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Published: January 27th 2012
Spend the first few days of Chinese New Year in Mengzi area, as Mengzi is close to many of the Miao Caihuashan festival's ground. Beside...Newyear day in Mengzi was busy, many shops kept open for business, and the area around Nanhu lake had turned into s free dancing ground for the Yi people, vendors market their space on the street by the lake couple days before Newyear eve. it was crowded of people on the 1st and 2nd day of Newyear. standard fraternization of different ethnics show, and evening fire-work, no surprise at all! still...better than quiet and all shops closed without any restaurant serving!
The 3rd day marked the beginning of the Miao Caihuashan festival, but the weather also made a 179 degree changing....turned cloudy and windy, the sudden switched in climate caused teeth quaking! Touring along the Mengzi-Wenshan road and you would find many Caihuashan location. I find 6 right until Laozhai area. but not much happening as today seem like only for singing and cock-fight, the most important were bull-fight which related with GAMBLING! I was hoping to see the climbing pole competition, although all the festival ground had erected the pole but none of them offered any
competition. the main event in each place was the gambling game of rolling dices. more worse with the cold weather, they all put on heavy jacket over their costume, which made photoing aimless!
This year Pingbian is the only government held Caihuashan festival in the Prefecture, no wondered it was so crowded. the 1st day went through under powder rain and heavy fog, but it was the day that I would skip as it was the openning speech day and performance show. the 2nd day the fog cleared off a little and the sun even show up sometimes during the day. People were milling into the small town of Pingbian, the narrow street lead up to the the festival ground on the hilltop by the reservoir was jammed, people kept walked up the path, I wondered how soon the space up on the park would fill up...dangerous! I went there too late for the first part of the pole climbing competition, and wasn't had time for the final as I need to make to my next destination to Maguan, where I will see the special pole climbing...climbing with their feet up and head down! it only happened in Wenshan region.
I left the festival ground against the incoming flow of people, I always wondered how could you enjoy everything when you couldn't even stand comfortably...they all made differently I guess! In order to be able to get to Maguan ealier the next day, I travel to Hekou after Pingbian where I could make it to Maguan within 3 hours(I hope) the next morning. been awhile since my last visit to this border town, the bus station had been relocated about 2km to the edge of Hekou on the Nanxi road. After a quick looked around I realized it was a bad choice to come to Hekou, the price for room had been rocket high, even those ugly brothel guesthouse charge more than 120 yuan!!! and that seem like the only style of room between the bus station and the town center. It was new year my friend!!! I just wasn't aware of it...that Hekou is a tourist destination? then back in town later I find out there were actually many Vietnamese tourists, and they could shopping with Dong instead of RMB as well. Together with the mighty Chinese tourist in town, no wondered all shop owners not hestitate to made
the kill in price!
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