Tengchong Travel Guide
Tucked in the western corner of Yunnan, 750km west of Kunming,Tengchong has a stunning volcanic landscape that includes natural volcanoes, hot springs and volcanic lakes.
Located on the border of the Europe-Asia continental plate, Tengchong is a highly volcanic area with 97 volcanoes. In the last 500 years, 70 earthquakes occured in the area measuring 5 or more Richter scale. The Daying Mountain volcano has erupted many times. Ma'an Mountain consists of three volcanoes, some of which have formed lakes.
Tengchong has the best preserved volcano groups from the Cenozoic Era in China.
Volcanic Landscape / Hot Spring
- Volcano Park 火山公园 - 8 well-preserved volcanoes from the Cenozoic era. The foremost is Daying (Beat Hawk) Mountain, the tallest conical volcano in the area sitting in the middle part of the county and has erupted many times. Over 70 smaller volcanoes of different sizes surround Beat Hawk Mountain.
10km north of Daying Mt. stands Dakong, Xiaokong and Heikong Mt. As its name implies, Dakong Mountain has been dormant for several centuries and possesses a hollow center, but the rim offer magnificent views of the surrounding landscape.These comprise the biggest natural living museum of dormant volcanoes in China.
Admission fee: Y50.
Activities: Visitors can take a hot-air balloon at the foot of the volcano for Y100
Transportation: Take bus route C or hire a taxi (around Y60).
- Rehai (Hot Sea) 热海 - The main attraction here is Dagunguo (Big Boiling Bowl), a large spring that reaches a temperature of 97℃. Locals offer visitors eggs cooked in the spring's heat. Mineral-rich hot water is ejected intermittently into the nearby streams with a thunderous roar.
The park also has cool springs suitable for a swim, including Frog Mouth, Lion Head, Pearl Spring and Drum-beat Spring. The waterfall on the Zaotang River is also an attraction.
Tengchong has more than 80 hot springs with nearly every village having one of its own.
Admission fee: Y50
Transportation - tourist bus or taxi for Y5.00/person.
- Yunfeng Mountain 云峰山- a Taoist mountain situated near the Myanmar border. Visitors have the option to reach the top either by hiking or taking a cable car. There are a number of small pagodas scattered around the mountain, but most people head for the main temple of Yunfeng Si located at the peak. At the mountain's summit, visitors are offered a panoramic view of the area.
Admission fee: Y30, plus Y80 for the cable car, roundway.
- Beihai Wetland 北海湿地 - a state-protected wetland. The broad expanse of paddyfields, lakes, bamboo-made bridges and little boats sliding along the river create a quiet and peaceful scene.
The lake surfaces are covered by a one-meter-thick grass flourishing with many wild flowers, but don't be deceived by the flat grass; the water beneath is about seven meters deep. Try boating and fishing on the river instead as a good way to relax. Best Season to go is summer.
Admission Fee: Y50; Hot Spring: Y30
Transportation: The wetlands is 12km away from the city. Take a minibus for Y5.00, 20minutes.
- Tomb of State Funeral 国殇墓园 - lies 1km southwest of the city. It is the largest and best-preserved cemetery of KMT martyrs from the anti-Japanese and World War II. In 1944, one of the fiercest battles of the eight-year long war took place here with the Chinese Expedition Force's counter offensive to retake Tengchong from the hands of the Japanese. Over 3,000 Chinese soldiers contributed their lives in the 44-day long strike.
Admission Fee: Y10.
- Dieshuihe Waterfall 叠水河瀑布 - the sole volcano barrier waterfall in China. The Dayingjiang River runs through Tengchong County from north to south, abruptly falls down from the huge fault scarp and finally forms the Dieshuihe Waterfall. With wonderful clusters of columnar jointing situated on cliffs of its two sides, the Diecaihe Waterfall in a height of 46 meters splashed over the rocks accompanied by a crash as loud as thunder.
Admission Fee: CNY35
- Heshun Ancient Town - pls click here for detail
Getting there & away
The Tengchong Bus Station is at the south of town and is accessible via the #2 public bus. Frequent bus services run south to Mangshi and Ruili, northeast to Kunming and Lijiang via Baoshan and Dali.
Lijiang>Tengchong(via Dali): 520km,around 10hrs ride. Daily sleeper bus departing 8pm and arriving 6am the next day. You can also make a stop at Dali for a short trip and then take a connection bus to Tengchong, about 6.5hrs ride.
Dali to Tengchong: you can take the express coach to Baoshan and then transfer to the bus to Tengchong. Alternatively, if you are used to road travel, you can take the direct long-distance coach from Dali to Tengchong at a cost of CNY82.00 for 7 hours. The coaches are only available from 10:00 to 18:00 every day. Upon arrival at Tengchong bus station, you can take a taxi at a cost of CNY5.00 to nearly anywhere in Tengchong city.
Kunming>Tengchong: direct bus departing before 9am daily, around 11hrs. Night sleepers departing between 4pm-7pm.
The nearest airport is in Baoshan, 2hrs bus ride away from Tengchong city. Visitors can take a flight from Kunming to Baoshan. There is also direct flight from Guangzhou to Baoshan. Direct tourist bus to Tengchong is available at Baoshan airport with a cost of about CNY45.00
Numerous public buses run, though their routes are confusing and few are useful to tourists. Taxis are unmetered, and trips should be Y5 unless you are travelling out of the city proper.
A taxi/private car costs about Y300/day to vist Yunfeng Mountain and the volcano park. Service to the hot springs will cost an additional Y50.
Travelling by bicycle would be ideal, bicycle rental available in some shops.
Taiheju Inn (泰和居客栈) - Located nearby the 3 major attractions of Tengchong, some 1.5KM to Heshun Old Town. Taiheju Inn is facilitated with a big yard and a great restaurant. The owner is a local who can provide useful travel info. as well as help with car rental.
Address: No. 53, Dieshuihe, Tengchong,
Tengchong International Youth Hostel
Address: Yuquanyuan, Tengchong,
Tips & Reminders
Money -Tengchong's Bank of China only changes traveller's cheques Monday to Friday, so watch out if you rely on them. Its ATM works 24 hours with both cirrus/maestro and visa cards, however.