Travel to China: Kunming
An ancient city, Kunming came into the 20th century in 1913, when a French-owned railway reached it from Hanoi, to the southeast. Thirty years later, Kunming got the famous Burma Road, which brought it war materiel from the southwest. By 1950, the city had 300,000 people. Since then, it's grown to about 2 million. The numbers are less dramatic than the wholesale clearance of one city--built of wood--and its replacement by one of concrete.
The old city was full of shophouses.
There were courtyard houses, too.
You have to squint if you want to imagine the city as it was even in 1950.
Here, a lane early one morning; the building on the left is actually a shop belonging to the famous bird market.
That market occupies a street whose margins are now lined with shops in front of the original shophouses.
The same strategy is employed here, more nakedly.
Getting ready to open for business; a moment earlier, he had arrived with his basket, put it down, and removed the blue cover.
Another merchant set out live pet food.
Market hours: this is the gardening section.
A block away, the new city.
A Soviet-era museum looks quaint.
Soviet-era merchandising; business looked pretty dull.
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