handmade items, I decided to purchase some of her wares but not before engaging in some Beijing-style, cutthroat negotiating.
While shooting in the “golden hour” just before sunset, I was able to capture the variety of lighting pouring onto Baisha’s old-timey streets.
The ominous trees in the background would be perfect for a horror movie.
Boys will be boys. And in the case of Dali, this means juvenile delinquents stealing motorcycles, getting hopped up on rice noodles, and taking joy rides around town.
I stood by this wall for several minutes, waiting for someone to walk by before taking this photo.
This dog has nothing to do with Yunnan in particular, but I thought that it looked so creepy that I had to include it in my top 10 photos of the province. It reminded me of a canine version of Doctor Evil or perhaps a futuristic doggish cyborg sent back from the future in order to assassinate its rebel leader pup.