Yunnan Province, a major tourist destination, is filled with wonderful cultures and people that truly must be experienced to be believed. Almost one-third of China's ethnic minority population resides in Yunnan and their colorful and lively cultures are just waiting to be discovered by visitors. The people of Yunnan are known for being welcoming and friendly. Yunnan has several ancient cities. Every province in China can boast ancient cities, but Yunnan's are different. They have remained unchanged for centuries, allowing visitors to get a glimpse into ancient China and see local people living as they have for centuries.
Early in the morning, groups of elderly people can be seen walking the streets, usually with their grandchildren. They are heading to parks, or squares, for their morning get-togethers, and exercise. In the parks of Yunnan, large groups of elderly people can be seen exercising, chatting, or playing games. Most elderly people in Yunnan Province could not imagine beginning the day any other way. Many love to practice taiji or martial arts, or simply go on walks while chatting with their friends. The elderly in Yunnan love to dance. They can be seen doing traditional dances, such as the fan or drum dances, and western ballroom dances. Another extremely popular form of entertainment in Yunnan is games. People love getting together to play cards, chess, or Mahjong. They can be seen playing in the parks, on street corners, or in tea houses. If the game is well played, inevitably a group of people will begin to form to watch the masters play. It takes little excuse for a game to break out, and most shop owners have game sets behind the counter, just waiting for someone with a few moments to kill.
Because Yunnan Province has such a large number of ethnic minority groups, each with their own style of cuisine, Yunnan has an almost unending variety of dishes. Local people each have their own favorite types of food, and often eat foods from different ethnic minority groups. Many locals eat at home with the whole family sitting around a table and sharing in the food, and discussing the day's events. Others enjoy going out to one of Yunnan's restaurants and foregoing the task of preparing their own foods. Yunnan's restaurants are like big meeting houses, where people meet, chat, and visit with each other. There are also many snack booths set up along the roads in Yunnan and many people will stop at these little booths for a snack or dinner. The food in the booths is cheap and wonderfully delicious, and diners get to watch their food being prepared. After dinner, it seems that all of Yunnan's residents head out to walk the streets. Entire families can be seen walking slowly down the street chatting, meeting friends, and occasionally stopping at a roadside booth for a snack.
The nightlife in Yunnan Province is legendary. Locals and visitors alike like to head out in the evening to the seemingly limitless number of bars, clubs, discos, and karaoke bars to spend the night. In the smaller cities, the bars are much simpler, but in the big cities, the nightlife is really hopping. The cities have something for everyone. There are trendy clubs, and bars as well as jazz and blues clubs and nice quiet places to just sit and relax with a drink. In smaller towns and villages, the nightlife is quite simple. The local villagers and farmers work extremely hard every day, for little money, but if you see them in the evening, you will see that they are also extremely happy. They love nothing more than getting together with friends in the local bar, or a house, and spending the evening joking, smoking, drinking, and playing games with each other. They are extremely generous and love to have a good time.
The locals of Yunnan are friendly, welcoming, and laid-back. They work very hard, but at the end of the day when work is done, they leave work behind and are intent on having fun. This lively spirit makes visitors to Yunnan feel very welcome and is just one of the many reasons that Yunnan Province is a major destination for most visitors to China.
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