30 kilometers in 3 days – that was the goal of the hike through Southern Yunnan province, China. The lush, and pristine tropical rainforests of this area are popular amongst local Chinese. Many of the local people are non-Han (non-Chinese); ethnic tribesfolk. When I met my guide Ai Ni Pa (Sam) of the Bulang tribe, he was no exception. We met in the city of Jinhong; his reception was warm and he was excited to start the journey.
We took a local bus from Jinhong to the town of Xiding, two and a half hours away, where we began our hike. The minibus seating 24 people took us over precarious dirt roads. I peered out the window of the bus as we slowed down around some roads that were washed away by the heavy rains in previous weeks. I marveled at how adept the bus driver was in maneuvering this vehicle through the maze of roads and how non-plussed the other passengers were on the minibus.
We arrived safely in Xiding, and visited a local market for supplies. The local tribes would travel on foot up and down hills for several days to bring their food to the market to sell. The colours and sounds were a feast for the senses.