Thursday, December 22, 2016

Beautiful 1984 photos of Yunnan

The earliest of my photos on this blog are from 1990, and the China they portray now seems like a lost world - still quite 'communist' and undeveloped (see my chapter on Muli for example). There aren't many photos from China from the era before that. The few tourists who did visit the country in the 1980s tended to stick to the main cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. That's why it's such a thrill to see the photos from Harvard botanist David Boufford. He seems to have visited Kunming and Dali on a botanical expedition in coopoeration with Chinese scientists. His pre-digital 35mm film photos are beautiful and show a much simpler and cruder Dali compared to the tourist hotspot of today.

You can se more of his photos by searching the Harvard VIA site


Erhai lake


American researchers meet the locals


South gate of Dali


In the field


The Erhai Hotel, Dali


On the road


Yunnan kid, 1984



Bai woman (with nice watch)


Pre-tourism Lijiang old town


4 comments:

JB said...

Talking of old photos, would you happen to know where this photo of Jizushan comes from? I have a vague recollection it may have come from an archive of air force pictures from around WWII but I'm not sure. Cheers!
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/58112015

Michael Woodhead said...

Yes it's a pic I scanned from the book Flying the Hump by Jeff Ethell & Don Dowie (Motorbooks International 2004).

JB said...

That's great, thanks, it's a lovely shot.

James Douglas said...

Wonderful. Twenty years ago I had New Year 1997 in Dali. Haven't been back but I'm sure it has changed for the worst. Has any one read the novel Harvest Season by ex-Lonely Planet writer Chris Taylor? A strange little tale obviously set in a town based on Dali.