The Mighty Dragon continues

Hani Ethic people and The famous Rice Terraces at Yuan yang

On the way to Puér we stopped for petrol and these vast service stations had huge supermarkets and this one had a store filled with 6 stalls full to the brim with TEA. Yunnan is the world capital for every type of tea imaginable. The displays, presentations and packaging of each tea is particular to what it is made from. While waiting we were inundated with people wanting photos with us and we have never seen so many Porsche Cayenne, Panamaras, Range Rovers in one carpark as we did here.

Before arriving at our hostel in the Rice Terraces we were treated to our first views of these ancient rice fields which have existed like this since the 1300’s. The steep mountain sides are dotted with clusters of cream coloured houses with thatched pitched roofs, clinging precariously to the side of the mountains – we are up at around 2100mts and the climb was long, windy and littered with water buffalos, dogs, children and ethic Hani People returning slowly from either work in the fields or school , most of the women dressed in stunning traditional embroidered clothes, headdresses dripping with silver.

As we arrived at our delightful hostel the heavens opened in a tropical deluge. This passed quickly leaving the roads awash with rocks, waterfalls and debris. We left again to visit the famous Dragon’s Mouth a viewing platform of the Rice Terraces and we awaited the sunset. No-one told us that the 15 minute or so walk was down hundreds of steps.- 406 to be precise- Peter counted them. After the sunset we had to walk up them again in the growing twilight and then drive 17kms back to our hostel along more cobbled, and impossibly windy roads. Not to worry the views were well worth the effort.

We arrived in the dark and went straight to dinner at a local restaurant and were treated to some local delicacies such as deep fried river shrimps, pork dishes, tree flowers – kapok(used to stuff pillows) which tasted like chewy seaweed and look like a type of garden moss and the piece de resistance were water critters that were alive when we entered but were cooked especially for us they looked like giant termites with 6 legs and big body and head with pincers. – yummy when stirfried… bit crunchy but full of protein.

Another table of very friendly Chinese treated us to many toasts and a special song and dance routine. It was so noisy we didn’t hear the torrents of rain falling on the roof. A quick dash to the car and brief drive to the hostel which had fabulous accommodation.

Up early in the morning to view the sunrise didn’t happen because the clouds were so thick and low we couldn’t even see our car in the car park.

Umbrellas over a bridge at the Tropic Gardens

The 90km journey back to the main highway on cobbled, steeply descending roads (no safety barriers), blanketed in such thick fog and clouds visibility was no more than 10mts, if that. Peter was the leader and he inched his way down, once again avoiding the herds of water buffalo, ducks, chickens, dogs, cows, workers venturing off for the day. The mountains have many different varieties of conifer growing on them along with banana plantations and other tropical/alpine plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons.

After reaching the bottom the clouds disappeared and we were on our way North to Luo Ping.

 We have masses of photos but each one takes so long to download  when I can I will put together a gallery for you all to have a look.

6 thoughts on “The Mighty Dragon continues

  1. Hello friends, we have a short time in Yunnan Menglun Botanical Garden briefly met side. I found here from the website printing on your car.

    We often say, read thousands of books, thousands of miles. See you practicing such a distant trip, can not help but admire great. I am also a traveler, from a small city in northwest China. But my footprint has not yet crossed the country, I think, one day, I will be like you, a car, a luggage, across the earth.

    Today, I have returned to my hometown, thinking about the opportunity to meet again, but after reading your map, you will not go through my city. It seems that I can only through your blog to see the path of your adventure … …

    In view of the fact that you are already an experienced explorer, I will not repeat some travel advice, it will only make me look light and ridiculous. So, I wish you a trip all the way downwind it.

    I am waiting for you to announce the day your finally arrival the UK!

    PS: Please excuse my bad English, this is my first attempt at writing a formal letter in English, also,sorry for breaking your rest time for our crowd and interfere, hope did not cause trouble for you!








    1. Hi Zexi Lee, thank you for taking the time to comment on our blog. We are now about to go to Turkmenistan tomorrow. We were so pleased to read your comments and hope that your wishes to travel the world come true. We meet so many wonderfully friendly people in China, such as your self. Please keep reading and good luck. your English is excellent


  2. Am loving reading your posts and seeing the pics. It sure sounds like the trip of a lifetime. So glad uts going so well. Travel safe.


  3. Hi Paula and Peter, Now that I have the hang of the blog, I have spent part of a quiet ANZAC Day morning reading from the beginning. Your experiences sound exciting, enriching, colorful, challenging and generally wonderful (at times exhausting?!) I particularly enjoyed reading about the stall owners who moved their umbrellas to make way for the train four times a day and the day book ended by sunset and sunrise. What a privilege to be passing through a country during one of its major festivals. The road and driving conditions I can’t begin to imagine. I am glad your trusty Shamrock is going so well. Best wishes and good luck as you continue. Ever onward! Rosemary


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