In a mist-shrouded valley on China's invisible border with Tibet is a place known as the 'Kingdom of Women', where a small tribe called the Mosuo lives in a cluster of villages that have changed little in centuries. This is one of the last matrilineal societies on earth, where power lies in the hands of women. All decisions and rights related to money, property, land and the children born to them rest with the Mosuo women, who live completely independently of husbands, fathers and brothers, with the grandmother as the head of each family. A unique practice is also enshrined in Mosuo tradition - that of 'walking marriage', where women choose their own lovers from men within the tribe but are beholden to none.
Choo Waihong was a corporate lawyer with top law firms in Singapore and California before she took early retirement in 2006 and began writing travel pieces for publications such as China Daily. She lived for seven years with the Mosuo tribe and now spends half the year with them in Yunnan, China.