Things not to do in Yunnan…
Live for the party. This is Yunnan, not Beijing; there are no bright lights and big city. The beauty of the province is its rural, simple way of life and quiet, contemplative nature. Which isn’t to say the locals don’t know how to have fun. They do. It’s just that their idea of fun is less about late night drinking and more about folk festivals of myths, singing, dance and storytelling, of which there are more than 400 celebrated throughout the year.
Forget your hiking boots. Going to Yunnan and not walking would be up there with going to Xi’an and giving the Terracotta Warriors a miss. From wandering around Spruce Meadow, famous for growing more species of fungus than any other Chinese province, to strolling around the 17th century Songzangling Monastery at Shangri-La, or hiking Tiger Leaping Gorge – there is so much to explore on two feet. Take a pair of sturdy shoes and embrace each very different, but equally brilliant walking experience
Be a picky eater. We all think we know what Chinese food tastes like, but generally, the exported stuff isn’t a patch on the real thing. Especially in rural guesthouses, things will arrive on your plate that you might not like the look of. However, it’s a huge part of local hospitality to prepare dishes for visitors, so do try it – the chances are it’s a local delicacy and tastes delicious. Rice and noodles are ubiquitous at breakfast, lunch and dinner, so don’t expect cornflakes. Oh, and get some chopstick practice in before you go!