Of all the cities I’ve had the “pleasure” of visiting in Yunnan, Jianshui stands out by a mile. As you drive in to the city it appears to be just like any other but once you get off the bus and start exploring you’ll discover cobbled streets, fantastic architecture and lovely people.
Jianshui is just over 200 km south east of Kunming and it takes about three and a half to four hours to get there by bus.
There’s lots to see and do in and around Jianshui (the 17-arch bridge, Tuanshan village, stinky tofu!!) but my favourite moments were walking the quiet back streets and discovering the beautiful old houses. We were pretty nosy and wandered in and out of courtyards and peoples gardens, luckily no one seemed to mind and we felt transported back in time. It’s pretty much the China the average traveller hopes to see but very rarely finds. In Jianshui your wishes come true!
(I originally posted a longer version of this on chabuduotravel.wordpress.com)