Yesterday was clear and bright after days of sporadic – and torrential – rain. It’s Matthias’s birthday and we leave early to catch a taxi-bus to Shibao Shan temple complex about 20 mins ride from Shaxi.

Hundreds of people are arriving at the large car park at the entrance to the area, and we catch the end of the Dragon dance ceremony as we arrive, then head off up into one of the temples where the Bai are thronging, burning incense, singing and taking part in various ceremonies.

We wander up the hill along with many others – the road is closed to traffic – and head off up a mountain path to see where it goes. We arrive at the top-most temple with spectacular views across the Shaxi valley.

Just a brief glimpse at what was a pretty extraordinary day!

Bai Women at Festival 70589

Festival procession

Mountain Temple Shrine 70653

View from the top 70626

One of the oldest shrines