The GoGlobal Blog

云南 Part 2

云南 Part 2

I’m sorry for it being so long since my last post! I survived midterms week and spent this past week in Seoul, South Korea for spring break! I will be doing a blog post about my travels later on! This blog is about the second half of the Yunnan excursion. I’ll try to keep it a little shorter this time.

Part 2

              Day 7- Feb 7- Dai Village

After a 3-hour drive, we finally arrived at the Dai village. When I looked out of the window, I was a little confused. There were tour buses everywhere; however, once I stepped off of the bus, I was bombarded with hot air. The weather was amazing compared to the cold weather we’ve been staying in. I immediately had to shed the 3 layers of sweatshirts and jackets I was wearing. Once we were paired with our homestay families, we headed towards their house. I was with Megan, Silvia, and Jessie. On our walk to the house, I thought it was weird when tour groups with loud tour guides would pass through yelling into their microphones. Why did there need to be tourists? That’s one of the things I didn’t like about the Dai village. It was such a tourist destination, that it wasn’t like any of the villages we had gone to before.   

The Dai houses are amazing. They are made completely out of wood and are on stilts. Their houses are raised, historically, so that in wet damp areas the living spaces don’t get ruined. Our host grandma was very nice. We were given fruit and a knife to peel the apples, and they were the best tasting apples I’ve had in China! We were given a simple lunch with really good beef and sweet peas. After lunch the shopping began. I ended up getting a full Dai village outfit consisting of a white top with embroidered blue flowers, and a long blue skirt with peacocks on it. I really bended in, and if felt good to be “fully Asian” by looks. A lot of other TBC students bought white embroidered shirts and apparel.

In the evening, for the Chinese New Year we had a community party. Everyone living in the village and the tourists gathered on the basketball court. The Dai people preformed many songs and dances, and we sung “You are my sunshine”, Ally and Russell did an amazing hip hop routine, and we all danced to the cupid shuffle and soldier boy. After wards, the best part was that we invited people up to dance with us. We taught them the two group dances, then we all danced together! It was so much fun interacting with everyone and even seeing Father Gene dance with us! We played a fun relay game where you were partnered back to back and had to run and pop a balloon. My group won, so we got traditional colorful umbrellas!

At the end of the community party we had a mini mash-pit of dancing with a bunch of the villagers and tourists. It was one of my favorite nights of the Yunnan trip! Afterwards, our host family went to bed, so some of us went to another host family to wait until midnight to celebrate the new year. Some of the students’ host families brought them to a lantern releasing party. Sadly, I didn’t get to go, but I hung out with friends playing games and talking through the night. To signal the new year we set off firecrackers!

Day 8- Feb 8- Dai village/ Lijiang

We had some breakfast, were given a ton of bananas and banana chips (which are amazing!!!), boarded the bus, and headed to the airport! After arriving in Lijiang and getting into our hotel, we unpacked and get ready to tour the Old town of Lijiang. After dinner Dominic (fellow TBC student) and I hung out it the hotel courtyard, then decided to go wander the town. There were so many little shops, things to do, and food to eat! It was so much fun exploring, that we got lost… it was ok for a while, but once the stores started to close, it was harder to figure out where we were. We finally made our way back, but it took a long time. There’s nothing like getting lost in China with no cell service, data, and can’t communicate clearly; nevertheless, we made it back ok!

Day 9- Feb 9- Naxi village/ Lijiang

We started off the day visiting the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Dominic, Saeger, Kasey, and I hiked towards the mountain, but didn’t have enough time to climb it.

We then went to the Naxi village. After we arrived Aly, Carlyn, Father Gene and I measured a traditional Naxi house for our architecture class while everyone else played basketball with the locals. Afterwards we had dinner at the local shaman’s house, then started our community party. This was also another fun party! There was a lot of dancing and a lot of old men trying to get everyone to dance. It was a tight space, but a lot of fun dancing with the locals!

Day 10- Feb 10- Lijiang/Dali

We went to the Zhiyun Monastery toady. It was amazing to climb all the stairs and view the temples. I sat outside the highest temple with Dominica and Molly just staring out into the mountains taking in the beautiful views and the peaceful area.

Afterwards we went to a traditional Bai house to have lunch. There I gave my mini presentation on Architecture in Yunnan. Everyone was required to research a topic about Yunnan, and I chose architecture. After lunch, we drove to our final destination for our excursion: Dali.

Day 11- Feb 11- Dali

I started off the day with taking a nice bike ride with friends to the lake… which turned into an all-day bike ride. Saeger, Alexander, Kasey, Andrew, and I all loaned out mountain bikes and rode around Dali. Probably wasn’t the best idea to ride our bikes on country highways with no helmets (they weren’t given), but it was so much fun! Towards the late afternoon, Saeger and I biked to the closest pagoda, which was an uphill adventure. 

Day 12- Feb 12- Dali/ Kunming

For our second and final day in Dali, we had to check out at 11 am, then we had the rest of the day to ourselves. We decided to walk around and buy souvenirs and explore Dali more. Some students biked like I did the previous day. We walked around for hours eating street food, snacks, and soaking up the sun.

At the end of the day, we made the 20-minute walk from our hotel to the bus, then departed to the train station for our 8-hour overnight train. We departed at 9:00 PM. Sadly, one of my friends was really sick, so I stayed up to help her through the night. We had quite an odd experience with the doctor who came with us for the trip. I would not recommend him for anything.

Day 13- Feb 13- Kunming/Beijing

The overnight train was rough getting up every hour or so to help my friend, but I was glad I could help. We arrived at the airport at 5 AM and waited for our 7:30 AM flight. I fell asleep in line waiting to get our tickets, and again on the plane.

When we arrived in Beijing we tried to get food, but the only places open were 7-11, a 24-hour noddle place, and a few convenience stores. It was still the Lunar New Year break, so everything was still closed, and remained closed for the rest of the week. We got noodles to go, and hung out at the dorm for the rest of the night.


Overall the Yunnan trip was amazing! Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Being able to do homestays and immerse myself in the Chinese culture is indescribable. I had so much fun and was able to reflect on myself during the trip. Through the trip I realized that it’s not hard to go outside of your comfort zone. My mindset for this trip studying abroad has been to do and try everything I can. I thought it would be harder to push myself to put myself out there and do things I would never have done, like learn and preform dances on the spot, trying new foods, and volunteering for anything. That’s something I am grateful to learn about myself. It’s not hard to do something new, even if it’s uncomfortable. I have found myself longing for more adventure and to try new things throughout my time in China and in Yunnan, and I’m glad I have that longing. When my semester is over, I’m going to keep that longing for adventure and trying new things because I realize there is so much in the world, and even in Chicago, that I haven’t experienced or have tried.

The TBC program did an outstanding job in planning this amazing excursion.

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