Oh the people you’ll meet… Saving Face(s) in Yunnan.

Hi friends. After a few weeks of traveling around Yunnan Province we are back home safe and sound here in Liuzhou. The plan now is to spend a couple of days decompressing before getting back into the thick of things. We both have a lot on our plates so I’m afraid this vacation will very soon be nothing more than a pleasant memory. We loved Yunnan, so much so that after the first few days we spontaneously decided to extend our trip. Escaping the furnace of Liuzhou for a few weeks was worth every kwai spent and we are already looking forward to our next visit. That being said, it is nice to be home and the dog appears to remember us… so that’s nice.

While the trip itself was fantastic it was not without a few pitfalls. First off, it rained more than it didn’t and rain and expensive camera gear do not mesh. I really should get some kind of protective gear for the cameras. I managed best I could but with the heavy rain and very grey and very low skies, I didn’t get some of the dramatic landscapes I was hoping for. I also left my tripod sitting on the dining room table which was certainly a boneheaded move. We actually spent a lot of our time (too much time) in transit while getting to the remote locations of Lugu Lake and Shangri-La. We found ourselves in that classic “you can’t get there from here” situation… twice! Over the past few weeks we’ve been on planes and trains and in automobiles and buses. We’ve ridden on boats, some rental bikes and even spent half a day on a motorcycle. For the record, let me say that large western men, small buses and the switchbacks of a remote Chinese mountain road also don’t mesh. This battled-scarred veteran traveler twice lost his lunch and I was not alone. The saving grace of the trip was the fantastic people we met along the way. A recent earthquake had affected many of the places we traveled to but time and again we were greeted with curious smiles and earnestly welcomed into modest homes. I’ll share more about a few of these folks seen here over the next few weeks because some of them were really interesting and they went out of their way to make us feel welcome. For now, in the way of an introduction… I hope you enjoy the faces of Yunnan Province.

Zhudi Mosuo Village (Lugu Lake)

Chongsheng Temple – Dali 

Dali Old Town

Lige (Lugu Lake)


Yila Grasslands  (Shangri-La)

Zhamei Temple (Lugu Lake)

Longfeng Fishing Village – Erhai Lake


Zhashi Village – (Lugu Lake)

Jinhe (Erhai Lake)

Lijiang Old Town

Lijiang Old Town

Yila Grasslands (Shangri-La)

Yila Grasslands – Shangri-La

Songzanlin Lamasery (Shangri-La)

Lige Island (Lugu Lake)

Dali Old Town

Nairi Village –  (Shangri-La)

Dali Old Town

So soon it’ll be back to the grindstone but not completely, not just yet anyway. We’ll be entertaining an out of town guest for about a week (more on that later) and we are really looking forward to the visit. Again, I’ll have more from Yunnan and all the places we visited on here soon as well. Also, be looking for more Postcards from China and The Photographer Interview Series will make a return soon as well. I have a lot of irons in the fire, both personally and professionally, so I really do have to get back to work! Until next time…


11 Responses to “Oh the people you’ll meet… Saving Face(s) in Yunnan.”

  1. CHINA says:

    More great work, Michael! The girl peering around the wall was an especially wonderful capture.

  2. EP says:

    You sir, are a rock star. Lovely images. Wish I could have gone along.

  3. kim rodriguez says:

    Michael, as usual your images blow me away. It’s always a treat to see what you have been up to and I will admit that I am envious of your latest adventures (except the losing of your lunch) and I thank you once again for another glimpse into some of what China is and isn’t. Keep up the amazing work!

  4. Valary says:

    Mike, you have such a gift for capturing the essence of a person. Stunning — as usual!

  5. Vern says:

    Again, you take my breath away.

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