Saturday, April 11, 2009

China 2009 -9

14 February 2009 - Xishuangbanna region of Yunnan Province.

Here are a few more images from the Xishuangbanna Tropical Forest Reserve. This one is of an immense lichen - about 10 inches in diameter.

Something in Acanthaceae - one of my favorite families.

Figs, anyone?

I'm sure these are chock full of wasp larvae, so I think I'd pass on the offer if I were you.

After our visit to the forest reserve, we returned to the Dai village where we took a rest break earlier in the day. We stopped for lunch at an open air restaurant there.

I snapped this photo of people walking down the street and then noticed what the woman on the left was doing.

She's washing vegetables that will be prepared for our lunch. I wonder what the source of the water is here. It looks like it could be rain run-off, but maybe it's from a well.

Rule of thumb when in Asia - don't eat raw veggies or drink untreated water.

These ladies were playing Mahjong.

We got the table in the corner with a view of the street. The server is pouring hot tea into glasses for us to enjoy before the food is prepared.

These short tables are a bit of a challenge for tall people like me, but it was kind of cozy to sit around in such a tight space to enjoy the flavorful food.

YQ is looking forward to some tasty food.

I can't remember the name of the forestry scientist who took us to the reserve. He was very helpful and gave us a lot of information about the region and the forest.

This is very different from how we do it in the west. Having hot tea in a glass takes some getting used to, but this is how every meal begins. After tea, we usually had beer with the meal.

A fish soup. The meat was very chewy.

An egg dish of some sort - very flavorful.

Those long things are slop fries - stir fried potatoes that resemble french fries, but are soggy.

Lunch became more and more interesting as the dishes were brought to the table. There were spiced meat dishes and a variety of vegetable dishes.

Veggies included fern fiddleheads this time. We also had some Brassica and a vine in the Cucurbitatceae (pumpkin family for non-botanists).

Chicken feet just seem so unappetizing to me, but they are, apparently, a delicacy. I watched the driver of the van eat one with great enthusiasm.

YQ certainly enjoyed the food. It must be so nice for him to be back in China to enjoy the foods he grew up with.

I wasn't expecting this, but it is the habit of the Dai people to dump bones and detritus on the floor between their feet.

Not too savory and I suppose it's not a pleasant job for the clean up crew.

Hmmmmm - I take it back, this clean-up crew seemed pretty happy about the chore.

While we were eating lunch, there was another group of locals playing cards at another table.

This little girl was totally fascinated with us. I doubt if there are very many westerners visiting this village each year, so I suppose we were a novelty for her. She was so cute!

Speaking of cute . . .


Anonymous said...

about the tea ... is it a black tea or an herbal tea?

Andi Wolfe said...

The primary tea in the region is a black tea called Pu-er. There are various grades of the tea - some very expensive and some pretty cheap. We had a very expensive grade at a banquet in Shenzhen (hosted by the vice mayor of the city). It was delicious!