YUN-NAN (i.e. Cloudy South), a S.W. province of China, bounded N. by Sze-ch'uen, E. by Kwei-chow and Kwang-si, S. by Burma and the Lao tribes and W. by Burma and Tibet; area estimated at from 122,000 to 146,000 sq. m. Though the second largest province of the empire, its population is estimated at only 12,000,000. The inhabitants include many races besides Chinese, such as Shans, Lolos and Maotsze. The Musus, in N.W. Yun-nan, once formed an independent kingdom which extended into E. Tibet. Many of the inhabitants are nominally Moslems. The greater part of the province may be said to consist of an extensive plateau, generally from 5000 to 7000 ft. in altitude, containing numerous valley plains, which is divided in the N. by mountain ranges that enter at the N.W. corner and separate the waters of the Yangtsze-kiang, the Mekong and the Salween. The mountains attain heights of 16,000 ft. The climate is generally healthy and equable; on the plateau the summer heat seldom exceeds 86, and in winter there is little snow. The principal rivers are the Yangtszekiang (locally known as the Kinsha-kiang = Golden Sand river), which enters Yun-nan at its N.W. corner, flows first S.E. and then N.E., forming for a considerable distance the N. boundary of the province; the Mekong, which traverses the province from N. to S. on its way to the sea through Annam; the Salween, which runs a parallel course through its W. portion; and the headwaters of the Songkoi, which rises in the S.E. of the province. This last-named river is navigable from the Gulf of Tongking to Man-hao, a town ten days' journey from Yun-nan Fu. There are two large lakes one in the neighbourhood of Ta-li Fu, which is 24 m. long by 6 m. broad, and the other near Yun-nan Fu, which measures from 70 to 80 m. in circumference.
Besides Yun-nan Fu, the capital, the province contains thirteen prefectural cities, several of which Teng-ch'uen Fu, Ta-li Fu, Yung-ch'ang Fu, Ch'u-siung Fu and Lin-gan Fu, for example-^- are situated in the valley plains. Mengtsze, Szemao and Momein (or T6ng-yueh) are open to foreign trade. Yun-nan Fu is connected by railway (1910) with Tongking. The line y.-hich starts from Haiphong runs, in Yun-nan, via Mengtsze hsien (a great commercial centre), to the capital. Several important roads intersect the province; among them are I. The road from Yun-nan Fu to Bhamo in Burma via Ta-li Fu (12 days), T6ng-yueh Chow or Momein (8 days) and Manwyne beyond Ta-li Fu it is a difficult mountain route. 2. The road from Ta-li Fu N. to Patang via Li-kiang Fu, which thus connects W. Yun-nan with Tibet. 3. The ancient trade road to Canton, which connects Yun-nan Fu with Pai-s6 Fu, in Kwang-si, on the Canton West River, a land journey which occupies about twenty days. From this point the river is navigable to Canton.
Agricultural products include rice and maize (the principal crops), wheat, barley and oats. The poppy was formerly extensively cultivated, but after the anti-opium edict of 1906 vigorous measures were taken to stamp out the cultivation of the plant. In certain localities the sugar-cane is grown. Tea from Pu-6rh Fu in S. Yun-nan is appreciated throughout the empire. Fruits and vegetables are plentiful, and there are large herds of buffaloes.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)