The Muli Kingdom
Walking through southern China, Salopek has now entered the Tibetan Autonomous County of Muli. The region had been a semi-independent kingdom for hundreds of years and still retains strong cultural traditions, marking it out from the rest of the region.
With his walking partners, Salopek skirted the Yalong River, which “glows green as oxidized brass. Its 4,000-foot canyon was the invisible boundary of the former Muli kingdom.”
It is a sparsely populated region, with just 125,000 inhabitants, yet Salopek has met a smorgasbord of ethnic groups and people working a variety of jobs, from tea farmers to monks.