Yunnan Province

Spring Semester

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Let's go travel

Welcome to China, now let's go travel

For two weeks you will have the opportunity to live, learn and share the rich and diverse cultures of China’s ethnic minorities as part of your education abroad. You will have the rare opportunity to participate in homestays in various villages, hike on the Tibetan plateau, and explore a tropical rainforest. In addition, you will celebrate the Chinese Spring Festival (the Chinese New Year) during this trip and enjoy the tropical climate of Xishuangbanna where you will stay in the villages of the Dai people. The Yunnan Province excursion is included in tuition and is a compulsory part of the spring semester. Additional assignments can be completed to earn ASIA 297 Engaging in China: Yunnan Trip Course– 3 credits. This itinerary is just to give you a taste of what’s to come and is subject to change.

Dali (大理)

  • Visit Zhiyun Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist lamasery
  • Meet the people of Donglianhua Muslim Village
  • Participate in a Three-Course Tea Ceremony
  • Watch traditional cormorant fishing on Er Hai Lake

Lijiang (丽江)

  • Hike Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
  • Dine at the village shaman’s house
  • See the Naxi hieroglyphic writing
  • Visit the Mu Family Mansion

Dai Village (傣族村)

  • Talk with monks at the village temple
  • Participate in a community party with the local Dai People
  • Overnight with a local host family
  • Enjoy the traditional Peacock Dance

Jinghong (景洪)

  • Cross the Tropic of Cancer
  • Bike through the countryside
  • Trek through the jungle
  • Birdwatch with a third of China’s bird population

Hani Village (哈尼族村)

  • Marvel at the imposing, world known rice terraces and hike through them
  • Indulge at the Long-street banquet
  • Sample freshly grown Pu’er tea
  • Watch The Hand Clapping and Fan dances

Jianshui (建水)

  • Visit the second-largest Confucius Temple of its kind in China
  • Stroll through the Zhu Family Garden- restored Qing Dynasty mansion and garden
  • Walk through the ancient eastern gateway to the city, Chaoyang Tower
  • Shop for handicraft at the village museum
  • Sample the bean curd secret recipes of the locals

Yi Village (彝族村)

  • Chitchat with the Yi People
  • Enjoy the “Sea-weed Tune” and learn the “Dragon Dance”
  • Overnight with your host family
  • Shop for traditional Yi clothes and accessories

Kunming (昆明)

  • Eat “Across-the-Bridge-Noodles”
  • Feed Siberian Seagulls at Emerald Lake
  • Experience Guandu Old Town
  • Visit Provincial and Ethnic Museums

Kunming 昆明

Explore the “City of Eternal Spring,” home to Yunnan’s earliest inhabitants and the cradle of its first civilization. Known as the City of Eternal Spring for its mild climate and profusion of flowers and plants. When Marco Polo visited the city in the 13th century, he found a flourishing mercantile center. Nowadays as the provincial capital of Yunnan, Kunming is a bustling metropolis with an urban population of about3 million. 

Yi Village 彝族村

Be awed by the beauty of traditional dress with intricate embroidery and silver ornaments. Meet the Yi people, the largest minority nationality in Southwest China, a collective term for a large Tibetan-Burman group. A typical Yi village is identified by two-story adobe houses with flat roofs.

Jianshui 建水

Relax and take a break from the tourist route as you visit the historical sights and meet the friendly people of Jianshui. Jianshui has preserved over 100 old temples, academies of classical learning, and large residences. It was once a thriving trading center that connected routes between Vietnam, the Dai kingdom of Xishuangbanna and the edge of the Chinese empire.

Hani Village 哈尼族村

Take in the natural beauty as you hike along the rice terraces in the Hani Village.  The impressively terraced rice paddies of the Hani rise many hundreds of feet up steep mountain slopes. “Hani” is an umbrella designation for a large number of groups who as a whole reside as separate groups in five countries: Burma, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand and China.

Jinghong 景洪

Travel across the Tropic of Cancer into the subtropical region in the far south of Yunnan, Xishuangbanna. In climate and culture, Jinghong feels like a part of Southeast Asia. Much of the area is primeval rainforest, the last remaining in the country, and home to a huge diversity of flora and fauna. Most of the population lives in small villages and the area’s appeal lies in the opportunity to hop between towns and explore.

Dai Village 傣族村

Take the time to get to know the people of this Dai Village. Traditional Dai homes are located on flat, level embankments, facing rivers or lakes, and are built of bamboo on stilts, with hinged walls, and a trapdoor and ladder leading below. Buddhism plays a central role in their culture, and young men normally spend a period of their youth as monks living in the temples and studying the Buddhist sutras.

Lijiang 丽江

This oasis town on the northern Silk Road lies in the Turpan Depression is largely a Uygur settlement. Dine in a vineyard of a local Uygur family in this easy-going place, famous for its grapes, with mud-brick houses and dusty streets often covered with trellised vines. Escape the summer heat by hailing a local taxi, a donkey cart.  After an afternoon of learning the locals dance moves, head to Ai Ding Lake, the lowest place in China and the second lowest place in the world.

Dali 大理

Take a moment to smell the flowers. Dali is famous for being the “Flower Kingdom” of camellia, azalea and orchids, and for the many types of marble it produces, which are used primarily in construction and for decorative objects.  Sandwiched between Er Hai Lake to the east and the Cang Shan Mountain range to the west, the picturesque little town of Dali draws many visitors. In the nearby countryside, numerous Bai villages offer a glimpse into traditional culture, and are particularly interesting on market days.