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Travel Journal

The Backyard of China
by Helena

Yunnan, located on the southwest frontier of China, borders on three countries: Burma, Laos and Vietnam. The border is world famous as the “Golden Triangle.” Due to the high altitude— more than two kilometres on this red-earthed plateau—people keep a great authenticity of life and culture.

Endless mountains make this place child-like pure and camellia-like charming. Time doesn’t touch this place because the sun tints the earth permanently red; the skin colour of the people is also as red as the sun.

Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, has become the backyard of China, a backyard hidden behind a house where we can relax and rest and forget the outside world. A backyard is an intimate part of our naked being; wearing silk pajamas and a pair of satin slippers, we can taste tea and enjoy a book and sing an opera.

“Slow down, slow down and slow down!” our backyard smiles to us and holds us in her arms. Kunming is this backyard for all Chinese living in China.

Lily and ChenLiang are a Kunming couple. As a free-lance tourist guide, Lily has good earnings; however, her future isn’t secure. Working at the “Bank of China,” ChenLiang brings the family long-term financial security. They are in their thirties and have a three-year son; the whole family is proud of this little dragon.

Lily’s mother comes to live with the couple helping to take care of the Little Dragon and leaves her husband alone in another city. The grandma prepares three meals and is in charge of all the house work; the couple rest and watch TV and play with the Little Dragon after work.

They have a huge luxury apartment to live in and two others to rent. On the weekend and holidays, they bring grandma and some other relatives to visit numerous sites all over Yunnan. They don’t need to raise their voice to talk and speed while driving or have a high stress level to achieve their professional goals. Smooth like silk, soft like spring water, slow like clouds in the mountain, Kunming has no other seasons, only spring.

This is a couple in the backyard of China. This backyard is called by the whole of China: The City of Eternal Spring.