The village of Huang Cao Ba was a two-hour van ride away from Yuanyang down a bumpy road that ran for much of the way through the bottom of a high, steep-walled gorge. For the first time in Yunnan we began to see the usual concrete houses disappearing to be replaced, just very occasionally, by some of the few dwellings in traditional style that remained to the province.
The market itself was like none we had previously visited. The tribal people here were dressed in such bizarre, psychedelic traditional dress that I wondered if their culture had not flowered in an area with an abundance of a certain type of mushroom. As well as the usual buyers and sellers of products, there was a motley assortment of services being offered on the pavements, ranging from hairdressers to shamans to, believe it or not, dentists ripping out people's teeth with pliers.
Another almost surreal bubble of reality in the middle of one of the most ethnically diverse and colourful places I have ever been to.
Click this link for advice on independent travel in Yunnan Province
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