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Scent of success

(China Daily)

09:21, May 23, 2012

Counter-clockwise from top: This native species of rose in Bajie is intensely aromatic. Rose rows in local farms. The floral harvest keeps the sorting line busy in summer. Freshly baked rose pastries are popular souvenirs from Bajie. Photos by Cang Lide / China Daily

Journey outside Kunming to visit Bajie, a sleepy little rural enclave in the county of Anning where the flowers are edible, and heady fields of scented roses signal a blooming industry. Pauline D. Loh and Cang Lide get a close sniff at the changes afoot.

We could smell the roses before we saw any, the perfume rising above the dust our multi-purpose vehicle stirred up as it sped along the Anning countryside. We were on our way to visit the rose plantations at Bajie, home of the fresh flower pastries that are fast becoming a tourist must-buy from Yunnan. Bajie is a township in Anning, in the western suburbs of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province in Southwest China. In recent decades, Bajie had developed into a thriving greenhouse for high quality vegetables that are exported all over the country and to Southeast Asian countries such as Singapore.

The famous cabbage hearts or wa-wa cai is a signature product, as are mushrooms of all sorts, including black truffles in the right season.

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