County, a vital link on the ancient Southwestern Silk Route
(Kunming -- Baoshan -- Tengchong -- Mangshi -- Ruili), is
situated in the western part of Yunnan Province, Bordering
on Burma in the northwest with a boundary line of 151 kilometres
long. It is 750 kilometres away from the provincial seat Kunming
and 160 kilometers westward from Baoshan. Its total area is
5,693 square kilometres and population was 490,000 people,
consisting of more than 10 nationalities, such as the Hans,
Dais, Lisus, Huis, Was and others.
Tengchong is one of the earliest
developed regions. In the Western Han Dynasty
(206 B.C. - A.D. 24), it belonged to Yizhoujun
Prefecture. In the Sui (581-618) and Tang (618-907)
Dynasties, a contemporary prefecture governed
by a local chieftain was set up. In the Yuan Dynasty
(1271-1368), Tengyue Prefecture was instituted.
In the following dynasties, different administrative
offices were set up. In 1913, Tengchong was made
a county. In history, it occupied an important
position on the Southwestern Silk Route. The Sichuan
cloth and bamboo sticks available at the markets
in Bactria (including Afghanistan and parts of
India) were brought there from the ancient Bonan
Route through Tengchong. From the Ming Dynasty
on, large numbers of Tengchong people went abroad
to trade and seek a livelihood. Up to now, overseas
Tengchong people amount to about 3 thousand, inhabiting
all the continents.
at the southwestern end of the Hengduan (transversely faulted)
Mountains, Tengchong topographically assumes the form of a
horseshoe with the opening facing the south. The eastern most
sources of the Irrawaddy issue from the high mountains in
the north. The Longchuanjiang, Dayinjiang and Binlangjiang
Rivers rise from among the fault mountainsides in the county.
The highest point is the summit of Mount Danaozi of Gaoligongshan
Mountain, 3,780.2 metres above sea level and the lowest point,
930 metres above sea level, is in the Suqingjiang valley.
The elevation of the county seat is 1,640 metres.
The crustal movement in the
county is active and earthquakes are frequent.
The volcanoes on Dayingshan, Shitoushan, the Greater
Heikongshan, the Lesser Heikongshan Mountains
erupted repeatedly. The county seat is surrounded
by a group of young volcanoes.
county abounds in geothermal energy. There are over 80 steaming
fountain hot streams and boiling fountains. Ten of them spout
hot water of 90 C and upward. The county can, in a sense,
be said to be a geothermal museum. The climate of Tengchong
belongs to a subtropical, mountainous type. The annual temperature
averages 14.7 C and the rainfall 1,425 mm. Generally speaking,
the climate is agreeable. A proverb says, "There is neither
sweltering summer nor severe winter in Tenchaong, but a raining
day brings the temperature down."
Natural resources are plentiful.
The are over 2,000 higher plants. Among the economic
and timber forests, there are forests of oil tea,
catalpa, common China-fir, Armandi pine, walnut,
etc. The percentage of forest cover reaches 34.6.
Ornamental and medicinal plants exist in great
quantities. The blossoms of the rhododendrons
on Gaoligongshan Mountain are exceptionally large.
The Gaoligong Nature Reserve, renowned as a natural
botanical garden, has over 1,400 species of higher
plants, many rare and precious animals and medicinal
plants. The area is the origin of R. giganteum
forest at Tagg (a special rhododendron species)
and Yunnan camellia.
Mineral resources include iron,
tin, lead, zinc, wolfram, uranium, diatomite,
rock crystal. Wollastonite, lignite, etc.
a provenience of modern industry in Yunnan, Tengchong's industry
and handicraft industry were fostered as early as the turn
of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, nearly 400 years ago. Factories
and workshops were set up first by importing equipment from
abroad. Earlier products included textile goods, leather,
soaps, battery, cigarettes, matches, etc. They found market
in West Yunnan and Burma and Southeast Asian countries. Since
the founding of the People's Republic, greater achievements
have been made. A more or less complete industrial system
has been formed, comprising 32 departments like power generating,
metallurgy, machinery, paper making, textile industry, matches
production, pharmacy, tanning, chemical industry, sugar refining,
tea leaves refining, food processing, etc. The major products
include refined tin, pig iron, crude lead, timber, plywood,
cement, refractory, diatomite filtration promoter, sulphuric
acid, caustic soda, hydrochlorite potassium chlorate, calcium
phdrogen phosphate, paper, canesugar, refined tea leaves,
preserved fruits, edible oil, matches, Chinese medicine, etc.
Some of them show pretty strong competitive power in the markets
inside or outside the province. The matches, Chinese medicine,
refined tin, refined tea leaves and the "xuanzhi" (a high
quality writing paper originally produced in Xuancheng) enjoy
high reputation abroad. In agriculture, Tengchong produces
grain and oil crops, tobacco, tea leaves, sugarcane, etc.
The production of tobacco has a history of more than 400 years.
Tengchong tobacco, cultivated on the volcanic mountain slopes
is of excellent quality and therefore used as a blend. The
Chuanlong tea leaves and large-sized tea leaves sell particularly
County is noted for its rich tourism resources, and is one
of the national-level scenic resorts. Worth mentioning among
the historical relics and scenic spots are clustered volcanoes
at Tengchong, clustered hot springs, the Relic of Neolithic
Culture, Laifeng Monastery, Longguangtai Pavliion, Yuanlong
Pavilion, the Philosopher Ai Siqi's Home, the Heshun Library,
Dieshuihe Waterfall and Taijiqiao Bridge, Wengchanggong Daoist
Temple and Shuiyingsi Temple, Yunfeng Mountain, Martyr's Cemetery,
the Hou Jing Bell, Shenweipao (the cannon with the martial
The famous local products include
jade articles, Chinese medicine, 'xuanzhi"
paper, dried rice noodles, tea oil, small hats
of split bamboo, preserved vegetables, articles
of rattan work, etc.
Tengchong is 760 kilometers
from Kunming. Bus and flight are both available