Dadenghan Dai Village @ Ruili

Dadenghan Dai Village is a small village 20km south of Ruili which has been preserved as an ethnic minority village. From Ruili bus station there is a line which goes to the town of Nongdaozhen, however they will gladly stop at this village if you ask. When I got off and looked around I was sure there was some sort of mistake, from the road side it would be difficult to know that anything of this sort would be in the vicinity. Luckily after walking half a kilometer down the road I finally recognized a Buddhist temple from pictures I'd seen on the internet.

Walking around here most of what I could see was farming activity, lots of houses had a plastic tents coming off the side with seeds spread out underneath and a couple had a barn area for cows. The standard of living here was pretty mixed, with everything from wood plank shacks to nice looking modern houses with antennas on top. From appearance alone it would be difficult to determine that this was a Dai Village, the only indicator for me was that none of the people I ran into were speaking Mandarin but instead dialect.

Before going back to catch the bus home I checked into a local shop to buy some beef jerky. The locals inside were sitting around chopping up papaya and before they would let me buy anything they insisted that I join their table. Although it was difficult to converse with them, the papaya and the tea they served me were great, and combined with the jerky it was almost like a balanced meal.

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