Basic facts

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China, a hughe country, with an area larger than Europe, with the largets population in the world, offers many different culture- and naturetypes within its borders.

The province of Yunnan, which means ” Behind the Clouds” is located in the southwestern part of China. The province was once very isolated but is today rather easy to reach for tourists. 

Chinas population is dominated by the han-people (92 %), but you can also find approximately 56 different minorities here. Some of them specific for China. In Yunnan you can find 26 different ethnic groups, related with people in Burma, Laos and Thailand. I met several groups as hani, dai, bulang and akka during my stay.

The only chinese province I have been able to visit, yet, is Yunnan.
My trip into Yunnan started in the vietnamese bordertown Lao Cai, where I walked over the bridge to Hekou and from here continued into the province by bus. I visited towns as Jianshui, Yuanjiang, Jinghong and Kunming. Some of them opened for tourists as late as 1994.

Among interesting things I did can following be mentioned.

The visit at the Yanzi-cave, The Swallows Cave, one of the biggest in Asia. My base for excursions in the autonomic Dai-area, Xishuangbanna, was the capital Jinghong. From here I went to Menghun, with a marvelous Saturdaymarket, and to Manfeilong with its beautiful ”White Pagoda” - Feilong Bata.

Unforgetable is also my trekk to the small Hani-village Shaikhola  where I stayed for several days toghether with the inhabitants.

Also the bicycletour among small villages outside Jinghong is worth to mention. In some of the villages they had never met westerners!

From Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, I visited the more than 250 miljon years old ”Stoneforest” in Shilin, with very interesting shaped stones.

The area around Thonghai where you find some interesting old mongolian villages, dated back to the days of Kublai Khan, several hundred years back. The people in these villages have preserved their mongolian heritage in great extent.

A visit in the Yunnan-province offers old, well preserved, chinese culture, very beautiful nature, meetings with interesting ethnic-groups and old traditions. The area is still visited by few tourists.

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Yan Tong temple.

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Hani chief with wife. Shaikhola

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Stone forest.

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View from the hani village Shaikhola

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The White Pagoda at Damenglong

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Yunnan landscape

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Market in Menghun

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Women with wood

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Market in Menghun

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 a common breakfast


Basic facts:

Conventional longform:  
Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

Area, total: 9 596 961 sq km
14 500 km  
1 336 718 000
Population / sq km:
Capital / Population: 
Beijing / 12 400 000 (incl. suburbs)

Lowest point: Turpan Pendi -154 m
Highest point: Mount Everest 8 850 m
Largest rivers:
Yangtze, Yellow River, Western River, Pearl River
Largest lakes:
 Dongting Hu, Poyang Hu

Pop. growth rate: 0.49 %
Infant mortility rate:
(deaths / 1 000 live births)
Life expectancy at birth (years):
Male / Female 72 / 75

Ethnic groups: Han Chinese 91.5 %,  Zhuang, Uygur, Yi, Tibetan, Miao, Manchu, Mongol and other 8.5 %
Religions: Taoism, Buddhism, Muslim 1-2 %, Christian 3-4 %. Majority of population are atheists
Mandarin, Yue, Wu, Minbei, Minnan, Xiang, other 
Literacy; % pop. over 15 years:
Male / Female 96.0 / 88.5


Independence:  October 1, 1949
National holiday:
October 1, National Day

GNP/capita: 4 283 USD
Population below poverty line: 2.8 %  
Yuan (CNY)
Tourists (annually): 53 049 000

Mobile telephones: 859 000 000
389 000 000
Railways: 86 000 km
3 860 800 km

Source: CIA World Factbook 2012/02

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Map over Yunnan

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The big star in the flag is symbolizing communism. The four smaller stars stands for the unity between workers, farmers, officials and patriotic capatilists.

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The crest is framed by rice and ear of crops. The cog-wheel is representing the industri. The gateway is the entrance to "the forbidden city" in Beijing and is the place where Mao Zedong announced "The peoples Republic of China" on October 1st, 1949.

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This page is updated 2012-03-11

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