Menglian, Lahu Minority Villages and Rice in Yunnan Province, China


Breakfast at this “hotel” and very grateful to leave it, we had a full day ahead of us. Scheduled was a visit to the home of a former tribe leader, Wa minority village, Lahu minority village then back to Jinghong by car, staying at the Crown Hotel for another two nights along with day trips.

The Lahu people occupy a narrow strip of land along the Mekong River primarily subsisting on rice. They are still called “Tiger Hunters” and there is also a large of Lahu population in Thailand, around the Chiang Rai/Chiang Mai area. They trace their ancestry back to the ancient Qiang people. Like so many of us (including ex-Marine and myself), the Lahu people consider black to be very beautiful…think lbd (little black dress). One of the most stupifying sights in Banna were the rice terraces and watching the people plant and harvest rice. Such amazingly labor-intensive work…preparing the field…View image… planting the rice…harvesting…separating the rice from the hull…many steps…to get the finished product into my local grocery store. And the constant worry…what if the monsoons don’t come on time and the harvest is bad…

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rice terraces in Xishuangbanna, China

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preparing the rice paddy in Xishuangbanna, China
 

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planting seedlings in the nursery rice paddy along the Mekong River, China
 

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beating the sheaves against the sides to separate the rice in Xishuangbanna, China

It’s very humbling to stand and watch…it’s also very humbling to fall into a ditch along the road… Yes, I did fall into a ditch…taking a photo of this man, backing up and not noticing the ditch behind me…sure amazed him! Wiped the blood off my leg, popped a few bandages on the boo-boo’s and continued on…

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farmer and water buffalo watching the klutz…me, Xishuangbanna, China
 

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Lahu village in Xishuangbanna, China

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