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Oddity 4 Bamboo used for smoking pipes.

A popular local way to inhale burning tobacco is through a water-filled metre long bamboo tube (yan tong). Why so popular? Because the water purifies the smoke and removes the cancer-inducing elements! Of course – how stupid of us! Golden thread tobacco is burnt in a cup-topped tube at the base of the pipe. The resonant gurgling noise which accompanies an inhalation is all part of the experience, for smoker and observer alike!


A smoking bag is also called “tobacco Tube” which is a typical local smoking utensil used mostly in Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan provinces It is half to one meter long while its diameter varies from five to ten centimeters. People put cut tobacco on the bamboo tube, the lower part of which is filled with water, and smoked. A gurgling sound is heard when one smokes from the mouth of the bamboo tube. People said brave and struggling “Dian Army” of the past days carried tobacco tubes on their backs to the frontline in the anti-Japanese war. The enemies mistook such smoking tool for a new type of weapon and were horrified. Therefore, “Dian Army” won the name of “Army with Double Guns”.


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