Having ridden on Dai Hui and Zhang Xuelin’s coattails twice, we hired them for a fully paid outing to an area three hours south of Kunming called Jianshui. This was a group trip for ourselves and six fellow students, who we hoped would continue to hire our friends after we left.
Our first stop was at a village called Tonghai, whose inhabitants are descendants of the Mongolian troops that came to Yunnan when Kublai Khan took over. It was market day and many were in traditional dress.
A wooden building in the center of town still has a fading slogan that means “Raise high the thinking of Mao Zedong, the great red flag forges valiantly ahead.” Once everywhere, these signs are now visible only in the remote countryside.