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Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita

Michael Yamashita is an award-winning photographer who has been shooting for National Geographic magazine for more than 30 years. He specialized in Asia after spending seven years in the region following his graduation from Wesleyan University.

Villages on a mountain hill

Danba Tibetan Villages are built along the mountain hill in Danba County, Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, in Sichuan Province. The villages are known for their unique houses built from stone and wood. Residents grow apple, pear, peach, and pomegranate trees.
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12 hours ago

Tea drying in Yunnan

Residents of Yiwu, the eastern region of Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, dry tea leaves outside their house. Pu’er tea, which is a type of fermented tea associated with the town of Pu’er, is mainly produced and marketed heavily in Xishuangbanna.
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Monks in yellow hats

Monks of Labrang Monastery, which is one of the six great monasteries of the Gelug (or “Yellow Hat”) school of Tibetan Buddhism, wait for morning prayers in China’s northwestern Gansu Province. The monastery currently houses 1,800 monks, and about 1,600 are now in residence.
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A tranquil landscape of Xizhou

A farmer walks along a narrow path in a verdant rice field close to a house in Xizhou, Dali, in Yunnan Province. The town, which mostly consists of the Bai ethnic group, was an important trading post along the Tea Horse Road.
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Monastery down the hill

The view from a hill in Ganze, an autonomous prefecture in the west of Sichuan Province. The region, which practices Tibetan Buddhism, was traditionally part of the historical region of Kham.
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Camels roam in the desert

Camels roam across the Echoing-Sand Mountain, which is completely covered with sand, in north-central China’s Gansu Province. The mountain was named after its echoing sound, which many people believe is produced by the friction and static charge between the sand particles when the wind blows.
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Rice paddy in Yunnan

A woman from the Dai minority plants rice in a field at Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province. Rice terraces, which are usually formed on hilly or mountainous slopes, become tourist attractions in China due to their spectacular scenery. Some of them are hundreds or even thousands of years old.
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Bamboo construction in Beijing

A sign reads “Quality comes first, construct safely and excellently” on scaffolding made from bamboo on a construction site in Beijing. China built 84 skyscrapers over 656 feet tall in 2016, accounting for more than two-thirds of the world’s new buildings, according to an annual report from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
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Wulingyuan in the mist

More than 3,000 quartzite sandstone pillars and peaks form a special landscape in Wulingyuan, a scenic and historical site in south-central China’s Hunan Province. The area was listed as a World Heritage Site in 1992.
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On top of the mountain

Huangshan, a mountain range in southern Anhui Province, looks hazy when shrouded in light fog. It is well known for its “sea of clouds” (云海 yúnhǎi), which resembles the shape of the sea.
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Big bend in the Mekong River

The Mekong is a transboundary river that originates in the Tibetan Plateau and runs through multiple Asian countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. At 2,703 miles long, it is the seventh-longest river in Asia and twelfth-longest river in the world.
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Arrow Bamboo Lake path

A forest path near the Arrow Bamboo Lake in Jiuzhaigou, a nature reserve and national park in Sichuan Province. The park is well known for its unique landscape, turquoise water, and majestic waterfalls. However, due to a recent earthquake in early August, some of the scenery, such as the famous Nuorilang Waterfall, has been damaged.
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Snow mountain in Yunnan

Kawagebo is the highest mountain in Yunnan Province. Due to global warming, its Mingyong Glacier has been receding rapidly in recent years. Both the mountain and glacier are regarded as sacred by Tibetan Buddhists.
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The rice fields of Fujian

A farmer works in a rice field with traditional buildings in the background in Nanjing County, Fujian Province. The area is well known for its tulou homes, which are made of earth in a large circular design. The Fujian tulou were placed on the World Heritage List in 2008.
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