Monday, March 15, 2010


Featuring Yunnan
Southeastwards of Tibet, I have chosen to cover Yunnan province. Within Yunnan, Himal conditions are to be found in the prefectures of Diqing, Lijiang and Nujiang. Administratively neighbouring each other these three districts are also connected geologically and ethnically to the wider Himalaya region. Excluding other prefectures has been done completely arbitrarily; I have to set my limits somewhere!

What we know
Yunnan's government web-site (SeeYunnan) claims that there are many hot springs:
'Though we’re not sure who is doing the counting, there is a purported 700 hot springs in the region'.
Unfortunately these 700 soaking sites are far from being mentioned on the web, I doubt whether even pages exist on about 100 hot springs. Then again I am certainly not counting ....

The Northwest
Comprising the northwestern corner of Yunnan the chosen prefectures are home to a number of what main road China refers to as minorities. However in each prefecture the minorities are usually the majority. Dequin is dominated by Tibetan, Nujiang by Lisu and Lijiang by Naxi.

But in general, all have a somewhat 'primitive' way of enjoying the soaks, so much so that the way they bathe adds to building up a matrix of reasons for tourists to intentionally seek out these soaks, if only for viewing purposes!

In the following blog entries I'll focus on each prefecture in more detail, trying to sum up the locations of the soaks but more importantly looking at the traditions of soaking and how the wider outside society is both curious though also seeking to initiate change under the wider held 'belief' of what modernity entails....

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