Eighteen Wonders of Yunnan

from the Tourist Map of Dali,Lijang,and shangrila (sic,) available for sale in those cities for 6 yuan (less than US$1)

1. Eggs are sold in a bundle of straw.

Eggs at market

Eggs at a market, Lijiang

At the market, I found many interesting packagings for eggs, but no bundles of straw.

2. Rice is sold in a cake form.

Also couldn’t find any examples of this one. The rice in Yunnan appeared to be the same as the rice in the rest of China.

3. Three mosquitoes are sold as a dish.

Not sure what this is referring to. If it’s true, then that’s one stingy dish.

4. Stones touch the sky.

I think this a reference to the karst formations that can be found in much of southern China. We found some imitations in Dali:

Stones touch the sky

Stones outside of Dali Old Town

5. Straw hats may be used as pot-covers.


Jars in a shop display, Lijiang

And also as jar-covers.

6. The dressing does not tell the season.

The dressing does not tell the season

It's a bit blurry, but she's wearing a T-shirt, skirt, and sandals, while he's wearing a winter coat

Yunnan has a subtropical climate, yet it lies inland, and parts of the province are at high altitude. So the weather is a bit different than the rest of China. In general, it is warmer than the more northerly cities, a fact that will be remarked upon several more times….

7. Old ladies are good farmers.

I don’t see why not.

8. Bamboos are used as tobacco pipes.


Bamboo tobacco pipe

Man smoking a pipe, Guangtong

9. Foals are always powerful.

O-kay… I’ll take their word for it.

10. Grasshoppers are dishes to go with wine.

Grasshoppers on a stick

Nightly snack market, Lijiang

And they are sold on a stick.

11. Fresh vegetables are always available.

See #6.

Vegetables at market

Vegetables at market, Lijiang

12. Quality tobaccos are consumed but not sold.

Yunnan tobacco

One of many tobacco shops, Lijiang

Then what are all these “Yunnan tobacco” shops selling?

13. Wild green foods are sold well home and abroad.

I can’t speak to how well they sell abroad (which probably refers only to other regions of China,) but they do sell well at home. Many restaurants proudly display their produce outside of the kitchen, so that hungry diners can see what’s available today.

14. The train here does not run as fast as the car.

It certainly does not run as often as the car. But due to the frenzy of road construction currently ongoing, I think that the train does indeed run faster.

15. Baby-sitting is a man’s job.

Babysitting is a man's job

A man's job, Lijiang

I think this is a reference to the Naxi and Mosuo ethnic groups, who originate from Yunnan. Both are matriarchal societies, and child-rearing is considered a man’s job. (Also, property is passed down to the youngest female child. How cool is that? Lissa, you should have been born into a Naxi family!)

16. Where there is cave (sic), there is a tourist destination.

This is true in Southeast Asia as well. I might add: Where there is cave, there are many European backpackers.

17. The Over-bridge rice noodle is a famous local specialty.

We wanted to try it, but weren’t sure of a good place to go. It’s basically cook-your-own noodles: diners receive a bowl of steaming hot soup, and a plate of cold noodles, raw meat, and vegetables. Put all the ingredients from the plate into the soup, let them cook, then eat.

18. Flowers are blooming all year round.

See #6.

Flowers all year round

Main street, Lijiang old town


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