Pieter Neele - Guide to New Destinations in China



Yao Jinping

Yao Nafa


Hani Nafa

Hani Toncan

Hani Adebo

Hani, Zhemi


Yunnan's Southeast


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More pictures of Yunnan Minorities

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This must be China's most fascinating minority area. The diversity of tribes is stunning, their traditional dress turns each market into a shock of colour. Besides the region boasts Daweishan Primeval Forest Park.

Yunnan's most beautiful minority market

It arguably even ranks first among all of China's minority markets. It is big, busy, diverse. Colourful Yi, Alu with their embroidered head covers, Black Yao with their distinctive hats, Flower Hmong in their bright dress, Black Dai with tattoed hands and betelnut affected mouths, and several types of Hani gather here. As this market is held on a fixed day of the week, it is easy to make it part of tours. Contact me for its time and place.  


Go market hopping in this exotic county, and meet the Yao, Hani, Hmong, Dai and others. And ethnic diversity is even bigger, as the Red, Black and 'Sha' Yao are very different from each other. The same goes for the Hani from Adebo, Tongcan and Nafa. Landscapes meanwhile are dominated by rice terraces and forest in the North and rubber and banana plantations in the South.

Zhemi, Laojizhai and Laomeng

These are officially also in Jinping county, at its western edge, but worth highlighting as Dai, Alu and Lahu (Zhemi) add to the ethnic mix here. In Zhemi rural walks take you to traditional villages.

Ma'andi and Dixibei

At the opposite eastern end of Jinping these deserve special mention because of the special, funny border crossing with Vietnam and the waterfalls in the region. Authorities have started marketing ‘China’s Number One Butterfly Valley’.


Pingbian boasts beautiful Daweishan Primeval Forest Park. Unmarked on my map, it was a surprise to find it. I had come this way because of the Flower Hmong who inhabit the region. The park is home to the rare tree fern 'Cyathea spinulosa' that exists for 180 million years already. It is assumed it served as food for dinosaurs.

Funing, Malipo and Maguan

These neighbouring counties are also home to an ethnic mix of Zhuang, Yi, Hmong and Yao. All three border Vietnam and in all three there is a war cemetery commemorating soldiers who died in the 1979 Sino-Vietnam war. Maguan is quite scenic, the others may well be also but I can´t tell you for sure: my research trip was hampered by heavy fog.

minority market  minority market

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