Chasing Mirages

Jinghong, Yunnan – the most pleasant big city in China

by on Feb.22, 2012, under Posts

As you may have heard, housing prices in China have exploded over the last few years.  Why someone would pay over $500USD per square foot (the price for a mid-range condo not located TOO far from downtown) for a 70-year lease (private land ownership does not exist in China) in crowded, polluted Beijing when a townhouse in California’s wine country can be had for just over $100USD per square foot is beyond me.  Or, if you want to spend the money, check out this beauty in San Francisco’s Mission District for $570 per square foot.

I digress.  The reason I mention real estate is that I’ve found a big city in China where I would actually consider owning property.  Jinghong (景洪), located in the tropical region of Xishuangbanna (西雙版納,Sipsongpanna) in Yunnan (雲南), enjoys wonderful tropical weather, little industrial pollution, clean air, and an inspiring view of the Mekong.  What’s more, the food is great, the people are kind, and the city appears to be well-managed.  Most importantly, housing prices are still reasonable here – about $60USD per square foot.

I’m pretty sure that after I publish this post, the reaction of my enormous readership will cause Jinghong property prices to skyrocket.  So get those checkbooks ready, folks.  Here we go.

as I walked along the Mekong promenade, I wondered to myself "how do they ensure that all of these agave penises will extend simultaneously???" another one of the world's great mysteries.

a garbage dump next to the "no dumping" sign - some things in China are inescapable

dusk is the perfect time to stroll Jinghong's Mekong promenade

oh shit, I dropped the soap

I highly recommend a visit to the Chinese Academy of Science's Tropical Botanical Garden

meep meep!

hmm, I wonder if these will give you pomelo farts (柚子屁)

almost too much papaya to handle, at the Dai Garden (傣族園,橄欖壩)

does that say what I think it says? I think it says "I L oe uoy"

a traditional Dai bamboo house (竹樓)

my host reading Buddhist scripture. Theravada Buddhism is still a big deal here in southern Yunnan.

I was overjoyed to run into this Burmese couple selling Burmese snacks at the night market

grilled everything is a Jinghong specialty. this lady set up shop every night right outside the hostel.

all of Jinghong's major streets are lined with shade-giving palm trees

...sidewalks too

...which led me to wonder, how many coconut-related deaths per year in Jinghong?

this is a regular residential building. building codes in Jinghong require that all structures contain certain design elements. finally, a distinctive looking Chinese city.

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