China Travel Tips

Reflections on Travel in China

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Fun and Friendly Experience

One thing I have learned after 50+ trips to China in over 25 years is that every day is a new experience to look forward to. I was down in Xishuangbanna area of Yunnan province in southern China where Burma, Laos and China come together. I heard about the Wild Elephant preserve there and wanted to see it. There is a beautiful jungle there in the mountains with many rubber tree, banana and pineapple plantations. The wild elephants are deep in the jungle and seldom seen but the area is interesting to visit with few if any western tourists. It was a weekend and they had an elephant performance in the village which I attended. Two rows in front of me in the stands was the "little girl" in the photo above. She spotted me and moved up and sat along side of me speaking in her local dialect. I told her in very rough Chinese that I didn't speak their dialect; but it made no difference to her. She continued talking about the elephants and who knows what else to the delight of all around us including her mother. She shared her lunch with me and I gave her some candy that I always carry with me and we had a delightful time. I was the only foreigner there so I am sure she was curious about me but she was not inhibited one bit. My guide was not with me so to this day I do not know what she was talking about but it makes no difference. I enjoyed it greatly and so did all those around me I am sure.

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