Wonders Of Yunnan Travel

User profile: Nanzhao

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  • RegisteredFebruary 17, 2008
  • RegionChina
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  • RegisteredFebruary 17, 2008

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Forums > Living in Kunming > What is moon cake????

First, the variety of moon cakes is highly regional. Guangdong/Cantonese moon cakes are the most prevalent overseas, but you can get these in Kunming as well. They often quite 'heavy' and rich with thick bean paste and an egg yolk in the center.

Here in Kunming the dominant variety is a kind of sweet/candied ham (火腿月饼) inside a flakey crust. Roughly three to four inches across, moon cakes are typically individually wrapped in a decorative wrapping. I always find the wrappers attractive with traditional patterns on a type of wax paper (because truth be told they are kind of oily).

Like all things there will be some flavors that suit your palate more than others so my advice would be to simply try several different varieties. Extremely popular and almost only found in Kunming variety is a sesame style (麻仁月饼) but has an almost peppery taste to it. A more widely available style is made from bean paste and walnuts called shaxi (西沙月饼).

Most Kunmingers have their favorite outlet to get their mooncakes that they swear are the best. One of the popular places for the Yunnan ham variety is the Economic Trade Hotel [经贸宾馆](just off of Qingnian Lu near the hospital) -much higher quality ham without the big greasy/grizzly bits.

The background to the holiday is a bit murky and there are numerous tales that one can hear if you press your Chinese friends. The holiday itself dates back several thousand years, but mooncakes (at least apocryphally) date to the Yuan dynasty when it is said a rebel Chinese general used the cakes to spread the attack plan against the Mongol invaders. Today it is almost completely a family holiday where one is expected to return home if you are able and pass the evening with one's close relatives. Since one is suppose to also go out an view the moon there are all sorts of alternative ways to pass the evening either romantically or with alcohol and friends.

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Forums > Study > Kunminghua

Interesting thread.

The earliest Muslim residents (as opposed to earlier Muslim traders) arrived in Yunnan during the Yuan dynasty and were largely from Central Asia. A prime example of this, is Sayyid'Ajall Shams Al-Din (Ch: Sai Dianchi) who served as governor (his descendants continued to serve in the province for several generations -- and many Muslims today trace their lineage back to him).

As far as Arabic influencing Kunminghua I'd have to also be skeptical primarily because 1) the Muslim soldiers that arrived during the Yuan spoke Central Asian languages 2) the Muslim concentrations were primarily outside of Kunming.

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Finally got around to taking this trip. Still very cheap (5 kuai for the entire morning: Kunming North - Wangjiaying; Wangjiaying-Kunming-Shizui; Shizui-Kunming North).

@opper I think you could probably take anything you wanted on that train and they'd not care.

This is an incredibly interesting post — both informative and inspirational. The photos were equally high quality.

So the single wrong note in your otherwise eloquent report caught me cold:

We are "treated to a few cheery zhaxidele (扎西德勒)"? Hmm, is that a bit like being told "三颗药为你马吃"— An American greeting equivalent to "Thank you very much?"

I think instead what you heard was tashi delek "བཀྲཤིསབདེལེགས (bkra shis bde legs)"

Demonstrating such a level of adventurousness and expertise this criticism is on many levels misdirected, as I am sure you did this for the Chinese-speaking reading audience but perhaps a bit of sensitivity to the actual Tibetan speakers is equally justified?

The train is back to its former *full* schedule (beginning Aug 15, 2014).

8861 - Kunming North (昆明北站) to Wangjiaying (王家营)

7:31 departs Kunming North (昆明北站)

8:39 arrives Wangjiaying (王家营)

[~40 minutes before return journey begins]

8862/3 - Wangjiaying (王家营) to Kunming North (昆明北站)

9:24 Wangjiaying (王家营)

10:34 Kunming North (昆明北站)

11:31 Shizui (石咀)

[~20 minutes before return journey begins]

8866 - Shizui (石咀) to Kunming North (昆明北站)

11:51 Shizui (石咀)

12:43 Kunming North (昆明北站)

8869 - - Kunming North (昆明北站) to Wangjiaying (王家营)

17:20 - Kunming North (昆明北站)

18:28 - Wangjiaying (王家营)

[~30 minute until return journey]

19:00 - Wangjiaying (王家营)

20:07 - Kunming North (昆明北站)

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