Kunming I, Yunnan, China

After the company’s yearly celebration, the three of us restless souls spared no time and hopped on 6am Kunming (昆明)-bound flight; this is where the fun really starts Smile

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I hate to admit it, but my admission paper to get in this translation company was on Kunming, and the only thing I could remember at this point was Dianchi (滇池).  At the time, it was just one more word, “滇“, down in my newly-learned Chinese vocabulary; now it is the real deal.

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I still remember when I was translating that paper, I thought this was just a pond because of the word “池” (Chinese word for “pond”).  I’m surprised the sheer size of this place, the park also hosts a bunch of ecologically important local species.

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The “pond” was also known for its famous red-beak seagulls.  Apparently these birds are really the seagull family, but they migrate to this inland part due to its mild weather.  Frankly, I wouldn’t blame them for Kunming has a reputation of all-year spring look.  Even in winter, it could still reach more than 20 Celsius (or 75 Fahrenheit).

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feeding the birds.  They aren’t easily fooled, I tried to wave my hands like I was going to feed them, no bird moved…

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we decided to share little bike to ride around the park

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a lot of people stopped here

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It has a plaque inscribed with a story about this place

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the outdoor moving theatre

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girls playing with their cameras

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this three people bike is actually a two person bike, who ever sits in the front gets a free ride.  Now it was my turn, boy I loved this view!

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another abstract right next to the lake

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Next to the lake, nice and big, got a garage, and even a parking lot for its guests.  Hmmm… looks like my house in future!

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Next we dropped by down-town Guandu (官渡).  No, what you are seeing is not reconstructed, they all have been kept around for hundreds of years.

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ok, the gate is maybe rebuilt, or at least renovated

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and the stone map

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checking out a typical hotel in this town

hair pins are sold like this

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having the first dib in this specialty food “baba” (粑粑).  It’s basically a rice bun filled with sesame or beans

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and this er-kuai (饵块), a rice wrap fold a spoonful of sesame sauce, then grilled, like a taco.

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Moving into the heart of the old town, we found some buddist pagodas.

 

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there is another Shaolin temple?  I thought the only one is in Luoyang?  Maybe it has a branch here?

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Inside the temple

and the delicate sculpture carvings

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After getting out of the Shaolin Temple, we found another temple honoring the local gods

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Both guards at the temple were with their horses.  At first I thought they were donkeys, they awfully look like donkeys.  Xiaomei explained to me they are the two important gods protecting the Emperor of the Heaven.

The temple was rather small, and the main idol was also riding a galloping horse.

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and the third temple, just hiding on the corner of the plaza

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probably my favorite picture of the day, a monk just walked in as three kids played around the pond.  Though the hundreds of people on the other side of the door lived their earthly lives, here you could only feel peace slowly seeping into your soul.

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Part of this temple has walls of heaven facing hell.  The heaven was a rather simple drawing.

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where the hell were fully covered by three wallsDSCN1495

To make sure people are well-warned ahead of the time

My first sip of one of those rose drinks, the pearls on the bottom are actually flours instead of jelly in your bubble tea….

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French fries thick in oil and pepper, and why aren’t Asians fat?

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To kill the rest of the day before our train time, we took a nightly stroll around the central park, where it was also famous with the red-beak seagulls

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I guess the birds are sleeping now

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shops in the park

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