Celebrating CNY with portraits of my closest strangers

It is half hour after midnight (when I started, now it is almost 3am) How was the last one?

I am not going into any details, but let me say, it was not a very good one. But still, there were people who made it beautiful. Those people were not only my love ones, but also complete strangers I met on my journeys.

People and their stories

make world a beautiful place

I start with my favorite place I went to last year. Shaxi, small town in Yunnan province, China. It is an amazing place and I fell in love with. With the history of the place. But mostly with the locals↙︎

In Shaxi I met Dahua← and we made a journey to Tibetan places of Yunnan following footsteps of Tibetan pilgrims↗︎

Dahuas life changed a lot during this year. He used to run a great Laomadian inn, but it was closed down by government, which didn't prolong their lease. He ended up opening his own place, which is really amazing.

Shaxi was not the only old trading town on ancient Tea and Horse road I visited. Another one was Donglianhua muslim village. History of the local Mosque was told to me by a local guardian. ↓

Yunnan is full of history, but also full of great food. And also some strange food as well. This lovely lady↓ invited us to her home to try some ants. It was not bad…

Amazing was an encounter with teacher of art which saw us passing by in Confucius temple of Jianshui. All of a sudden she asked my friend to sit down, just to make a drawing of her and for her. They didn’t speak the same language, but for both of them, it was a special moment. She made my friend cry with that lovely smile↓.

And the same town we met an old beggar↙ from under a beautiful, historic bridge. Telling his stories with a smile…

The lady with bananas ↗︎ is much richer then the beggar. Why? She is from Jingmai mountains where they grow thousand years old tea trees. They are able to sell one kilogram of those tea leafs for thousands of dollars! You wouldn't tell right? Sometimes place were we all born makes all the difference.

Stories told when smoking

World can be a better place, when covered in a cloud of smoke

Well at least these people seem to think so…↓

In Shaxi they have this market. Every Friday they organize a huge market, where people from all villages and towns around come to. Come to smoke. And do business.

Shaxi is my favorite place I visited last year, but Weishan is the second one. And there are amazing people too. And they love to smoke too. And they use looong pipes↓

Or they just smoke from anything ↓

Market people

People from the colorful places

Chinese markets are one of my favorite things in China. They are so colorful, so full of smells and shapes. And full of people. People in the middle of their daily routine... They don't even know, how special they are to me. ↓

Playful people

They just love life. We all should love life. Because it is short.

It was made to me very clear this year with my brother leaving us alone on this world. I miss him so much. He was an amazing photographer and a great teacher to me. I really wish I could be able to show him these pictures and let him be harsh with the critique. He would be…

But lets keep the spirits high. Because we can never really be alone in this world ↓

This year I found out how much Chinese people love to play mahjong and listen to birds sing. They buy their birds on a street ↖, or from bird markets↓. And than they take them to play mahjong while drinking tea↗︎

Or they just to listen to their birds singing in a park↓

Except from Mahjong and birds, they also love games. In Beijing they love Jianzi — chicken feathers↓

But who can be more playful than children?

Hard working people

Life is not just about the game. We have to work. But that is good.

My work helped me to survive this year. Because I love my work. We should all love our work. So lets finish this boring blogpost with hard working people of China.

We start with farmers↓

And than noodle makers↓

Paper makers and shoe repairers↓

Tea and coffee makers↓

Tree climbers↓

Traditional craftsmen↓

And mule caravan guides↓

And lets finish with shepherds↓

So lets not forget…

I wish you all Happy Dog Year!

I am looking forward to meet all the new strangers this year…

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My photo journal

Pavel Dvorak (@dvorakpaveljr)

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Shanghai based content creator and travel photographer — www.pavel.photos


My photo journal