A lesser-known Chinese city that few foreigners have heard of or visited

The small city named Teng’chong, situated in the westernmost corner of Yunnan, is relatively unknown to most people. Few foreigners are familiar with it or visit it, making it a hidden gem. However, for the locals residing in Yunnan, Teng’chong offers a beautiful and tranquil retreat.

So, what does it look like?

You can fly here from anywhere and find accommodation in a nice but expensive hotel, which may cost you around 50,000 RMB (approximately 6,000 dollars). Most houses are painted white and low-lying, with many of them perched halfway up the serene, green hills. The downtown area boasts mostly wide roads that are not heavily congested with traffic, unlike larger cities such as Guangzhou, Shanghai, or Shenzhen. Therefore, driving in the city can be a pleasant and comfortable experience.

Many main attractions are located some distance away from the downtown area. For example, Yin’xing Village is more than 30km away from the city center. However, it is truly worth visiting when you come to Teng’chong. Every year from November 15th to December 15th, the entire village turns golden yellow, a sight that may mesmerize both your eyes and your heart.

The natural hot springs produced by the volcanoes are renowned here. It is recommended that visitors to Teng’chong indulge in a hot spring bath. There are numerous places and facilities offering hot spring bath services.

For coffee enthusiasts, unfortunately, there is no Starbucks here. However, locally sourced coffee beans are available. I recommend a café located in Teng’yue Old Village, at the heart of Teng’chong, called Tai’xiang Café. I have visited it twice and found both the ambiance and the coffee to be delightful.

Teng’chong is not a bustling city indeed. When night falls, the city becomes quiet and dark.

At this moment, I am in the Rehai Scenic Area.


And, I am sitting in a small café, observing the tourists and the sunlight dappling the ground and trees.