Photos of Yunnan by Danwei contributor Jonah M. Kessel, a Beijing based freelance visual journalist working with the New York Times. See his web site here, follow him on Twitter here or keep up with his strange travel schedule at his blog.
I spend a lot of time in China traveling from place-to-place for work, but rarely do I do it for fun. This spring I had the rare chance to travel within in China, just for fun. I found myself in Kunming, Yunnan Province and headed north toward the borders of Myanmar, Tibet and Sichuan Province.
Although the scenery in Yunnan is beautiful, I found the tourism industry to be far more developed than most places I’ve seen in China. I might actually call it — over developed. Going into national parks and scenic areas was often as expensive or more expensive than doing similar activities in the west culminating in my newly recognized “least favorite place in China” — Lijiang. In my opinion Lijiang has become the epicenter of what’s wrong with Chinese tourism, leaving other notably over-crowded, harmonious places I’ve been to in the dust (The Forbidden City, Terracotta Warriors, Jiuzhaigou etc.).
While it may be very expensive to travel in this area of the country, its hard to deny the amazing diversity in culture and landscape in such a small area.
Yunnan has the second highest number of ethnic groups among the provinces and regions in China. It is home to over 25 recognized ethnic groups. The landscape seems equally diverse.
Here are some of the things I saw:
– To see more photography from Jonah Kessel click here.