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[Script]Travel in the "South of the Clouds" I
2005-6-15 10:32:56     

(Only for reference)

Anchor: Yunan in Chinese means the 'south of clouds', probably because the province is so remote.

Every year, the natural beauty and customs of the region draw millions of tourists to the region.

Our reporter Liao Jibo has recently returned from a trip around the province to find out why Yunnan has become a wonderland for tourists from China and abroad.

Today, we start his four-part series on Yunnan with a trip to Kunming.

REPORT:

(Soundbites)

Airplane Announcer: Ladies and Gentlemen, we have arrived in Kunming¡­

LJB: After a three hour flight, we have arrived in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, also nicknamed the Spring City, or the City of Flowers.

The city is a special city, but looking out from the airport, it looks the same as many Chinese cities.

As a stranger to this city, I have no idea where I should go.

Fortunately our guide is meeting us at the airport. Her name is Liu Li.

So Liu Li, where are we going?

Liu Li: we are going to the expo garden, the nationalities village, and a big flower market.

LJB: Are these places the most important in Kunming?

Liu Li: Yes.

LJB: Good, let's go.

SOUND: TRAFFIC IN KUNMING

Like many other big cities, traffic in Kunming is heavy, the street is noisy, and the air is not as clean as we'd like. But there is something special about the city which attracts tens of thousands of tourists every year.

SOUND: WATER FLOW IN THE EXPO GARDEN

The Expo Garden is one of the special places in the city. It's about ten minutes¡¯drive from downtown Kunming, but make no mistake, it's a totally different world. Compared to the rest of the city it's quiet and orderly, and most important, full of flowers and trees.

This is the place you can see flowers everyday. There are 450 thousand flower pots in the garden, and florists are constantly replacing the dying ones with new ones. As one florist there said, you can never see this garden without fresh flowers.

Tourists, particularly foreign tourists, shouldn't miss the small gardens in the China Exhibition Area that represent all the provinces in China. These gardens will tell you the features of different provinces and give you a guide to the most important scenic spots in these provinces.

Of course, if you want some thing familiar, you can probably find something from your own country in the International Exhibition Area.

After walking around the garden, many tourists will choose to have dinner at the Jixin restaurant in the garden. The restaurant was built to host the world leaders when the World Garden Expo was held there in 1999. It offers all the local specialty dishes, such as cross-bridge rice noodles and steamed chicken soup, and more importantly, the ancient Chinese banquet dancing.

(SOUND OF ME)

Some 100 dancers in various costumes will present the dances that could only be seen in the palace when the emperor treated his guests.

When the performance was over, we found that we hadn't touched many dishes on the table. So a little travellers tip: don't forget to eat.

Our next stop is the Nationalities Village. It's a park where you can see how people of different ethnic groups in Yunnan live.

SOUND: Øô×å

Participation of tourists is an important part of the dance. The guests hold hands and form a circle around the singer.

Dancing and singing is a crucial part of the daily life of ethnic groups, who usually live in remote mountainous areas. In their villages, they dance to celebrate festivals, but here of course, to amuse tourists. Everybody is excited with the beats of the drums.

Sound: Lawu youth

While many ethnic groups are passionate, they also have a romantic side. A lot of people can't write, so if they want to express love, they turn to singing.

This Lahu boy is singing a love song, but he has added some modern elements to it, such as the Guitar.

He says this is a song a boy sings to his favorite girl. The song goes like this: A girl is coming¡­she is neither too tall, nor is she too short.

Song continues

Kunming is nicknamed the Spring City. The warm weather here makes it the largest flower producer in China. The flower markets have become a popular touris destination in the city.

We chose Jiameng Flower Market.

Sound: intro of Jiameng

Madam Wang lives in a community nearby. She comes here to buy flowers once or twice a week. She says the flowers here are good and cheap, and nearly every family in her community buy flowers. Flowers make their home warmer and more comfortable.

Our one-day trip to Kunming ends here, but our journey in Yunnan has just started. Before we end today's 'On the Road', I will invite Director of the Yunnan Administration of Tourism, Luo Mingyi, to give you some tips on where to go in Yunnan.

¡°First, you should visit the Spring City of Kunming, also a city of flowers. Then go to Shangri-la, and then the mysterious Xishuangbanna and don't forget to see the fascinating natural scenery in Southeast Yunnan either. But if you want to have a full picture of Yunnan, you need to come here every year.¡±

Backanchor: That's our reporter Liao Jibo reporting from Kunming. Next week, we'll follow him to eastern Yunnan, a vastly underdeveloped but extremely beautiful area.





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