China’s New Religious Pilgrims Flock to Yunnan

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Jeremy Eccles writing for The Australian:

“During two recent tours through western China I’ve been able to observe the immensity of domestic tourism as the country’s enriched middle classes are freed to visit the legendary sites of their culture.

“On my visit to Xian, for example, it proved almost impossible to view the Terracotta Warriors due to the press of people, all with clicking cameras. And the glorious Mogao Caves at Dunhuang now have a virtual viewing infrastructure designed to substitute for actual time in the caves, which is now restricted to preserve the ancient Buddhist murals.

“But it’s in the ethnic minority areas of Yunnan and Tibet where I found the most intriguing development, surprisingly being encouraged by the communist state.

“It is Buddhist tourism, and particularly in the province of Yunnan, where the Bai, Dai, Tai, Naxi and Tibetan tribal peoples are encouraged to be as ethnic as they can for the delectation of Han Chinese visiting from the country’s east.”

Full story at The Australian.

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