So I'm leaving the Cantonese speaking part of China and though I didn't get to everything, I did knock quite a bit off my list. I'm now moving on to Yunnan province, to the capital city of Kunming after a boat ride to the Shenzhen airport. I meant to catch a slow train but every single train for the date I wanted was full. Maybe I could have asked for standing room but that would have been 24 hours of standing with my stuff (or bringing my own seat). So flying it is. While it is sad to leave some of the conveniences of having more available in English and I feel like I've just begun to really enjoy Macau, I have been looking forward to seeing the surfing arhats and in particular, to going out to DuoYiShu for a few days. The terraces look gorgeous and the there's a large Hani community there as well so I have an opportunity to learn a little about one of China's many minority groups. In fact, the Hani made the rice terraces that so many come to see filled with water and colors in the winter. And though I'm missing out on the things going on in big cities for the new year, I've also heard that more rural areas tend to use more firecrackers in their new year celebrations...I guess it'll be like trying to sleep when they have big events or a new business opening up in Zhuzhou.
Since I'm leaving Guangdong and the SARs behind, I'll give some very quick information about Yunnan province. Yunnan borders 3 different countries and is home to about 25-28 different ethnic minorities (nearly half of China's 56 recognized ethnic groups). As a result of this, the food has a lot of different influences and I was surprised to learn that cheese makes up part of the culinary traditions here. So of course, I'm looking forward to trying everything. I'm already happy to report that I've found massive bowls of noodles for 8 yuan across the street and that the streets around my hostel are full of eating options.
I can't say I've really got a lot on my list here. I've already mentioned the Bamboo temple a few times but it looks like a few days of just wandering and eating. Which is more than fine by me! I'm thinking of finding a cake of pu'er (bo lay) tea while I'm here as well. I think I'll need it by the time I've eaten my way across Kunming. I hear that they do roast duck with honey here and my nose is on the lookout...
I'm a 3rd year WorldTeach volunteer.