News, Travel

Southwest of the Southwest

Wa Tribes in their Village

Mountainious, rugged, green, and tropical are the features of southwest Yunnan province, southwest China. After 12 hours ride from Kunming, Yunnan’s capital me along with 20-something other photographers, finnally reached Gengma, a small town in Lincang county. Jaded and cursing about everything; since we hardly stop, not to mention about unable to take some shots. However, we were facing an authentic hospitality of the Dai tribes. We enjoyed a good dinner.

The trip to southwestern Yunnan is organized by the China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) as part of HPA 2011’s awarding ceremony. It’s a little disorganized. And it’s easy to see why; the organizer is seemed unprepared to face almost a hundred of photographers.


Yesterday morning, we had to ride the bus again from Gengma to a nearby village where Wa tribes are still living their ancient way of life. “It will be highlight of the trip” said David, our tour leader. “It will take about an hour and 40 minutes” he continued. But we were still out of nowhere after two hours. And it was turned into another cursing session.

I eagery jumped out from the bus when we arrived in the village. Located only 30 Km from the brdering Myanmar, there were about 90 family of Wa tribes waited for us.

Wa tribe is one of China’s 56 recognized ethnic group. They live in small communities in the Sino-Burmese border. In historic times, they used to practice headhunting. A common practice in many parts of the world.

The trace of headhunting of Wa tribe is no longer exist. Surprisingly, they greeted us with smile and sing.


Chinese Farmers in Lincang County

From Wa’s village we then had to drive another 4 painful hours. We hardly stop until we were passing a farmyard right before arriving in the city where we stayed overnight. The light was perfect, so we ended our day shooting Chinese farmers. This time it was a cursing session for the organizer.

Photographs is all we need 🙂


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