Western China: Borderlands. Hills. Barbarians (according to 'more civilized' residents out east).
This fall, thanks to a residency with the China Exploration and Research Society in Shangri-la, I got another taste of the southwest:
Video still from a meeting with a paintbrush-maker for my Brush With China project.
A handsome couple gets married in a Dongba-Tibetan ceremony in Lijiang
Tibetan prayer flags over the ceremony
At times there's an illusory sense of freedom in the west of China: dozens of nationalities give its urban streets a more cosmopolitan feel than much of Beijing. Its variable temperatures and topography and sophisticated, often spicy food make it a pleasure to visit much of the year.
You breathe easier here.
For a time.
It's even easy to forget the name of the country where you are.
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