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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Shuhe Village, Yunnan Province, China

The Shuhe Village, near Lijiang, is another UNESCO World Heritage site, and well worth seeing once you have made the commitment to venture all the way south to the Yunnan Province.  One of my friends who is formerly from Beijing calls these cities that are preserved for tourists, and that may be the case, but if so the tourists are predominantly Asian.  There is something very worthwhile about preserving a culture and a way of life, especially since it is disappearing rapidly with the urbanization of the population.  Many Chinese will not have the experience of living at or near ground level, much less see the construction craftsmanship that these buildings demonstrate.

The city streets are remarkably free of traffic, and there is even an open town square--no matter what the cultural background is, a central meeting place for markets and social functions is a common element; we were there on National Children's Day, and there was a tug of war going on in the square for all to see.  When one team won, a member would change sides and they would begin againl, trying to have an evenly gifted team on each side.  It was like stepping back in time in a way that was particularly remarkable for modern China.

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