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Home >> Yunnan >> Kunming >> Yunnan Nationalities Villages tourist information

Yunnan Nationalities Villages

Yunnan Nationalities VillagesThe Yunnan Nationalities Village is located on the northeastern shore of Dianchi Lake and is a good place to show visitors the cultural ways and traditions of the numerous ethnic groups in the Yunnan province.

In the Village compound, 25 different independent villages have been planned, but at present only about 20 have been constructed. In addition to these "ethnic villages", there are activities that take place such as a welcoming ceremony with performing White Elephants, the Dinosaur Island theme park area, a concert area for ethnic singing and dancing performances, as well as an Asian Elephant show in the Plaza of Ethnic Unity.

The climax of a visit to the Nationalities Park is a film shown on a fountain of water. The "villagers" are all chosen from the youth of the relevant nationalities to act as guides and performers for tourists. The three major villages represent the Dai, the Bai and the Yi nationalities.

The Dai Nationality Village:
The Dai Village covers an area of more than 4 acres with 3 sides facing water and all with beautiful scenery. The main buildings include 7 wood and bamboo houses and a white pagoda. Given that Dai people have strong traditions that have to do with the home and the family, having a peek in these "homes" is a quite a treat.

Yunnan Nationalities VillagesUnder normal circumstances, strangers are not allowed into the inner rooms of a Dai home because the Dai believe the souls of ancestors and family gods live in the family home along with the living members of the family. Another interesting Dai custom that reflects this respect for the home is that guests should only sleep in the living room (the outer rooms of the home or the "guest room") with his feet facing the door to show his respect to the host and at the same time indicate that he will leave the home very soon.

Another place worth mentioning is the Water Festival Square. Every year towards the end of the sixth month of the Dai calendar (April 13th and 15th according to Gregorian calendar) is the Dai Water Festival, as well as the Dai New Year's Day. The first day of the festival is a day for sending off the old and welcoming the new (like many New Years Days of other cultures).

On the second day, a massive water fight engulfs all Dai villages (including this one) as everyone grabs the nearest basin or bucket, fills it with water and dumps on the closest lucky target as a cleansing blessing of good fortune! Respect is still shown to the elderly who might receive a small cup of water on their arm, but young, able-bodied people should WATCH OUT! This crazy, wild and wet holiday is the best!

The Bai Nationality Village:
The Bai Village is famous for its Butterfly Museum, which is the biggest of its kind in China. The museum is a typical Bai construction, which is comprised of rooms and residences on three sides and a wall on the southern side.

Yunnan Nationalities VillagesThe southern wall is typically decorated quite beautifully with an ornate flower bed. Part of the reason for this architecture is that Dali (where a majority of Bais live) is a windy town, where the wind, while not very strong, blows all year round. Also in the Village, there is a replicated temple dedicated to the God of Erhai Lake (modeled after a temple in Dali). The young warrior, enshrined in the temple, was known as Duan Chicheng.

He exterminated evil villains and spirits for the Bai people and has been worshipped as the safeguard of the Bai people around Dali ever since. If you burn several sticks of incense to him, you may also gain his protection, but we'd recommend trying it at the real temple in Dali.

The Yi Nationality Village:
The "Sun Calendar Square" (Taiyangli Guangchang) is the most spectacular sight of the village. In its center is a sundial with twelve animals denoting the time of the day (as well as the year of your birth). Interestingly, the solar calendar of the Yi people divides a year into five seasons, each of which is then divided into two months. Therefore, in the Yi solar calendar there are only 10 months and 360 days in a year.

Kunming Travel Attractions
Stone Forest
Jiuxiang Scenic Resort
Golden Temple
Western Hills And Dragon Gate
Daguan (Grand View) Park
Jiaozi Snow Mountain
Dianchi Lake
Ancient Alu Cave
Bamboo Monastery
Dongchuan Red Soil
Yuantong Temple
Cuihu Lake
World Horti-expo Garden
Black Dragon Pool
Puzehei Scenic Region
Yunnan Museum
Tanhua Temple
Anning Hot Spring
Yunnan Nationalities Villages
Kunming Spring City Golf
Kunming Country Golf
Kunming Sunshine Golf
Kunming Travel Map
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