Two Weeks in Yunnan Province, China
Yunnan in Chinese means "southern clouds". The clouds in Yunnan Province certainly make an impression! Fast moving, shape shifting, billowy white puffs build to immense heights, gathering and then peeling off as individual pillows floating across a blue sea. The region is alpine tropical, if you can imagine multi-hued green forests of tall swaying pine, clusters of bamboo, fat palms and bright pink, purple, and yellow florals commingled on hills of red clay.
The cities in Yunnan Province -- like Kunming, Dali, Lijiang, and Shangri La -- sit at an elevation higher than Boulder, Colorado but are just a couple dozen latitude degrees above the equator. The combination of high elevation and lots of sunshine means Yunnan Province has exceptionally delightful weather almost round the calendar. Yunnan Province offers cultural variety, a bevy of any-season outdoor activities (such as trekking in Tiger Leaping Gorge), is clean, beautiful and easy to navigate.