The King Azalea
Azalea is one of the most famous flowers China is known for. To date, there are more than 800 varieties of azalea and more than 600 of them are found in China. Yunnan Province, were azaleas grow compactly, is the home of more than 300 kinds. Usually, azalea grows just one or two meters tall. However, in the Gaoligong Mountains located in Tengchong, azaleas grow up to 9-25 meters and produce several blooms. Because of their height, they were named “the Giant Azalea.”
In 1981, Chinese scientists found a group of the biggest and tallest azaleas in the virgin forest of the Gaoligong Mountains in Tengchong and they named them “the King of the Azalea in the World” because they grew from 9-25 meters.
King of the Azalea found at the Gaoligong Mountain Nature Reserve is usually included on package tours offered by travel agencies together with Tengchong cluster of volcanoes, Hot Sea, Heshun Town, etc.
Things to do
To see The King of Azalea, one must go to Gaoligong Mountain Nature Reserve. This is home to hundreds of different plant species, most of them cannot be found else where in the world. It is also the home of different species of birds and mammals. Travellers who love Azaleas must include this trip to their itinerary. Azaleas usually don’t grow mor than 3 meters. However, in Gaoligong Mountain, you’ll be able to see giant azaleas towering up to 25 feet tall. The oldest you’ll see is more than 500 years old.
Tourists who are into mountain climbing will love this nature reserve. On your way to the top, you’ll see different plants species and even animals.
Heshun Town is an eternally breathtaking place, which is located in the west side of Tengchong County. The place is very quaint and serene. It is best for people who are looking to spend time with nature. Tourists are mesmerized with its many ornamental structures, which include lotus ponds, archways, pavilions, and balustrades. One will have a grand time exploring the place where museum-like houses can be found.
Rehai (hot sea)
Rehai is just 7.5 miles outside Tongchong. It boasts several thermal hot springs, great hotels, and amazing restaurants. The main attraction is a large spring called Dagunguo or Big Boiling Pot that reaches a temperature of up to 206 degrees. Cooler springs can also be enjoyed for swimming and relaxing. Another attraction is the magnificient waterfall found on the Zaotang River. Tourists can take a bus or taxi from Tongchong to get there. Entrance fee is 20 Yuan.
Volcanoes found in Tengchong rank first in China when it comes to preservation, size, and variety. Volcano Park is the home of a group of young dormant volcanoes. Tourists are allowed to climb the steps of Mount Dakongshan where excellent views of the surrounding areas await them. To get there, take bus route C or a taxi. Fare is 10 Yuan/50 Yuan. Admission is 20 Yuan. Hot air balloon ride can also be arranged for 100 Yuan.
Take a relaxing walk at Beihai state-protected wetland, which is just 7.5 miles away from Tongchong. This wetland features bamboo-made bridges, rice fields, and lakes which surface is covered with wild flowers and thick grass. To get there, tourists can take a minibus from Tongchong and travel time is about 20 minutes. Admission is 30 Yuan.
Best time to visit – April to June
Bring appropriate clothing – Because of physiognormy, there are three types of climates in the mountain’s three zones: Frigid zone, temperate zone, and torrid zone.
Permit from the Nature Reserve is needed if you want to hike.