Travel Gossip: Yunnan – Mushroom Magic or Freaky Fungi?

By Billy Jiang, July 24, 2023

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Hey there, fellow travelers! Time to dish out the juiciest travel gossip, and boy, do we have a tantalizing tale for you. Get ready to explore the wild side of Yunnan, where mushrooms are causing quite the stir.

Picture this: You're in Yunnan, enjoying the picturesque landscapes and mouthwatering cuisine. All seems well until you stumble upon a sign that reads "High Risk Area." 


Mushrooms, Dali local market. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

Hold on tight, folks; this isn't about dangerous animals or extreme weather – it's the mushrooms that got us all fidgety!

Yes, you heard it right. We're talking about those fabulous fungi hiding in Yunnan's lush wilderness. Come rain or shine, they sprout like nobody's business, tempting foodies and thrill-seekers alike.

But some of these mushrooms are as tricky as a riddle and might not play nice with your tummy or head.

Now, we're not saying you shouldn't indulge in Yunnan's mushroom magic. Oh no, we're all for savoring the earthy goodness of these fungi delicacies!

But there's an unspoken rule: you better be patient, my friend.


Mushroom hot pot. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

If you've ever had Yunnan's famous mushroom hot pot, you know the drill. The restaurant will test your patience with a mandatory 20-minute wait, with no chopstick action allowed during that time.

It's like a game of 'Hold your Hunger' – the ultimate test of self-control.

But hold your horses; we've got mushroom madness in the wilderness too. With over 900 wild mushroom species in Yunnan, it's like a culinary treasure hunt out there!

And here's where the humor kicks in – some of these mushrooms can be real jokers, disguised as delicious treats but packing a punch of poison!

Now, don't be scared. As long as you're cautious and seek guidance from the experts, you can enjoy the yumminess without worries. Just don't take any chances with mushrooms that you know nothing about!

And guess what? There's even a 2023 Yunnan Province Toxic Wild Mushroom Poisoning Risk Grading Map – who knew mushrooms could be so official...


2023 Yunnan Province Toxic Wild Mushroom Poisoning Risk Grading Map by Yunnan Province Disease Control Center.

With high-risk, medium-risk, low-risk, and unreported zones, it's like playing mushroom bingo.


2023 Yunnan Province Toxic Wild Mushroom Poisoning Risk Grading Chart by That's

Just to give you a taste of what can happen with the wrong mushroom party in your belly – some folks have reported trippy, otherworldly experiences.

But trust us, you don't want to travel to wonderland via a wild mushroom ride. Let's keep it safe and sane, shall we?

Woman sorting out her imaginary silk scarf in hospital. Video via Little Red Book 海报新闻.

Man called police and claimed to have seen mysterious round-shaped creature hanging around his house. Video via Little Red Book 弥勒融媒.

And remember, the only "high risk" we want you to take is the risk of falling in love with Yunnan's breathtaking landscapes and incredible cuisine!


Puzhehei Town, Wenshan City, Yunan. Image by Billy Jiang/That's

For more 'Travel Gossip' stories and the latest travel news, follow us on WeChat official account, ThatsGBA.

[Cover image by Billy Jiang/That's]

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