Northern Yunnan Yi Country

Meet dinner: live rooster

2009/02/21: Yi Inn 60 km
We pedalled west from ChuXiong on a not-so pleasant road, and turned north into the mountains again. Signs announced we were entering the Li people’s Minglou Amorous Feelings Vale. We stopped at the Edible Wild Herbs Restaurant, pushing our bikes up steep tracks into a small village looking for a late lunch. Tea and sunflower seeds arrived, and we sat by a pleasant courtyard. Eventually, when they realized we wanted a full meal, the rooster proposed as main course was brought out for inspection.

Eat dinner: cooked rooster

We gave our assent, but we hadn’t realized that the bird would return in the stew pot with his feet and cockscombed head still intact. Perhaps this was our chance for revenge on all roosters who have woken us up earlier than needed.

Yi Grandmother and Child

Dusk was only an hour way, so we stopped at the Yi Inn a little further along, a log building reminiscent of an Alpine Club hut. We felt the room price reflected character more than function. The Li, some of whom were still trading in slaves in the 1950s, must be good business people.

2009/02/22: Yi Jiu 111 km
We were at 2,200 m, and in the morning, the temperature was near freezing. Breakfast was cooked over an open fire in the middle of a room, with the smoke leaving through a raised section of roof.

Breakfast was served outside, despite the chill. We left at 9 am and enjoyed riding with a stiff tail wind on a magnificently engineered modern mountain road. After a long day, we found simple lodgings over a motorbike repair place.


Wooden building, open fire inside, raised roof

5 responses to “Northern Yunnan Yi Country

  1. The gorgeous embroidery reminds me very much of the Gwich’in work in the Yukon. Is this every day wear? It is spectacular!

  2. Hello, O’Tags ! I looove your website – you are talented writers as well as hardcore cyclists and just very cool folks. In a slightly geeky way. Anyway, I finally signed up for Google, so am now able to write to you. You are approaching the part of China that I traversed, mostly by train, in the 80s – am really looking forward to that part. Like you, the best part for me was the people you met. Like the old chap who toddled up to us in a wee village (we were on illicit bikes, as tourists were not allowed to bike randomly then), who spoke to us in perfect English and French, explained he had worked in Shangai way back before the revolution, and his son was a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins…. Though, also like you, I got tired of being entertainment/exhibit number one in many places. We will be leaving for Australia in a week – not nearly the adventuresome trip that you are taking. Pax et amore. SuzyP

  3. Hello my hero! when you see this message,maybe you’v on your travel.but don’t forger a “chengdu” boy ,who cleaned your bicycle ,haha!my english is not good,so i can’t say anymore,,but give my best wishes to you ,have a goodtime in china,chinese all friendly !

  4. Hi Firewall,Thank you or an excellent job!We will certainly not forget you. And our experience is very much that Chinese are very friendly.Cheers,Margo and Chris

  5. Hi Firewall,Thank you or an excellent job!We will certainly not forget you. And our experience is very much that Chinese are very friendly.Cheers,Margo and Chris

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