Monday, March 16, 2009

China 2009 - 3

13 February 2009: Jinghong and the drive to Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanic Garden.

Here's what I woke up to on Friday the 13th - House Swifts circling the neighborhood. They have a distinctive chittering whilst in flight.

We headed off to the botanical garden, about an hour's drive from Jinghong after breakfast.

Breakfast at the Good Chance Hotel was an Asian buffet. I found it interesting that breakfasts, in general, had the same foods as one would eat at lunch and dinner. I liked most of the noodle dishes, and I always had lots of watermelon and pineapple when these fruits were available.

This man is standing in the middle of the street, taking a picture of the arch. The Dai script probably had a message that was significant to him.

I sat up front for the drive to Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG). This was our driver for the trip.

Sean still needed a memory card for his camera and our driver knew of a shop where he could buy one.

This is an upscale shopping center in Jinghong.

The sidewalk was also used by bikes and carts in addition to pedestrians.

These workers are putting grout in between pavers.

Across the street from the mall is a government facility. The architecture of the gate is from the Dai tradition.

I always worried about taking photos even though YQ said I could take pictures wherever or whenever I wanted to do so.

There was a small park across from the shopping center and so we made it our first stop. I was interested in scouting for birds. The only birds in here were a couple of species of bulbuls - "weedy" urban birds for the most part.

There were also some interesting plants to see in the park, including this one from the Zingerberaceae.

Maybe one of my colleagues will leave a comment to identify this species. It's beautiful, whatever it is.

I was really intrigued by the tables and stools that were to be found in every public area. Groups of men or women gather around to play games. This one is a strategy game, but I don't know much about it.

Most of the time I saw women playing Mahjong, but these ladies were playing a card game.

I think this guy is mixing up concrete, but maybe its grout or something similar, or, more likely, he's wetting sand to lay down as a base. He was working on the sidewalk adjacent to the park.

This game must have been really interesting.

I wish I could tell you more about it, but maybe someone who knows something could leave a comment to enlighten me.

After the brief stop at the park, we headed southeast, across this spectacular bridge.

I snapped a lot of pics along the way. I really was interested in seeing what kind of shops were out in the rural areas.

I was also intrigued by the different modes of transportation. These tricycles had a motor assist - so they were more akin to mopeds than regular bikes.

Everything you can imagine is carried on these carts.

There are also an incredible number of motorcycles, and China just recently surpassed the USA in new automobile purchases.

Here are some views of these shops that line the roads.

There are always one or more people hanging out to visit in front of the stores, too.

Everywhere you go in China you'll see new construction going on.

This looks like a taxi service of some sort.

Ahhhh - finally, we got out of the urban zone and into an agricultural/forested region. This is a patch of disturbed forest - maybe regrowth after a farm went fallow?

The slope looks too steep to farm, but the burning is an indicator of agriculture in this region.

We were in a hilly region and the road passed through many tunnels of various lengths.

Here you can see the terraced slopes for rubber tree plantations.

There were also some toll stations on every road I traveled.

This one was in the middle of a rubber tree plantation. You can see the score marks on the trunk where the sap runs into a collection bucket.

Every so often we'd pass through a banana plantation, also. The blue bags are for keeping critters off the developing fruits.

Some more shop pics from the road. . .

I was intrigued by the clothing the woman in front was wearing.

This must be the hardware section of the shops.

More hardware and automotive supplies.

Get your hot new motorbike here, too.


Check out the construction site with the bamboo scaffolding.

Mortuary supplies, too. These look like some crypts that are under construction, or maybe this was the graveyard. You can see the Dai architectural details in the design.

The village we were passing through here is the one adjacent to XTBG, so we were almost there.


Kipkimo said...

It's great traveling with you in China.
Please add the "FOLLOWERS" gadget for convenience of following your blog.
Thanks & best regards, Kipkimo

Andi Wolfe said...

Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't updated the template for a long time, so this was an opportunity to revamp the blog. Cheers -

Joker said...