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

By Archibald John Little, Alicia Little (editor)

Released posthumously in 1910, Archibald Little's memoir of his trip around the Yunnan Province in Southwest China was once one of many first accomplished money owed of the quarter to be released in English. Little, a talented linguist, labored as a service provider in China for over fifty years and spread out the higher Yangtze sector to steam-powered trade. He used to be popular for his intrepid travels into territories now not but explored through Westerners, and his list of this trip used to be initially released as a chain of letters to the North China bring in. This booklet additionally includes Little's account of the construction of the French Railway Line to Yunnan-Fu, which supplied a exchange course from India to the higher Yangtze quarter. throughout Yunnan was once accomplished and edited by way of Little's spouse after his dying in 1908. The ebook incorporates a unique map of the realm and several other images.

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But, as one cannot imagine the whole Yunnan table-land to have ever been subjected to a similar torrential washing, it is evident that these circular openings are here due to the concretionary nature of the limestone, out of which nodules have been worn in the course of time by atmospheric weathering. The vast extent of the limestone formation in West China is very remarkable : it spreads from the western border of the alluvial plain of Hupeh—which is first met with some fifty miles east of Ichang—right across the two provinces of Szechuan and Yunnan till the snow-capped mountains that run north and south along the Tibetan border are encountered, where igneous rocks first come to the surface.

Mimosa trees were opening their yellow flowers round us, wistaria in blossom; pomegranate trees, prickly pear, Paotung trees, bamboos, lovely tallow trees, and the varnish tree with its dark, rich foliage clothing the rocks. Although patches of the Szechuan red sandstone are found on the hill-sides, growing rarer and rarer as one proceeds south, and vanishing entirely ere the valley of the Ta-kuan river is left behind, one may classify the whole region from Sui-fu to Yunnan-fu as a country of rugged limestone mountains, with valleys between filled by its weathered detritus.

We also met long trains of miserable sore-backed ponies laden with copper, tin, and spelter from the mines in Yunnan on the way to shipment down the Yangtse from the port of Sui-fu; the return loads into Yunnan being largely Sha-si (Hupeh) cotton cloth and silk hat covers and " notions" from Szechuan. Needless to say that the route is strewn with likin stations, which cause long delays to the porters, there being large variations in the value of copper cash and silver between every prefecture we passed through.

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