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18 Oddities to Savor Yunnan

Last updated by carl at 2008/3/7; Destinations:

First: Eggs sold in bundles
People in the Longling County of baoshan area are used to tying up eggs, and into a bar with rice straw and selling them in bars in the market.

Second: Young Girls Called “Old Lady”
A custom that has developed over the recent year with Xiaguan and Chuxiong people is the “Old Lady” custom. Unmarried girls, aged between fourteen and eighteen years, are called “Old Lady”. This is said to wish her good health by promoting intimacy and goodwill.

Third: Pies Called “Ear Piece”
Ear piece is one of Yunnan’s special-flavor foods. It is made of rice in the shape of thin pies. Apart from ear piece, rice noodle and flat rice noodle are the local favorite non-staple food. It can be boiled or fried. The famous speciality “Teng Chong Dajiu Jia” is actually the stir-fried thick rice noodle.

Fourth: Automobiles Move in Clouds
Roads wind up along colossal and precipitous mountains. Fog spreads all over the top of mountains, making one feel like they are placed upon clouds in fairyland.

Fifth: Key Hung on Waist-belts
The Dai women in southern Yunnan like wearing long skirts with silver belts on which keys are hung. It is a rule that only married women are allowed to hang keys. Wearing a belt with keys shows one is capable of running the household.

Sixth: Trains Go Abroad not Inland
At the end of Qing Dynasty, there was a narrow railway about 464.2 km. long from Kunming to Hanoi in Vietnam. This was the first international railway in the province. It was constructed by the French during 1903 and 1910 and it cost more than 50000 valuable lives. However, Yunnan didn’t even have a domestic railway at that time.

Seventh: Straw Hats Used as Cooker Covers
Hardworking and honest countrymen weave everyday necessities, such as shoes, fans, hats, baskets and cooker covers with bamboo and paddy stems.

Eighth: Rainy Here but Sunny There
Yunnan possesses a plateau climate as changeable as a kid’s face, since rain and wind come and go without one knowing. A popular saying goes like this, “Weather varies within a circumference of ten lis (Li is a Chinese unit of half a kilometer) and winter comes once it rains.” Even in the same area, one often sees rain here and sees sunshine in another place.

Ninth: Girls Wear Flowers in all Seasons
The weather is like that of eternal spring in most regions of Yunnan. Kunming, as the capital of the province, has a state of ecstasy as “climate remains like that of February and March, and flowers blossom throughout the year”. There fore, Kunming is named as “Spring City” in China. Fresh flowers can be seen in any season. The floral industry has become the main economic industry in Kunming.

Tenth: Non-slanting Walls Built with Cobbles
People draw on local resources to build houses along river banks in the countryside. Cobbles as a building material make walls neat and they create a unique local architecture.

Eleventh:Green Vegetables Called Bitter Vegetables
Thin green featherlike overlapping vegetables, like vanilla, are grown in the southern part of the province. Its name comes form old old customs but not from its taste.

Twelfth: Bamboo Used as Smoking Pipe
A smoking bag is also called “tobacco Tube” which is a typical local smoking utensil used mostly in Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces It is half to one meter long while its diameter varies from five to ten centimeters. People put cut tobacco on the bamboo tube, the lower part of which is filled with water, and smoked. A gurgling sound is heard when one smokes from the mouth of the bamboo tube. People said brave and struggling “Dian Army” of the past days carried tobacco tubes on their backs to the frontline in the anti-Japanese war. The enemies mistook such smoking tool for a new type of weapon and were horrified. Therefore, “Dian Army” won the name of “Army with Double Guns”.

Thirteenth: Tea leaves Sold in Piles
The Jinpo minority group in Luxi county of Dehong prefecture, sells tealeaves by piles instead of using scales.

Fourteenth: The Same Dress for Four Seasons
The weather in most parts of Yunnan is always like that of spring, so the alternation of seasons is not obvious. This means people dress themselves without distinct seasonal characteristics.

Fifteenth: Girls Hang Tobacco Bags
The Lisu minority girls have a habit of smoking and chewing tobacco, so most married or unmarried females hang tobacco hags on their waist belts. They present bags to one another, with respect on the occasion of union, in order to show kindness and intimacy and it gradually becomes necessary entertainment to their guests.

Sixteenth: Automobiles Move Faster than Trains
The speed of a train is much slower than that of an automobile on the narrow railways across certain precipitous relieves in Yunnan.

Seventeenth: Toes Show Outsides
Some people from the mountainous areas wear straw shoes with holes all year round since the four seasons are mild.

Eighteenth: Three mosquitoes make up a Dish
There are non-poisonous mosquitoes with long legs in Yunnan. They look so big at the first glance that outsiders say, “three mosquitoes make up a dish” for fun.