Going wild in the wilderness

By Deng Zhangyu | China Daily | Updated: 2024-01-25 06:01
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Xiao Yan, a young inheritor of elephant-foot drum dance, a typical dance performed by the Dai ethnic group, teaches tourists how to make a piece of bamboo ware at a camp in a tropical rainforest, which is attracting lots of hikers these days. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Hikers are also able to enjoy cultural programs, such as performances by elephant-foot drum dancers like 24-year-old Xiao Yan, who belongs to the Dai ethnic group. He has spent the past decade studying the folk art, which takes its name from the fact that its lead percussion instrument looks like the eponymous pachyderm's leg. The influx of tourists has created enough demand, so that Xiao has been able to set up a studio to stage more performances and train several apprentices.

"Thanks to the increase in families visiting, I can make a good living as a dancer," he said.

Dancing in the rainforest is new to him. But the popularity of jungle hikes bodes well for his prospects, he believed.

As the sky darkened, we made our way out of the rainforest. Men drove past, carrying the picnic materials on their motorbikes. Then, the only sounds were of unseen insects.

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