Splashing about the Nanting River

 

by Ernie Diaz

 

If you’re looking for one place in China where concrete hasn’t usurped nature, then consider southwest Yunnan. A land of mountainous Burmese jungle in all but politics, Lincang county abounds in every kind of biological diversity, right on up to the profusion of university researchers running about trying to document it all.

 

But if crawling through jungle thickets looking for the spoor of the elusive hog deer isn’t your thing, then take a tour down the Nanting River, called “The Last Paradise” by not particularly imaginative local tourism groups. Gentler and more manageable than the nearby Mekong, Nanting runs through 311 kilometers of country so inviting it’s a miracle the place hasn’t yet been turned out and blacktopped.

 

The Nanting feeds soil that grows a conservation society’s worth of endangered plants, over three thousand priceless Chinese herbs, and more than eighty kinds of tropical flowers. Rare birds and jungle critters roust amongst it all. They’ll avoid the swishing clatter of your North Face gear, but the baker’s dozen of holdout minorities won’t. The De Ang, the Li, the Lagu, the Bulang, even those reformed headhunters the Wa, all are easier to find than bottled water.

 


But don’t imagine only thatched huts and the occasional way-station pass for civilization along the Nanting. These tribes have been cultivating their good earth as long as the Han. High cliffs guarding the rivers bear paintings more than three millennia old that prove it. Stretches of rain forest along the Nanting are regularly interspersed by sugar cane and rubber tree plantations, terraced farms, and ancient tended bushes of the prized dianhong tea leaf.

 

 

Of all the local minorities, it is the Dai who hold cultural sway over this region, by their relatively great number. It is their wooden houses you’ll most likely stop by, lost, but so charmed by your reception you’ll look forward to losing the way at the next opportunity. It is their temples dotting the hills by the Nanting, China’s only monuments to Theravadin Buddhism. Their form of worship and their name reveal the Dai link to Thailand, and thus their observance of a water festival.

 

A water dragon was on hand at the birth of the Buddha, sprinkling him with fragrant showers. For this and more animistic reasons, not least the beauty of the Nanting River, the Dai associate water not just with life but also with peace, luck, and health. So in mid-April they give all and sundry the kind of treatment normally reserved for cats in heat. Any implement that can possibly contain water is used to douse friend, foe, family, and stranger alike.

 

 

They have the water festival in Jinhong, too, but we’ve warned you about that place. The water festival in villages along the Nanting is still spontaneous and joyful, where a lao wai may still hope for honored guest rather than monied interloper status, and be dragged down to the river for a splashing by a gang of lithe Dai maidens. You’ll forget your squelching boots by nightfall, when villages gather in circles, the better to hear each other sing and see each other dance, enlivened by local spirits. And if you don’t make it for the water festival, an eyeful of the peaceful Nanting is a Buddhist blessing in itself.

 

 

This entry was posted in Articles. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Splashing about the Nanting River

  1. this is such a beautiful scenary. I just love the history of this area. Its just so beautiful.

  2. free movies says:

    Nice picture.
    There is had a point of view.
    i will go to china later.
    I love the scenery and the lady. LOL

  3. Free Trials says:

    Nice scenery, the river have a many another beautiful thing, and as well the girls too.

  4. Great Photo.
    I will go to Nanting River only for take a photo.
    The scenery is great. Also i like Asian people.

  5. this is such a beautiful scenary. I just love the history of this area. Its just so beautiful.صوررومنسيه

  6. the scenery seems like indonesia, no wonder when some of Indonesian history expert told that our forefather are from yunnan. And your girl like an indonesian girls too. verry beautiful.

  7. WOw.. beautiful girl.. nice picture..
    i will go to china.
    I love the scenery and the lady. haha..
    Thx for sharing..

    Pregnancy scan

  8. I like your posting..
    My dream is go to China..

    Pregnancy Scan

  9. Beautiful pictures. Makes one wish to be there. Very tranquil and serene. Thank you for sharing these.

  10. Ernie says:

    Pleasure's ours.

  11. Forum Topics says:

    Nice place. Beautiful scenery. I think china is a nation which have a lot of pollution. One place in china is the most polluted town in the world. The air is very polluted, until we must make a mask to avoid the polluted air. But after i see the Nanting River, i feel i must go to this place. This place have a good scenery. I must see the water festival in Jinhong too. Looks great.

  12. what a beautiful river? I am going to go there than drink up its water…. Yunnan is the attractive that has many feature of nature…..

    Nail Biting

  13. Jason Starks says:

    Do you have any additional photos of the Nanting River?

  14. Ernie says:

    I'm sure Google does…

  15. I have been there in 2008, i never forget such beautiful scenery.

  16. Ernie says:

    I'll never forget what your user-name looks like.

  17. nice and awesome but the crop looked like painting for second

  18. diet says:

    Nice place. Beautiful scenery. I think china is a nation which have a lot of pollution. One place in china is the most polluted town in the world. The air is very polluted, until we must make a mask to avoid the polluted air. But after i see the Nanting River, i feel i must go to this place. This place have a good scenery. I must see the water festival in Jinhong too. Looks great.

  19. The river was originally called Huai River, and it is said that the river was channeled to the city of Nanjing during the reign of Emperor Qin Shi Huang, so it was named Qin Huai River from then on.

  20. Nice place. Beautiful scenery. I think china is a nation which have a lot of pollution. One place in china is the most polluted town in the world. The air is very polluted, until we must make a mask to avoid the polluted air. But after i see the Nanting River, i feel i must go to this place. This place have a good scenery. I must see the water festival in Jinhong too. Looks great.

  21. I like the photo, really beautiful.

  22. how many calories should i eat a day says:

    Beautiful scenery.Nice place. And beautiful girl. I think i should choose a day to visit Nanting River. Would I Swimming there? hope!

  23. Ernie says:

    You would swimming. You would indeed.

  24. Riya Roy says:

    hey this looks really beautiful…wanna go here…i am planning my next vacation here…

  25. Ernie says:

    I'll be forwarding your comment to my design "team". Thanks for visiting this 1997 section of the internet.

  26. Cora says:

    You can certainly see your skills in the article you
    write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to mention how they believe.
    At all times follow your heart.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>