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Oddity 8 Cars travel in the clouds.

Roads wind up along colossal and precipitous mountains. Fog spreads all over the top of mountains, making one feel like they are placed upon clouds in fairyland. With its steep mountainous terrain, Yunnan is home to many steep winding roads which pass high over the mist-covered mountains, though many of these time-consuming routes are now being replaced by high-speed “expressways” with tunnels, sweeping viaducts and impressively high bridges.

Another travel-related Oddity is Cars move faster than trains: the fact that car travel can be much faster than the limited opportunity for travelling by train in Yunnan. This is really a reference to the tortuous (and slow) narrow-guage line from Kunming to Hanoi in Vietnam, built by the French and completed in 1910.

Another mention of this railway line is made by the Oddity Trains go abroad but not inland, reminding us of the fact that this line was, for 50 years, Yunnan's only rail link with the outside world. The "inland" line from Kunming to Chengdu was only finished in 1960.


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