Bamei village - Photos by JonLijiang, Qiubei, Yunnan Province, China
Bamei Village, a hidden village surrounded by hills and accessible only by traveling on small boat through a long dark limestone tunnel. In the dark, you feel as if you are going back in time. When you emerge from the tunnel you will be amazed, a picture of another lost Shangri-la.
The famous Chinese litterateur Tao Yuanming who lived during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) once told of a Peach Blossom Valley isolated from the hustle and bustle of the ordinary world. People lived there in peaceful, serene isolation. The description of Tao Yuanming came true when the Bamei Village was discovered.
People in the village belong to the Zhuang minority. Bamei means 'cave in the forest' in Zhuang language. It is said that the ancestors of Bamei residents are a Zhuang family of Guangdong Province. Six hundred years ago, they escaped from brutal outlaws and found the cave by chance. They believed it was a perfect place to hide, so later they invited some friends to live with them. Since then, the village had become a Peach Blossom Valley for these virtuous, amicable Zhuang people.