Tried to get from Jinghong to Ruili along the border

… but failed because of landslides, damn it. But it was fun, mostly.

A bus down to Jinghong, which is a nice town, capital of Xishuangbanna. Not very Chinese. Lots of men in skirts, Burmese that is. Most people are Dai, and all signs are in Dai written using the Burmese script in addition to Chinese. Lots of palm trees, and a very sleepy atmosphere.

My plan was to get to Ruili in a week or so. First took a bus to Menghai (1,5 hours) and another to Xiding (2 hours), a very small town in the mountains. Mostly tea is grown around. Next morning was market day, and very lively. Mostly Bulang and Akha people. But i felt bad in the belly, very bad. I took a bus back to Menghai, checked into a small hotel and spent the next 2 days in the toilet.

Then on to Lancang, the capital of the Lahu autonomous prefecture. It’s 119km from Menghai and the road was in bad condition – it took 6 hours. A boring little town. It was here i started to be somewhat of a sight for the locals – not many foreigners come here. And my way west stopped here too: no buses going west, because of landslides or just the road being in too bad condition (i was explained only in Chinese). Maybe it would have been possible to continue on small trucks but i didn’t feel like trying.

So i decided to go south to Menglian which was a nice place. It has an “old town” and a big market with people from the mountains, many women wearing lots of silver and traditional clothes (Akha mostly). Even fewer laowais come here as i was really eyeballed by some people. I was a sight to them they for me so, things were fair:)

As there was no easy or moderately hard way of getting further west, i decided to go back to Kunming. The sleeper bus backtracked southeast to Jinghong first and then north.

On the way back the police checked the bus 3 times, the first time between Menglian and Lancang with dogs. Burmese heroin comes up this way i guess. After checking my passport the police asked if i spoke any Chinese. I said “No” and the policeman said “Good”.

Didn’t see any other white faces for 8 days and also no English was spoken anywhere, so didn’t talk much. Hotels in this area around 20-40 yuan a night for single room sometimes with a bathroom. Food was good.

photos from Monday, October 29th 2007
Menglian market Menglian market 2 Menglian market toilet
photos from Sunday, October 28th 2007
sunset in Menglian motorcycle taxi in Menglian convenience store stupa temple hammering
photos from Thursday, October 25th 2007
xiding market xiding market 2 xiding market 3
photos from Wednesday, October 24th 2007
photos from Tuesday, October 23rd 2007
fishies fighting for food botanical garden in Jinghong me and some flowers flowers

Comments 1

  1. Piisku wrote:


    Vai että elbaamassa Aasiassa.. Pidähän hauskaa – reissaamista ei voita mikään! Mä täällä pyöritän yrittäjänä kahta yökerhoa ja nyt aattelin sellaista mega gathering tyyppistä luokkakokousjuttua ensi keväälle järkätä. Kutsun ala-aste, yläaste ja lukio ihmiset rinnakkaisluokilta. Koulukaverit-sivustolla käväisin just pitkästä aikaa zuumailemassa, keitäs kaikkia on samaan aikaan koulussa samalla luokka-asteella ollut. Niin moni on kauan vinkunut, et luokkakokousjuttuja ois kiva saada. No, nyt se on helppoa kun on hyvät tilat omasta takaa : ) Aurinkoa!

    Posted 05 Nov 2007 at 14:47

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