I’m organizing an excursion of Yunnan Province in China – the birthplace of Wing Chun (Ving Tsun) – according to Great Grandmaster Ip Man. GGM Ip Man related the story of Yim Wing Chun, of how she and her father left Guangzhou (Canton) to Yunnan (Southern Clouds) in the Daliang (Big Cool) Mountain region to escape conviction from a false accusation. In the same period, Abbess Ng Mui had also escaped to the White Crane Temple in Daliang Mountain when she was being hunted by the Manchurian government that had burnt down the Shaolin Temple and was occupying and ruling China at the time.
The northern part of the Daliang Mountain is situated in the Sichuan (Szechuan) Province; whereas, the southern side of Daliang Mountain is situated in Yunnan. The locals call it Xiaoliang (Small Cool) Mountain. Although GGM Ip Man did not specify where the fight between Yim Wing Chun and the local warlord occured, I suspect it was in Lijiang for reasons I’ve stated in my blog, Tracing Wing Chun’s Origins, that you can visit.
While much of Wing Chun was developed in Canton by Yim Wing Chun, her husband, the actors of the Red Boat Opera, and Dr. Leung Jan … credit must be given to the women of Yunnan who inspired both, Abbess Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun. Although Abbess Ng Mui received her martial arts training in the Shaolin Temple, it wasn’t until she came to Yunnan that she made a turnaround from her Shaolin hard training to something much softer and intellectual. What inspired her? A snake and a crane? Logic tells me that the sight of a snake fighting a crane couldn’t bring about a system like Wing Chun that is so rich and deep. I believe that some form of fighting system or at least a fighting concept or method had already been developed and established for several generations in Yunnan, particularly by women, from which Abbess Ng Mui and Yim Wing Chun took to develop further into the art that we now possess.
The UNESCO Heritage town of Ancient Lijiang will be the base from where we will tour the region. The excursion that I’m conducting is designed mainly for my students worldwide who’ve adopted my system of Wing Chun.
The excursion will include local attractions such as the Black Dragon Pool , Mu Palace ; outskirt attractions such as Suhe Town, Baisha Village, and the Lijiang Impression Show at the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain; and out-of-town attractions such as Dali, Tiger-Leaping Gorge, and Lugu Lake – where the matriarchal society still resides in the Daliang district. Local and outskirt tours will be conducted during the week, and the out-of-town tours will be done in the weekends.
If you’ve never been to China and have that romantic notion of what it’s like, Yunnan is the place to go. Because if you go elsewhere, you will see a modernized China that’s much like the West. In Yunnan, you’ll see the old multicultural China that is quickly disappearing. It is an eye-candy for even those who’ve travelled to China before. (You can see a diversity of people, culture, and religion in the pictures I’ve posted at the end of this blog.)
I no longer have the premises that I had in Lijiang before. Too long a story to explain. However, I will still make Lijiang our base, and book accommodations that are located right inside the Ancient Town in local-style architecture rather than Western-style hotels. Meals served will be that of local cuisine. The local cuisine is quite different from the Chinese food that you’ve eaten in the West and other parts of China. You’ll find them to be delicious and sumptuous. I know that because I have brought friends from the West, and they’ve all loved it!
The event I’m planning is for August 2019. I suggest you arrive between August 1 to 3, and catch up on some rest on Sunday August 4, or explore the town on your own. On Monday, August 5, we begin our training and sightseeing. This way, you’ll have the following two weekends to travel outside of Lijiang, and finish the excursion on Sunday, August 18, and fly out in the following days.
There are some direct flights to Lijiang from Kunming (Yunnan), Chongqing (Sichuan), Shanghai, and Beijing. Alternatively, you may make your way to Kunming from wherever you are, and then come to Lijiang via a 45-minute flight for approximately US$125 or 3-hour train ride for approximately US$35. For the plane, there are flights every hour or two. For the train, there are three a day. You should be able to connect a flight to Lijiang shortly after arrival in Kunming; however, you may need to wait half a day or so for the train, depending on when you land in Kunming. I can arrange with a local travel agent to book your flight or train ride, which will cost less than if going through an international agent.
If you think you are interested, please fill the form below to give me a rough idea of the number of people who might be attending the event so I can better plan the trip. You don’t need to commit until April. However, it is best for you to start looking for flights now before the prices go up in spring.
Here are some images that I had taken in the past of Lijiang and its surroundings.
Click the first image to enlarge it, and then click the arrow icon to advance to the next.
Lijiang （Beautiful River) Ancient City – 麗江古城
Lijiang Folks – 麗江老百姓
Black Dragon Pool – 黑龍潭 – in Lijiang
Mu Palance -木府 – Lijiang
Shuhe Ancient City – 束河古镇 – Lijiang
Baisha – 白沙 – White Sand
Jade Dragon Snow Mountain
Lijiang Impression Show by Zhang Yimou