Saturday, November 14, 2009


This turned out to be an amazing place, despite the fact that China has made a theme park which basically exploits their minority people. I went twice. Judy was sick the first day with what I believe was H1N1. It was either that or the worst cold ever. So I went with a young doctor from the hospital and a clerk, who both spoke enough English for us to get by. They were on salary to be my guides and translators. The second day I requested a change of our itinerary with our professional guide, skipping the Stone Forest (which was an hour-and-a-half outside Kunming), opting for the Ethnic Village. This is a beautiful park where about two dozen Chinese ethnic minorities are represented. Each has its own "authentic" village; and young and attractive members of those ethnic groups have either been enticed or drafted to be there as representatives. Lots to beautiful people, great photographs with people expecting to be accosted by photographers; and great scenics. Ironically, as in Lijiang, most of the tourists were Chinese -- and wanted us to be in their photographs!