Just after Howard and Gene arrived, we spent several days in far southern
Yunnan, in an area called Xishuangbanna. The capital of the region is a medium-sized town called Jinghong, on the banks of the Mekong River (known in China as the Lancang) — maybe 50km downstream, it crosses the frontier to run about another 75km or so as the border between Laos and Burma, before dropping into northern Thailand and then heading further east to form the border between Laos and Thailand. I say all that by way of giving you a sense of where we were geographically.
Among other things, this region is known as the home of the Dai ethnic
minority, which is linguistically and culturally related to the inhabitants
of Thailand. This means some wonderful food that’s quite close to Thai food in its feel and flavors, as well as temples and other architecture that seem culturally closer to Thailand than what one thinks of as China. It was a
relaxing and enjoyable way to start our one week tour of Yunnan.