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Mojiang, Yunnan

Why would you consider a day stop in Mojiang? It was a question I asked myself when I was in Yunnan and went down south to the Lao border. After all, I had been to Mojiang in 2002 and apart of the little market I wasn't impressed by the town. Even the hotel was disappointing. But Yunnan, as many other provinces in China is changing though I had not expected this little town to be changing in this way.

central market in Mojiang
The market of Mojiang, nothing changed!

Cycling north or south in Yunnan, you have to stop in Mojiang, unless of course you are superman (in that case, you will be able to skip Mojiang).

The town is conveniently located 75 km south of Yuen Jiang and about 150 km from Pu'Er. So it's a good stop over.

However, coming back now after 4 years I was quite surprised. Mojiang had been changed into a much bigger town then I remembered.

Apparently the government (local or provincial) had decided to lift Mojiang up to a new level.

But the heart of the town remained still the old market. On the southern side of Mojiang many new building were raised and more are on the way. It all had to do with the expressway that connects Kunming with Jing Hong in Xishuangbanna that gave Mojiang now a real place on the map.

The new part of the city, Mojiang
The brand new New part of Mojiang, it could be anywhere in China! - check the mini Eiffel Tower!

Just a few hundred meters from the expressway a brand new intercity bus station was in full service. That explained too why I had hardly seen traffic on the way from Yuen Jiang to Mojiang.

That ride had been not easy, especially from north to south there had been a lot of climbing to be done (more then 50 or the 75 km were going up). To my surprise some parts of this old on going road from Kunming to Jing Hong are in excellent condition, some parts are less.

I had passed some villages on the way but here in Mojiang it became clear this little town was a real center for the surrounding villages to come for shopping and selling. Especially in the morning the market is a crowded and colorful place.

I got my breakfast this time right in the middle of the market sitting together with astonished looking Chinese why a "lao wai" would even consider to have his meal here. But no one said anything and were not even surprised to see me handling my chopsticks as they do.

The market, as said, is the heart of Mojiang. Anything you would possibly need you can still buy here, even televisions, computers and mobile phones are on sale.

Food at the market in Mojiang, yummy!Sitting there and having my breakfast I got a good view of the people who live here. The female minority people, especially the older ones still wear traditional clothes but even without the clothes, they have different features.

The villagers come in the early morning with meat and vegetables high loaded on trucks and minivans. Piles of cabbages can be bought, if you need them in that quantity. Of course a lot of meat, mostly of pigs and chicken is sold here.

And if you look around, you can even buy a whole pig head. In the evening a little part of the market is still in use. A few stalls are still open with some good local food. Claypot rice with a soup is a good meal for a dollar.

Also available white rice with pre-prepared vegetable and meat dishes and the soups as on the photo above. And especially those soups were fantastic! The new part of the town is typical modern China.

People park in MojiangNo longer do the Chinese build the ugly white tiles building but create more sophisticated buildings. Many of them are housing blocks. The impressive wide lane gives the visitor who comes by intercity bus the idea to reach a considerable sized town.

In fact, Mojiang is still a sort of one street town, big enough to walk around in half day. More or less in between the old and the new town is a lovely little typical Chinese park located.

The park has everything a typical Chinese park should have, some little towers in and around the ponds, a tea house were the Chinese play cards and mahjong and a few typical Chinese bridges crossing the different ponds to some pavilions.

It's a perfect place to hide from the "busy" streets of Mojiang.

Here, like in every park in China, men come with their birds in tiny cages trying to find a spot in the shadow for their beloved bird. The Chinese love birds though you won;t find many in the wild. In the parks people bring their own bird to let them enjoy the "free" air.

People park in Mojiang, birds in cages, the Chinese love birds in cagesMojiang is a very nice overnight stop for the cyclist and I recommend to leave the next morning after having your breakfast at the market. You would miss something special if you skip that.

But if you travel by bus, can you get there? Yes, the main intercity bus station is located almost next to the express way. So you have to walk into the town center. It takes about 15 minutes but you can also take a taxi or motorbike.

For the traveler who want to continue with local busses, the old bus station for local destinations (like Yuen Jiang and Badajiang) is next to the old market. These busses all take the old road so be prepared for sometimes a bumpy ride.

When I was in February 2006 in Mojiang, I couldn't find any internet place but there's plenty of good hotels. The Tian Xi hotel is good and cheap and right in the middle of everything but there's plenty to choose from, in the old part near the market as in the new part of Mojiang and even at the bus station.

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