Asia, China

China: countryside and minorities of Yunnan

25 of the 55 ethnic minorities of China live in Yunnan, representing the 38% of the province’s population . This means an incredible variety of languages, cultures and traditions.

100 chicken Temple, Shangri-La

Women from Yunnan

Most men don’t wear typical clothes even if they are part of one of the minorities while women tend to use more often their beautiful clothes. Here a few photos of women of all ages with our without the traditional outfit 🙂

Tibetan, Trinyi Village
Tibetan (daughter of the woman of the first photo), Trinyi Village
Tibetan, Trinyi Village
Tibetan, Nixi Village
Bai, Baisha Village
Unknown minority, Shaxi Village
Hani, Shengcun Market
Hani, Shengcun Market
Unknown minority, Quanfahuang Village


Despite the terrible fire that destroyed half of the historical center in January 2014, Zhōngdiàn (now called Shangri-La) remains a fascinating place. A big Tibetan community lives in the aerea together with other ethnic minorities (especially the Chinese Han). 

View from Sumtseling Monastery
Living room of a big Tibetan house

A part from discovering the city, we visited the beautiful Sumtseling Monastery, we discovered some Tibetan villages and learned about Tibetan lifestyle. 

Young monks studying for their exams
Sumtseling Monastery


This little jewel is incredibly beautiful but unfortunately too touristic. We found the small villages of Suhe and Baishà, easily reachable by bike or motorbike from Lijiang,  more authentic. So if you are in the area, don’t miss them!

Canal in Lijiang
Our super electric motorbike 😉

There are several ethnic minorities living in the area. The Naxi group seems to be the biggest. 



Less visited than other places in Yunnan, Shaxi has still some charme left from the old times, when it was part of the Ancient Tea and Horse Road. The two main ethnic groups in the area are the Bai and the Hi. 

Old theatre, Shaxi

The highlight of our stay: renting a bike and going around the tiny villages and fields surrounding Shaxi 🙂

Trying to find the way!


We liked the ambience of Dali but found it too touristic. Nevertheless it was worth to spend there a couple of days, to enjoy the nightlife and go for a day tour around Erhai Lake to admire the beauty of nature and of people taking selfie 🙂

Selfie area by the lake, no kidding


Jianshui is the most authentic and preserved old town we have visited in Yunnan province and therefore one of our favorite place!

Confucio Temple, Jianshui
House of Mà Family, Jianshui

Yuanyang rice terraces

If you are looking for the best panorama photos, go to Yuanyang! Unique landscapes and typical Hani villages make Yuanyang amazingly beautiful.

View from our room ❤

The best way to discover the area is to follow the trekking path passing through rice fields and villages. On the way you will see awesome sceneries and you will meet local people working in the fields.

Is it worth to go in Yunnan?

Absolutely yes! Above all if you go off the beaten track, where you can still see traditional Yunnan life without being surrounded by hundreds of tourists 🙂

Typical Tibetan house, Shangri-La

4 thoughts on “China: countryside and minorities of Yunnan”

  1. Ciao carrissimi, che bello ritrovarvi attraverso il blog, e poi che festival di fotos: una tappa una più bella dell’altra! Spero che state bene. Abbiamo ricevuto la vostra cartolina qualche gg fa, grazie! Quasi 2 mesi per arrivare. I panda sono ora con noi sul camino del salotto. Vi serve l’indirizzo mail della mia amica che ha vissuto diversi anni in Nepal (o mi sono persa una tappa ;-))? Baci, Sabine


  2. Ciao, vedo solo ora vostro messagio: ecco l indirizzo di Floriane (parla sia inglese che francese)
    E stata qq anno fa a vivere a K.. Adesso e tornata in Francia. Quest’estate l avevo avvisata del vostro viaggio e forse contatto. Tutto bene? Baci


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