Chuxiong, Yunnan, China

This is Chuxiong. I’ve been living in this city for over a year now, and have grown to enjoy all its subtle and less subtle quirks. Around 500 thousand people call Chuxiong home. It’s the capitol of Chuxiong Yi People Autonomous Region, so many people here are part of the Yi ethnic minority.

Tobacco is the main industry for this region. The wealthiest in the city all live and work at the Yunyan factory district, which also houses the nicest basketball courts in town. Honey, walnuts, and wild mushrooms are also specialty products here.

The local dialect sounds like a rougher, grittier Mandarin. Some words seem to be randomly pronounced differently but if spoken slowly enough one can get the gist of most conversations without too much trouble.

Chuxiong is either really dry or pouring rain. Rainy season starts in the spring and ends with monsoonal showers in the summer.