Yunnan Nationality Villages Tours – Kunming, Yunnan Province, China

By David Deng,

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Yunnan Nationality Villages

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At the end of Dianchi Road, China, Yunnan Province, Kunming
Hours : 9:00am-6:00pm Mon-Sat

About this place

Yiliang Roast Duck has a history of over 600 years; this savory dish can be on a par with Peking Duck, and can be classified into two types, namely Green duck and Fat duck. Green duck is famous for the tender meat and sweet taste while fat duck has got much fat to makes the meat more appetizing; with green onion, soy sauce or special jam, Yiliang Roast Duck is full of local flavor, especially the Roast Duck made in Goujie Street of Yiliang County in the east of Kunming; with honey, and roasted by pine branches and needles, Yiliang Duck is unique.
Peking duck has been around a long time – the first known mention of it was in a cookbook published in the year 1330.  And in 1901, during the closing years of the Qing dynasty, a Yunnanese restauranteur named Zhang Wen went to Beijing to study cookery there, most notably the art of preparing Peking Duck.  When he returned to his home town of Yiliang, he opened a restaurant called Zhibin Garden at the local train station.  But restauranteur Zhang was not content to merely reproduce the Beijing Duck of the capital; he wanted to localize it and make it something unique to the region.
Zhang used a mud oven instead of a brick oven, honey instead of malt syrup for the glaze, and most distinctively pine branches and needles instead of the Gaoliang hardwood normally used for Peking duck.  The end result is now called Yiliang Duck and has become a Yunnanese speciality.  One I certainly intend to try when we arrive.
Yi Liang is not far from the Stone Forest so a trip to the famous duck restaurant is very viable. I ate this duck 17 years ago after doggy bagged it at a road side roaster. The duck was infused with pine fragrance from pine branches and needles. It has a distinctive fragrance makes it the first choice when it comes to fowls.

In addition to these "ethnic villages", there are activities that take place such as a welcoming ceremony with performing White Elephants, the Dinosaur Island theme park area, a concert area for ethnic singing and dancing performances, as well as an Asian Elephant show in the Plaza of Ethnic Unity.
The climax of a visit to the Nationalities Park is a film shown on a fountain of water. The "villagers" are all chosen from the youth of the relevant nationalities to act as guides and performers for tourists. The three major villages represent the Dai, the Bai and the Yi nationalities.

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By David Deng,

Professional and knowledgeable tour guide of Yunnan

Visit Their Profile