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Unveil remote ancients villages in Yunnan

By : InKunming | Published: 2013-November-12

Deep in the mountains of Yunnan province hide numerous unknown ancient villages. Just like silent anchorites, they decorate the province with unique landscapes and local cultures.

According to the second batch of Chinese Traditional Villages List issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ministry of Culture and Ministry of Finance recently, 915 ancient villages successfully made their marks in it. A total of 232 ancient villages in Yunnan were placed in the list in the second batch. At present, Yunnan has 292 ancient villages.

It seems that ancient culture is fading away with the rapid development of society nowadays. However, the historic culture is the soul and vitality to a city as well as a village.

Today, we recommend you eight typical villages featuring Yunnan elements.

An aged woman smokes a pipe in Wengding Village(翁丁村). [yunnan.cn]

Wengding Village: a mysterious village featured with Wa people's customs

Wengding Village is an aboriginal tribe in Lincang City. In Chinese, "Weng" literally means water, and "Ding" means connection, thus "Wengding" represents a place connecting with water.

Even though the village has seen great development in tourism, it is still a mysterious destination for visitors to explore original Va people's ethnic cultures.

The village possesses a history of more than 350 years, and has a population of over 1,100 now. An ancient tree, which is as old as the village, is believed to bless the village by local residents.

A plenty of wooden timbers can be seen in the village, and each timber is capped with a funnel-shaped bamboo basket which contains a human skull. The skulls in baskets were used for sacrifice long time ago.

Dwellings in Wengding Village are beautiful and quaint, while the village is getting to be known nowadays. Some young residents in the village are dressed in fashionable clothes, and some of them even get their hair dyed.

Wengding people seem to get used to strangers' visits now. They enjoy their traditional lifestyles, yet accept the economic income brought by tourism.

Location: Wengding Village of Mengjiao Town(勐角乡), Cangyuan Wa Autonomous County(沧源佤族自治县), Lincang City.

Climate: a subtropical monsoon climate with mild temperature all the year round, with adequate rainfalls and rich sunshines.

Route: Drive from Kunming to Lincang City with expressway all the way through, then drive to Cangyuan County, and head to Wengding Village.

Buses connecting Kunming and Lincang City are also available in the Western Bus Terminal.

Cangyuan County is about 222 kilometers from Lincang City, and about 886 kilometers from Kunming. The village is about 17 kilometers away from Mengjiao Town, and about 39 kilometers away from Cangyuan Wa Autonomous County.

Travel Tips:Visitors have to buy entrance tickets for sightseeing in the village.

Picture shows the beautiful sunset of Yunnanyi Village(云南驿村), the first place that was named with "Yunnan" in history. [yunnan.cn]

Yunnanyi Village: the first place called "Yunnan"

With profound historic and cultural background, Yunnanyi Village deserves its crown of Chinese Traditional Village.

The village was firstly included into the territory of the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24) as the capital of Yunnan County in 109 B.C. From then on, "Yunnan" has been officially used as the name of the province.

"Yi" literally means courier stations in Chinese. In accord to its name, Yunnanyi Village had been an important courier station in the the Horse and Tea Trading Route. The village reached its prosperity in Ming(1368 A.D.-1644 A.D.) and Qing(1636 A.D.- 1912A.D.) Dynasties.

During the World War II(1939 A.D.-1945 A.D.), Yunnanyi Village was a significant military base of the Sino-Myanmar battlefield, as well as a crucial air transport hub in the famous Hump Course. At that time, the busy village was crowned as the "Miniature Hong Kong".

Up to today, the runway built in 60 years ago is still well-reserved at Yunnanyi Airport. Yet a 1.8-meter-long stone pathway and the traditional dwellings along the roadsides remain through the changes of time.

It is said that the local government is to integrate the village's historic and cultural advantages, so as to design Yunnanyi Village into a tourist-friendly destination in the future.

Location: Yunnanyi Village of Yunnanyi Town, Xiangyun County(祥云县), Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province.

Climate: the average temperature annually is 15.2 degrees Celsius and an annual rainfall is 705.6 mm.

Route: drive via Chuxiong-Dali Expressway from Kunming, then drive into the No.320 National Highway in the Xiazhuang Expressway Exit(下庄出口) and keep driving for about 10 kilometers.

drive via Chuxiong-Dali Expressway from Dali, then drive into the No.320 National Highway in the Qiansuo Expressway Exit(前所出口) and drive for another 10 kilometers, you will get there.

Tavel Tips: there are a lot of hotels and restaurants distributing along the No.320 National Highway. The admission fee to visit the Yunnanyi Historic and Cultural Tourist Area is 40 yuan.

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