Tengchong (腾冲) is a county-level city in Yunnan, South-West China.

Understand edit

Tengchong is administratively part of the city of Baoshan (保山), but is otherwise a city in its own right. The main urban area of Baoshan is approximately 170km from Tengchong.

Tengchong is popular with Chinese tourists, but sees relatively few foreign tourists. It is best known for its volcanoes and hot springs. The ancient town of Heshun, also a popular tourist destination, is 4 km from downtown Tengchong.

Previously known in English as Tengyue or Tengyueh, it was at one time a British trading base when British-occupied Burma had ambitions of increased trade volumes with China.

Get in edit

By plane edit

By train edit

The nearest train station is in Baoshan. A bus service operates between Baoshan Railway Station and Tengchong.

By bus edit

  • 2 Tengchong Tourist Bus Station (腾冲旅游客运站), Rehai Road South Section (腾冲县热海路南段), (opposite the Xiake Hotel), +86 875 5161526. This is Tengchong's busiest long-distance bus station. Buses are available to a wide range of destinations in the region, including Kunming, Baoshan, Chuxiong, Dali, Jinghong, Lijiang, Liuku, and Panzhihua.
  • 3 Tengchong Bus Station (腾冲客运站), Dongfang Road (东方路) (Opposite Dongfang Hospital), +86 875 5152363. This used to be Tengchong's main long-distance bus station but now mainly serves buses heading to towns and cities in Dehong Prefecture such as Mangshi and Ruili.

Get around edit

Taxis or didi dache (Chinese Uber) are probably your best bet. The areas outside the city may be too distant to casually bicycle.

Buses are also a good option. Besides regular buses, there are also special express buses to major tourist attractions such as the Tengchong Volcano Cluster and the Rehai Geothermal Field.

See edit

Tengchong suffered heavy damage during World War II and the impact of the war can be seen in many parts of the city. For instance, the old British Consulate building includes bullet holes visible from WWII when the Japanese used it as a stone bastion during the Battle of Tengchong. The old city wall was sadly obliterated during the battle, but the north gate has since been rebuilt. The iconic pagoda on Laifeng Hill in the city's south has also been rebuilt. A famous seasonal wetland lake area north of the city is a great attraction for migratory birdlife. Two traditional Qing Dynasty villages near the city are preserved, one to the southeast and one to the southwest. The latter features the first ever private museum in Yunnan. Both feature significant amounts of traditional Qing Dynasty aristocratic architecture including murals, wood and stone carvings and other significant Chinese architectural features.

Museums edit

  • 1 Stilwell Road Museum (史迪威公路博物馆), National Highway G219 (take bus no. 5 to Caomiao (草庙), then walk the rest of the way). 08:00-20:00. A privately-run museum about the Stilwell Road, a road built during World War II to enable supplies to reach China from British India. The road passed through Tengchong and linked up with the Burma Road, which ran between Burma and Kunming. The museum maintains a very impressive collection of World War II-era military vehicles, including dozens of jeeps and trucks. Free.
  • 2 Tengchong Jade Museum (腾冲翡翠博物馆), Gaoligong International Tourism City (高黎贡国际旅游城) (bus nos. 1, 2 and 7), +86 875 5158869. 08:30-18:00. A museum about the jade industry in Tengchong. Displays various jade specimens and artefacts, including what is claimed to be the largest jade stone in the world. ¥30.
  • 3 Tenchong Museum (腾冲市博物馆), Guanghua Road (光华路) (bus nos. 4, 5 and 6; the museum is the middle building in a public square - the other two buildings are the Tengchong Library and the Tengchong Cultural Center), +86 875 5135009. 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. Has exhibtions on the history and culture of the city. The history exhibitions are on the ground floor and the culture exhibitions are the upper floor. Free.
  • 4 Western Yunnan Memorial to War of Resistance Against Japan (滇西抗战纪念馆), No. 2 Taiji Housing Estate, Tiancheng Community (天成社区太极小区2号) (bus no. 6), +86 875 5138779. 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. Large museum dedicated to the Western Yunnan campaign of World War II. Has lots of information in English, though captions for individual items tend to be in Chinese only. The main exhibition halls are on the ground floor, but the exhibitions on the second floor are worth seeing too, especially the exhibition on Japan's biological and chemical weapons program. Free.

Historical sites edit

  • 5 Former residence of Li Genyuan (李根源旧居, 李根源故居), 38 Dieyuan Housing Estate, Tiancheng Community, Tengyue Town (腾越镇天成社区叠园小区38号) (at the intersection of Dieyuan Road (叠园路) and Tengyue Road (腾越路), not far from the National Martyrs' Cemetery; take bus nos. 3 (both inner and outer circle routes) or bus no. 9), +86 875 5133450. As of August 2022, the building is closed for repairs. Li Genyuan (1879-1965) was an educator, army officer, and government official who was born in Tengchong. He had a long and illustrious career, which included acting as principal of the Yunnan Military Academy, participating in the Xinhai Revolution and holding various senior government positions. In 1945, after the Second World War was over, he moved back to Tengchong and oversaw the establishment of the National Martyrs' Cemetery. This house of his was built between 1946 and 1947. It is now a museum dedicated to Li Genyuan's life. Free.
  • 6 Former site of British Consulate (英国领事馆旧址) (down an alleyway off Jihong Street (霁虹街); bus no. 1). The building can only be viewed from the outside. Built by the British between 1921 and 1931. During the Japanese occupation of Tengchong, the Japanese Imperial Army used the building as a fort. It subsequently saw intense fighting when the Chinese army returned in 1944 to take back the city. Even today, the building is riddled with dozens of bullet holes. As of August 2022, the building is surrounded by construction sites on one side and a market on the other. If you follow the directions given by Baidu Maps, it will tell you to walk to the site via the market on Jihong Street, but actually there is a fence between the market and the building, so you have to go around the back of the block and walk through a construction site. Free.
Entrance to the National Martyrs' Cemetery
  • 7 National Martyrs' Cemetery (国殇墓园), No. 2 Taiji Housing Estate, Tiancheng Community (天成社区太极小区2号) (next to the Western Yunnan Memorial to War of Resistance Against Japan), +86 875 5138779. 09:00-17:00, closed on Mondays. One of a very small number of national cemeteries in China dedicated exclusively to the fallen of World War II. Free.
  • 8 Temple of the Medicine King (药王宫), Intersection of Guanghua Road and Jihong Street (光华路与霁虹街交叉口) (bus nos. 1, 4, 5 and 6). 09:00-17:00. A Taoist temple dedicated to the Medicine King. The temple was established in 1626 and rebuilt in 1877. Free.
  • 9 Tengchong Confucius Temple (腾冲文庙), 180 Huangxue Housing Estate, Xiufeng Community (秀峰社区黉学小区180号) (near the intersection of Huangxue Road (黄学路) and Fengshan Road (凤山路); bus nos. 2 and 4). As of August 2022, the temple is closed for repairs. Founded in 1480, the temple was moved to the present site in 1705 and rebuilt in 1879. Free.

Ancient towns and villages edit

  • 10 Heshun Ancient Town (和顺古镇).    
    • 11 Ai Siqi Memorial (艾思奇纪念馆).
    • 12 Cun Family Ancestral Hall (寸氏宗祠).
    • 13 Dragon Pool (龙潭).
    • 14 Heshun Library (和顺图书馆).
    • 15 Liu Family Ancestral Hall (刘氏宗祠).
    • 16 Zhongtian Temple (中天寺).
  • 17 Qiluo Ancient Town (绮罗古镇).
  • 18 Yinxing Village (银杏村).

Parks and nature edit

  • 19 Beihai Wetland (北海湿地), Provincial Highway 238 (238省道) (bus no. 13), +86 875 5130102. 08:30-19:00. A major national wetland park spanning two volcanogenic lakes. The park may be visited at any time of the year but if you want to see the flowers blooming, you should come around April or May. ¥55 (entry fee), ¥40 (boat ride).
  • 20 Dieshui River Waterfall (叠水河瀑布), Baofeng Road (宝峰路) (about 400 meters north of the National Martyrs' Cemetery.), +86 875 5141499 (enquiries), +86 15925003317. 07:30-18:30. A beautiful natural waterfall right in the heart of the city. ¥10.
  • 21 Laifengshan National Forest Park (来凤山国家森林公园), Fengshan Road (凤山路) (take bus no. 8 to Tengchong No. 5 High School (腾冲五中), then walk from there), +86 875 5155283. 08:00-17:30. A large park centered around Laifeng Hill (Laifengshan), the highest land formation in the central part of the city and one of the city's major landmarks. During the Second World War, the occupying Japanese forces fortified the hill and used it as a base for maintaining their stranglehold over the city. In 1944, this was one the main battlefields of the Battle of Tengchong, during which the Chinese Expeditionary Force and allied forces fought to liberate the city. The Chinese ultimately won the battle but at a heavy cost. Many of those who fought in the battle are buried at the National Martyrs Cemetery. There are also many soldiers and other people buried on the hill itself, including Zhang Wende, the unofficial wartime governor of Tengchong County who mobilized local civilians to support the war effort. When walking through the park, you will see graves almost everywhere you look. You can also see remnants of the battle such as trenches and bomb craters. Visitors are requested not to touch the war remnants. At the summit of the hill is the famous Wenbi Pagoda, which was rebuilt in 2000. There are multiple walking paths. Take the 3-km-long path on the left if you want to see as many graves and war remnants as possible. The three steep paths in the middle will take you directly to the pagoda. If you take the easy path on the right, you will end up at the Laifeng Temple. Free.
The Dagunguo Hot Spring at Rehai
  • 22 Tengchong Volcanic Geothermal National Geological Park (腾冲火山地热国家地质公园). Large national park protecting the geologically significant parts of the Tengchong Volcanic Field. The park is divided into several distinct 'scenic areas'. These scenic areas are many kilometers apart and may be viewed as separate parks from a traveller's point of view. The two biggest and most popular scenic areas are the Rehai Scenic Area and the Volcano Scenic Area. The Rehai Scenic Area and the Volcano Scenic Area are about 37 kilometers apart. Nonetheless, it's certainly possible to visit both places on the same day if you start out in the morning.    
    • 23 Black Fish River Scenic Area (黑鱼河风景区), County Highway M74, Qushi Town (曲石镇M74县道) (bus no. 13), +86 875 5853388. 08:00-19:00. This tends to be the least visited of the park's scenic areas, but there are some interesting features here too. Black Fish River is an underground river that was forced to the surface after the original channel was blocked by lava flows. The river is named after the black fish that live in the river. Near the river, one can see some fine examples of columnar jointing. Free.
    • 24 Rehai Scenic Area (热海景区, Hot Sea Scenic Area), Qingshui Township (清水乡) (take the special tourist bus that departs from outside the Tengchong Tourist Bus Station), +86 875 5133333 (enquiries), +86 875 5869777 (complaints), +86 875 5869119 (emergencies). 08:00-21:00 (summer), 08:00-20:00 (winter). This is the most active area of the Tengchong Volcanic Field and has many hot springs and other hydrothermal features such as fumaroles and geysers. The most famous hot spring is the Dagunguo Hot Spring (大滚锅温泉) which maintains a constant temperature of around 96 to 97 degrees Celcius. Here, visitors are permitted to throw eggs into the water and watch them boil. Make sure you don't do that at any of the other hot springs. Also, be careful not to touch the boiling water. Bathing is possible, but only at a certain designated sites such as the Meinvchi Hot Spring (美女池温泉) and the Yugu Hot Spring (浴谷温泉). Entry fee: ¥50, hot springs bathing fee: ¥300, sightseeing car: ¥10 one way or ¥15 return.
    • 25 Volcano Scenic Area (火山景区), Mazhan Township (马站乡) (take the special tourist bus that departs from outside the Tengchong Tourist Bus Station), +86 875 5133333 (enquiries), +86 875 5869777 (complaints), +86 875 5869089 (emergencies). 08:00-18:00. Includes a cluster of volcanoes of varying sizes. Two of the volcanoes have been developed for tourism, including Dakong Hill (大空山) and Xiaokong Hill (小空山). Dakong Hill is the larger of the two. Once you get to the top, you can walk or take a horse ride around the rim of the crater, but the path is covered in wet mud and horse excrement, so taking the horse might be the better option. Xiaokong Hill, although smaller than Dakong Hill, actually offers a more pleasant experience. Not only is it easier to climb, it also has a much cleaner walking path (made from wood instead of dirt). There are two museums near the entrance to the scenic area. One is the Tengchong Volcanic Geology Museum, which explains the geology of the area and displays various specimens of volcanic rock. The other museum is the Science Experience Hall, which features interactive science displays and a 3D movie theatre. General entry fee: ¥35, General entry fee plus entry fee for Science Experience Hall: ¥78, sightseeing car: ¥10 one way or ¥15 return.

Do edit

Buy edit

Eat edit

Drink edit

Sleep edit

  • 1 Angsana Tengchong (腾冲悦椿温泉村), Mayugu International Hot Springs Resorts, Beihai Township (北海乡玛御谷温泉国际度假区) (Approximately 12km northeast of the city center), +86 875 899-9888, . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Five-star hotel. From ¥2848.
  • 2 Heshun Xinyue Boutique Inn (Xinyue-Liubai Boutique Inn; 心玥·留白精致雅宿(腾冲和顺店)), 18 Lijia Alley, Heshun Town (About 60 meters west of the Heshun Library), +86 15925030407. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Four-star hotel. From ¥490.

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