Not a lot of people heard about Lincang—that is true. This is because, for some reason, a number of travel brochures and agencies prefer to leave it aside. Nevertheless, this seemingly lack of attention has somehow worked to its benefit as a lot of its natural attractions are beautifully preserved and even remain untouched. Tourists who get to drop by or stay here for a while are therefore going to experience real Chinese culture and heritage.
Lincang is a prefecture-level city that is found around the southwest direction of Yunnan Province. One of the closest progressive cities is Kunming, which is also the capital of the province. It is surrounded by Dali above, Puer on the right, and Baoshan on the left. Some of its borders share with Myanmar. Some of the mountains within the area are Nushan Mountain and Hengduan Mountains.
Not much of its history is known to the public. Some of the earliest records date back to 206BC, which was during the dynasty of Western Han. Back then, it used to be part of Ailao Kingdom until it was conquered by the said dynasty, and Lincang became part of the shire of Yizhou. It further moved from Yizhou to Nanzhou and then to Dali during the succeeding dynasties, Tang and Song, respectively.
Lincang is composed of more than 25 minorities such as Dai and Deang. The biggest population, however, is the Wa. Though some have ventured into other places, more than 60 percent of them are currently within the area. Many years ago they were busy in the mines, cultivating coal, uranium, and germanium. However, their main source of livelihood is growing teas. In fact, they have a lot of teas such as black and pu’er, and this tradition has been going on for more than 500 years. Aside from teas, they also develop grow mango and cane sugar. The Wa minority also creates bag called jian pa.
The climate of Lincang City is greatly influenced by the Tropic of Cancer. Thus, it’s blessed by good weather for most times of the year, and yet it doesn’t get very hot because of the cooler temperatures brought about by the surrounding mountains.
Sunshine is up usually from January to March. The highest temperatures, meanwhile, happen during April to August. It tends to get cold, on the other hand, between January and February. Rains are heavy during the months of July to August.
Lincang dishes are influenced by Yunnan cuisine, which is also inspired by the various cooking methods of the ethnic minorities as well as that of the Han Chinese. The dishes can get pretty spicy, and it’s common for them to include mushrooms.
If you’re looking for some adventure when in Lincang, you can go hunt for the Rock Paintings. Though they are centered around Cangyuan County, they are scattered in various areas. They are now considered as some of the oldest rock paintings in the country, having been created more than 2,500 years before. These paintings were carved on cliffs that stand more than 1,000 meters above sea level and showcase the way the people live during those periods.
Lincang Tea Culture Garden
A tour within Lincang will never be complete without seeing any of the tea plantations in the city. One of the most popular areas to do that is Lincang Tea Culture Garden, which is found in Fengqing County. This is a very old tea plantation, about 3,000 years old, and covers more than 900 acres. They grow black tea here. Aside from seeing the teas, locals may serenade you with their folk songs.
The Wendeng Village located in Cangyuan allows you to mingle with the Wa minorities. This is also a great place to buy souvenirs such as bags and some teas. You can also begin your journey to the Washan Mountain here.
Stone Buddha Cave
Found in Gengma County, the trip toward the Buddha cave can be quite tricky since the entrance is narrow. Moreover, you may not be able to see it properly unless the water of the rivers goes down. However, once you get in, the cave is wide and has plenty of room.
Stone Cave Temple
As its name suggests, the Stone Cave Temple is surrounded by rocks. In fact, its pavilion, which is right across the temple, is sitting on them. There are also bridges made of stone, and they are used to connect the various pavilions.
Yongde Earth Buddhas
Also called the Earth Forest or Earth Buddhas, they are not really Buddhas but land formations that have been formed thousands of years ago. Nevertheless, they’re able to obtain such name because some of them appear like Buddhas. They are actually made of red gravel.
Lincang has its own airport, which is located at Boshang Town. It is roughly 28 kilometers away from the city center, and the travel time is around 30 minutes. There’s only one airline, though, that is being served by the airport, and it’s China Eastern Airlines. Nevertheless, there are other nearby airports.
There are also plenty of buses that pass through the area, even if you’re going to Myanmar. Lincang has three counties that are currently sharing borders with Myanmar. These are Zhenkang, Gengma, and Cangyuan. You can also go inside Lincang through its port or via Kunming, which is about 9 hours away. It can be traveled through a long-distance bus.