Yunnanyi @ Dali

Yunnanyi is a two thousand year old Bai minority village south east of Dali which isn't lacking historical importance. The name of the entire province was derived from the the name of this town, which in older times was an integral stop between the south and northwest of Yunnan on the Tea and Horse Road.

I spotted this place on the blog Travel Cathay, a great blog documenting less popular attractions in south china. On the blog post were written detailed directions on how to get there from Dali including connections at 3 different bus stations and a ride in a rickshaw. Knowing that few foreigners are interested enough to go through the trouble made me more determined try.

The journey was long, however the directions worked seamlessly. On arrival I found a quiet old west looking town, with no signs of tourism and very few people around at all. Most of the people I ran across were incredibly shy, ignoring any form of greeting and acting as though I wasn't there at all. This was surprising considering how bored these people looked, most would be just standing in the street staring at the sky, or looking out the window of a shop blankly; and just a couple were tending to the towns most popular past time of weaving straw.

The town itself was a beautiful piece of preserved architecture. The main road had slightly newer looking feeling facades but still maintained a core of old architecture, one street forking off from it instead sported mud/clay brick walls leaving it with a comforting ambient orange glow.

There wasn't much to do here except visit the temple on the hill and stumble in and out of peoples courtyard houses, however it's great to see a beautiful place like this which hasn't yet degenerated into a tourist zoo like many of the other minority villages around.

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