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Trip to Yunnan

2011.11.16

For the field survey, I visited years of longing place, Yunnan Province close to southern border of China. The site was in the region called Jiangchuan where belonged to Yuxi City, located to the south of Kunming. It takes one and half to two hours by a car from the Kunming airport. Since some parts of the road were under construction, it took additional 40 minutes to the site from the center of Yuxi City.
A person I know said that I would like the place once visiting the site. It became true at the moment I saw the scenery. Moreover, it is not just “I like it,” but I rather loved the place. Also my respect to the place has been grown. I had an extraordinary feeling for things like, the mountain, the lake, or sky, but also even air, anything I had seen in front of me were all crystal clear and stunning.
There are two freshwater lakes in Jiangchuan. Both are at about 1700m above sea level, and are called “Xingyun Lake” and “Fuxian Lake.” Xingyun Lake, as large as 34.33㎢, has tad turbid water because of the flow from mountains, and the lake produces a large sized fish named “big head.” Fuxian Lake, as huge as 216.6㎢, expanded in the region of Jiangchuan, Chengjiang, and Huaning. With the groundwater (instead of the flow of rainwater) as the main water source, the lake earns high reputation of purity level of the water, as clear as national first class quality, namely the water is the quality of drinkable level. The amount of the lake water is about 20.62billion㎥ that would be about 10 percent of first class water quality throughout China. The water depth goes as deep as 158m and produces the fish named “fierce wave.”
There is a stream between two lakes. It flows from Fuxian Lake to Xingyun Lake. There is a spot where many stones are stuck at the bottom of the stream and that disturbs environmental interaction for fishes trying to cross the stream to the other lake. The spot is currently facilitated as “the boundary stone park.”
The project area is, including the land to be acquired, about 30000acres (20㎢.) it took about 3 hours to just go around the area. The project site was by Fuxian Lake, surrounded by a couple of hills. It is hard for plants to grow there because of karst with rich phosphate content in the red clay deposit. The climate is interesting too. Since it was a dry season at the highland, it was easy to feel hot at sunny place, but immediately feel cold at shaded place. Sands were blown by the wind since the road was unpaved. Yunnan Province is well known as no season but only spring; however, it was like being in loess plateau of central China at that time.
Vegetable farms of vigorously growing garlic sprouts and peas, spread along the mountainside through the seashore, jumped into eyes as freshly colored greenery. However, once getting into the depression of the mountain, the scenery remaining loess plateau appeared in front again. Leftover leaves and stems of cornfields after the harvest turned white out. It made sound as the wind blew, as sounded like accompaniment for egrets flying high up the sky. By observing this kind of landscape, momentary, I was confused whether I was in northern or southern. But clear water of the lake in front of me reminded that the place I was standing was beautiful and mysterious Yunnan.
The lake water was so clear that the bottom of the lake could be observable. Water plants were clearly distinguishable each other as well. As there is a saying that “a fish is deserted where water is clean,” I could not find even one fish when I actually walked along the shoreline.
Fuxian Lake has shaped like an inverted gourd, narrowed down from the north to the south, as well as it is constricted at the middle. It can be described that the lake has visual effect of as if it is extended to the sky since the lake expanded enough from the east to the west, and has great depth from the south to the north. The lake surface is huge enough that the color changes simultaneously as the color of the sky turns. The color reflecting the lake would be able to show how the sky would be. The color of the lake surface was a clear blue at around 5 o’clock. The closer it got to the shoreline the more various the color changed like a rainbow and turned to be orange to red as the lake exposed to sunset at 6 o’clock. The lake turned to white with the dim light from sunset at half past six, and that brought unremitting spectacle.
How splendid the lake in the morning is! The lake and the mountains around the lake were hidden in the fog under the unprepared sun. It was like an introverted girl under a veil.
Beautiful blue sky was so impressive. That was a first time I had ever seen that the moon floated in the sky with sunrise. Shocked, meanwhile, I got feeling that we have been losing a primal enjoyment by spoiling the blue sky.
The area around the previously introduced “the boundary stone park” has distinctive vegetation. Plants, which can be seen in savanna and rainforest climate, are observable in the area at once. Unique plant communities were formed due to geological distinctiveness by rocks exposed out from the mountain, though the width of the river between two lakes is just a dozen meters. A cactus stood by the one side of the river, and there was a kind of banyan tree at the top of the mountain, on the other side of the river, there were winter-blooming cherry trees. Those cherry trees, which have long and intensive flowering period, bloom from November to January. The grandeur of nature is so admirable even without seeing how they bloom, since seeing cherry trees and cactuses simultaneously is convincible enough to go beyond imagination.
This is brief summery of the impression for first visit of Yunnan. We hope that Yuxi with Fuxian Lake as the natural treasure always would be protected forever. It should be everlastingly pure and beautiful land all time. Also every person should respect how Fuxian Lake has been and love it in that way.

Jia Liu

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