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Bamei Overview

Geographical Position:

Location: 24°18' N. 105°20' E.

Altitude: 820 meters 2690 feet

Market day: Monday at Fali Village

Bamei Village(坝美) is located at the border of Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Guangnan is a typical karst area. The Bamei Village is located on the common boundary of Ake Village and Bada Village in the north of the Guangnan County. It belongs to the Karst topography. The Village is surrounded by green mountains, and through the Village runs all the year round a clear river which is called Tuoniang River. The most interesting thing about the village is that people have to go through a deep and sombrous water cave by boat whenever they want go in and out. After driving for over 40 kilometres north in Guangnan County, we finally stopped in front of a cave where there was a stream called Bamei River, flowing. Under the guidance of local villagers, we continued our journey into the cave by boat. Just like entering a movie theatre, we were soon immersed in utter darkness as the boat drifted into the cave. In the dim light of torch, we saw grotesque rocks descending the ceiling of the cave which was about 20 metres high.




The local people belong to the Zhuang minority. Bamei means 'cave in the forest' in Zhuang language By far, it is shared by over 115 households. Bearing the surnames of Li, Huang, Nong and Lu, villagers here split into four clans. Due to everlasting intermarriage, most of them are relatives.Unlike any other ethnic villages and water towns, Baimei Village is a paradise beyond the cave. Once you make it here, you will see a giant, mist-shrouded cave covered with lush forest. Tens of thousands of swallows are hovering above, and the buzz of their singing evokes a sense of mystique. A pig groove boat will lead you into the depth of this cave. Gradually, the clamor of talking, the splashing waterfalls and the buzz of swallows will give way to the murmuring whispers of bats. When darkness engulfs you and the boat, you will hear your heartbeat and have an illusion that you are entering a time machine tunnel. Interspersed with three holes above, this cave will see sunshine pour in at specific areas and shimmer against the dark expanse. It is a world of grotesque rocks and bats, whose droppings pile up like a dune. After 20 minutes, you will see a ray of light ahead, then, a new, idyllic and amazing village will pop up in front of you suddenly. Wooden water wheels, clean streams, beautiful Zhuang girls, bamboo forests, peach trees, sprawling houses and vast rice paddies paint a dreamy picture, which is  the reoccurring scene and eternal theme of Chinese pastoral poetry.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 Bamei Village was discovered.

Located thirty kilometers (about nineteen miles) from Guangnan County in Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province, the village is hard to find because of its unique location. It is surrounded by hills, and visitors have to travel by 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. In a hidden valley, in a grove of green bamboos and old trees, lies Bamei Village. A blue stream gently flows by, and hard-working farmers silently till the green fields. It's a picture ofanotherlost Shangri-la.

Ethnic group :Zhuang and Yi

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