By Archibald John Little, Alicia Little (editor)

ISBN-10: 0511709382

ISBN-13: 9780511709388

ISBN-10: 1108014097

ISBN-13: 9781108014090

Released posthumously in 1910, Archibald Little's memoir of his trip around the Yunnan Province in Southwest China used to be one of many first finished debts of the quarter to be released in English. Little, a talented linguist, labored as a service provider in China for over fifty years and unfolded the higher Yangtze zone to steam-powered trade. He was once renowned for his intrepid travels into territories now not but explored by means of Westerners, and his checklist of this trip was once initially released as a chain of letters to the North China usher in. This booklet additionally includes Little's account of the development of the French Railway Line to Yunnan-Fu, which supplied a alternate direction from India to the higher Yangtze zone. throughout Yunnan used to be accomplished and edited via Little's spouse after his demise in 1908. The publication features a exact map of the realm and several other photos.

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The mountains we passed over were deeply 42 ACROSS YUNNAN scored by dry ravines, brick-red gashes in the green slopes which we had often to make long detours to head off. At the extreme points of such ravines, a fragile bridge of a few sticks of fir branches covered with earth, formed the path. These gashes would seem to originate in cloudbursts which carry off the surface detritus and expose the bed rock below : this was exposed in the shape of pyramids of hard limestone, from the size of a sugar-loaf to that of a small church steeple.

At times our way led through narrow valleys, along the path of a purling str am mostly tree-lined, with rich fields and good farmhouses, when the sudden ascent of a wall barrier at the top of the valley would take us into wild uninhabited country. At length, on the first of June, we crossed the last of the interminable passes separating Chao-tung from Tungchuan by a Ya-kou or " Notch " rising to nearly 9,000 feet, and the vale of Tung-chuan-fu lay 1000 feet below us. Chao-tung-fu, as we have seen, lies in a wide, open plain : Tung-chuan-fu, the second and last city passed after leaving Ta-kuan-tcing on the way to Yunnan-fu, lies, on the other hand, on the north side of a steep range of mountains, hemming in the old lake basin, which forms the centre of the prefecture, on the south.

Farms of thatched adobe occupied the slopes of these " bottoms," picturesquely ensconced in groves BETWEEN TWO CAPITALS 37 of Scotch fir, fine large walnut, apricot, and ligustrum lucidum trees. These latter, a kind of privet, are grown to breed the wax insect upon, prior to his transportation to Szechuan. The air was sweet with the scent of roses, while beneath the trees the grass was often white with anemones, but the extraordinary number of great yellow hips on the hedges was perhaps the most striking feature.

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Across Yunnan: A Journey of Surprises by Archibald John Little, Alicia Little (editor)


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