Baoshan Stone Village
Built on a huge cliff, Baoshan stone Village will take you back to the old china, for it has retained its traditional architecture. Because of its steep and narrow stone streets, there are no motorized vehicles inside the village, which is a rarity in Yunnan. In the surrounding areas, local people cultivate rice, wheat and corn, which makes for a view of beautiful terraced fields. From the village you also have a wide view of the Jinsha river valley and the surrounding mountains.
If you want to get away from crowds of tourists, Baoshan is the place to go. There are a few charming guesthouses where local Naxi people will welcome you with open arms.
Wengding Tribal Village
Close to the border with Myanmar lies Wengding village. This village is unlike any other you'll see in Yunnan, it's the most well-preserved Wa cultural village in the whole of China. Wa people have their own language, traditions, religion, architecture and clothing, their skin is much darker than the average Chinese person and their features are also different. Wengding has 526 residents, and nearly all of them are Wa. When you enter Wengding village it's like you enter a completely different world in a completely different time. All the houses are made of wood or bamboo with thatched roofs made from rice-straw. Twisted stone alleys and small gardens link all the properties together and there are chicken, pigs and small children running everywhere.
Although there may be some Chinese tourists during the day, they all leave in the evening, so we advise you to stay the night there. You can live a real Wa experience staying with locals for a few RMB, or stay at one of the two guesthouses in the village for more comfort.
You can go to Wengding and lots of other interesting places with our 15 Days Authentic Yunnan Tour.
Heijing Old Town
Heijing, called Black Well in Chinese, is the ancient salt capital of Yunnan and is one of Yunnan's best preserved ancient towns. It was established during the Tang dynasty and later became one of the wealthiest towns in Yunnan, due to its salt mines. Now it's a small rural hamlet well worth exploring.
Cars are limited to the outskirts of town, which give you an atmosphere of tranquility and slowness. Strolling through the old streets you feel like you are back in the last century. The Wu mansion up the hill is very well preserved and a must if you visit Heijing. There is also the salt museum and a few temples worth seeing in the surrounding countryside.
Weishan Old Town
Easy of access and less crowded than the close by Dali Old Town, Weishan makes for a good addition to your trip. In Weishan (like in the other towns listed in this article) you can still experience the local Yunnan lifestyle. Especially on market days, when Yi, Bai and Hui people come down from the surrounding mountains wearing their traditional clothes. Traditional architecture can be found everywhere in this old town.
Weishan is also included in our 15 Days Authentic Yunnan Tour.
Chengzi Ancient Village
Chengzi Ancient village, located in the Honghe prefecture, has a very atypical architecture with influences from both the Yi ethnic group and Han Chinese. Houses, made of wood, stone and clay, are built so that the flat roof of one house is also the terrace of the house above. The village, surrounded by mountains and paddy fields, has a total of 600 houses, most of which are 300 years old. During harvest, yellow corn drying on the roof makes for a beautiful touch of color. In the area a lot of people still use oxcarts to transport goods and go to the market.