Kaili

20 09 2009
Miao village

Miao village

We left Yunnan and headed east to the city of Kaili in Guizhou province. The goal was to visit traditional Miao villages in the area. The Miao are linguistically and ethnically related to the Mong (Hmong) people who live in Thailand, Laos Vietnam, (and now agricultural areas known for growing strawberries in California). The Miao in China are known for their colorful clothing, ornate silver jewelry and embroidered baby packs.

We headed out from the main city of Kaili into smaller villages to see local people and the countryside, but the drive ended up being very long due to road construction. All over China, the roads are being rebuilt at an amazing rate. Someday it will be easy to get to these remote areas, but not while we were here. The traffic through road construction is also un-nerving. There is no traffic control and traffic squeezes through while the road construction is occurring.
Look at the white truck driving past the dump truck: sketchy

Look at the white truck passing the dump truck: sketchy

On one spot in the road, a dump truck was making a multiple-point turn on the edge of the steep roadside, while other vehicles squeezed as the truck was trying to unload materials and get out of the way. We have also seen plenty of situations where construction equipment has gotten too close to the edge and tumbled off. I think the total count for the amount of construction related accidents wreckage we have seen during our time is China is three dump trucks that rolled off the edge and one large front end-loader. It is common for both directions of traffic to fail to give way, resulting in two vehicles trying to drive through a single lane, while the other side of the road has construction workers trying to repair roads as drivers are honking and squeezing past them. It is crazy. Safety standards at construction sites are very different from those in America (as well as environmental considerations), but they do finish roadworks in record time here.

Baby packs

Baby packs

We had planned to do a longer trip through remote areas to Longsheng, and then south to Guilin/Yangshou, but with time on our visa running out and the travel delays from road construction, we had to change our plans. However, we did manage to see some of the very colorful clothing of the Miao people and get a taste of the rice fields and countryside in this region. Then we got on an overnight bus for the big destination of Guilin/Yangshou.

***click to enlarge photos***
Miao clothing

Miao clothing

View out of the bus

View out of the bus

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